I'm taking a trip at the end of the month to Washington D.C. to visit my sister, so right now I am planning out the minute details of the trip. I am going to stay in a hotel the night before my flight because that way I don't have to get up early and I can leave my car at the hotel. Also I can go to the Mall of America if I want. I don't really want to but I feel like I should because it's there and I used to like it and it's about the most dare-devilish thing I will do for several years, (The Mall of America is supposedly a major terrorist target. wooooooo! Terrorists!) until I save up for my trip up Mount Everest. Just kidding! I'm not going to Mount Everest. First of all, I hear it's really cold there, second of all, the trip to the top is almost totally uphill and I am not a fan of going uphill, and finally, although I don't like showering, I need one almost every day and I shudder to think what would happen if I went for two months without a shower. One time I tried to see how long I could go without washing my pants and it was a long time, but nowhere near two months. (actually, pretty close, and pretty gross. Think "ring around the waistband." Sorry, Mom).
Anyway, I'm liking the idea of staying in a hotel room all by myself for a night, but then Mitch reminded me what happened the last time I stayed in a hotel in Minneapolis by myself. It was 14 years ago and I was there for ... actually I don't remember exactly why. Something work related? Yes, it was because I had a new suit and a school district car that I drove ALL OVER the cities and got a lot of shit about the mileage when I got back. So I was at this hotel and for some reason was feeling kind of paranoid about being a young, single woman alone in the big city. I heard some noises in the hallway and got kind of freaked out thinking somebody was probably going to try to break into my room and steal my new Gap tweed suit and fake pearls and then have their way with me. I got the obligatory pepper spray canister out of my purse. I was afraid it was too old to work so I decided to give it a try, just to make sure I knew how to use it. I brought it in the bathroom and pointed it into the tub and sprayed. It worked! A wave of misty pepper spray shot out and circulated through the tub right back into my stupid face.
That shit really works. I coughed and hacked and tears were streaming from my eyes for so long that I couldn't even enjoy watching free cable TV. And then the perp didn't even have the common decency to attempt an assault. What a waste of preparation.
I'm not worried about being assaulted on this trip because I'm no longer a pseudo-hot twentysomething. I'm forty which means I'm practically invisible which a lot of women don't like but I LOVE. I can remember when my older friends would hit middle age and complain about being overlooked all the time and feeling invisible, and I was so jealous. Who doesn't want the power of invisibility? Crazy people, that's who. So since I am practically invisible because I'm a chubby, white, 40 year old woman, I am not bringing any weapons along with me which is good because I don't think they let people take just anything on a plane these days.
Several years ago Mitch and the kids and I took a trip to California together. Airport security confiscated Sam's ratcheting screwdriver. Don't ask me why he was traveling with a ratcheting screwdiver. He was seven. He packed his own carry-on. He was devastated by the loss of that screwdriver and it's made an impression on all of us.
(Mom, Dad, Grandma, stop reading here or you will regret it.)
That was the same trip Mitch thought he would be HILARIOUS by packing an obnoxiously large dildo in my carry-on hoping I would be searched. (Mom, Dad, Grandma: I warned you, now stop reading.) Like I wouldn't notice the 18 inches and five extra pounds of flesh-colored rubber. (It even had balls. Rubber balls!) I repacked it in his checked baggage before we went to the airport. The man actually spent time and money and endured the embarrassment of shopping for and purchasing that monstrosity (who uses those? They can't all be a joke. Yuck.) just for a lame-o practical joke that didn't even work. When we got to my sister's house it was even grosser because it was all full of lint from the clothes. We put it in her kayak. We told her it was hidden somewhere and good luck finding it. She didn't find it until she was moving and just happened to come across it before the movers did, and then in a panic told the movers, "Don't worry about the kayak! I'll pack the kayak!" She said she double wrapped the offending linty phallus in black garbage bags and threw it in a dumpster after dark one night. I bet Mitch wishes he had that sweet dildo money back. FYI to all husbands everywhere: You will get more [fill in desired wish here] with flowers than you ever will with joke penises.