Oct 12, 2007

marathon mobile

aka our airstream 345 motorhome

i have a love hate relationship with this vehicle.

when my husband first proposed (not marriage) but the fact that he wanted to buy an RV, i really thought i had married the wrong man. let me preface that a bit by saying i was born & raised in a lovely, idyllic little bubble of an enclave of a place that does not do rv’s. in any way shape or form. the mere mention of them brings snickers. clenched teeth marble-mouthed jokes. i grew up with some very pre-conceived notions about rv’s. hell, i grew up with preconceived notions about a lot of things, but that’s neither here nor there.

i moved away. i’m better now.

rv’s were tacky. cheesy. fodder for ridicule. i usually provide plenty of fodder for ridicule on my own, but an rv? it was too much. they were for old people. they were for tacky old people. cool, hip young families did not own rv’s. a girl from bubble enclave perfect hometown did not own an rv. i said to my husband, if you think i am ok with buying one, you married the wrong girl. he was persistent. we rented one. just to “try it out” and “see if we liked it”.

this resulted in my nightmare coming true.
it resulted in a lot of things.

we drove it halfway across the country. to my bubble enclave hometown. we had issues getting there (it’s enough material for another entire blog) … i joked that we’d be stopped at the exit. not allowed to get off. i was only half joking. i actually thought – that shit could happen. we did indeed make it off the highway. brazenly driving our RV down perfect mainstreet. there we are … parked in our neighbors driveway (who, although they lived in perfect utopia hometown, welcomed our arrival with open arms & an outlet on their porch into which we could plug in). there’s a special place in heaven for these kind of neighbors.

our children are small. diapers small. the RV needs repair. i am standing in the street. dirty diapers in my hand. the unwashed hair of a road trip. my children are running naked on the front lawn of my childhood home. and now – my nightmare begins: a car. a snazzy, convertible of a car comes down my street. a beautiful, smiling couple – he, with his sweater tied around his shoulders. she with long hair. probably a headband. gleaming teeth. i hear a shout of “suzanne!”. oh my god. who was that? i look. oh dear god. help me. please. no. the car parks. he gets out. my kids are naked. my husband is coming up the driveway in his best grease monkey look, ready to do repairs to RV. i am unshowered. the dirty diapers. the naked kids. it all looks. so bad. so trailer park. the last time mr. sweater tied around his shoulders saw us was at our wedding. we were beautiful. shiny. sparkly. our hair was washed. my husband looks at me and smiles. he knows my nightmare is unfolding in front of his eyes. and he is maddeningly smug.

it’s a friend. from high school. we hug. we say all the things you say to friends you haven’t seen in forever. and then, you follow his eyes as they wander over to the RV and cringe … what’s that? oh. that? its our rv. you own it? oh god no. its rented. a-ha. i see. he glances at the kids. naked. the poopy smell of the dirty diapers in my hands permeates the preppy air. so. he says. where are you living now? i hang my head in shame & barely utter – kentucky. hell. i may as well be barefoot & pregnant with quints. my husband may as well be shirtless with overalls and chewing on a toothpick and tobaccy.

and like that. the reunion is over. he’s gotta go.
the pretty, shiny blonde is waiting in the car.
yes! yes. so good to see you too.
damn all those preconceived notions of bubble enclave hometown.
so stifling.

i am happy to say that i have since grown up. i have since come to love kentucky & be perfectly happy to be living here. and I proudly say in that: don’t-knock-it-till-you’ve-tried-it way to east coast yankee friends’ who’s eyebrows go up at the mention of kentucky at our 20th high school reunion – have you ever been there?

and i have since become not just a renter, but an owner of an RV.

my husband broke me down. i said if we had to own one, it had to be an airstream. cause at least it had some character. it was an icon of sorts. it was different. it would be noticed. he found one. we bought it. and i spent the next several years hating it. it was a money pit. it was old. it broke down. all the time. i could start another whole blog about breakdowns & road trips. we joke that if you put those little cameras on board when we took a trip that it would be a great reality show. in fact, i have some really good juicy stories about breakdowns on the road. i may start another blog. hell. i could write a book on the subject.

i digress.
what does this post have to do with running?
stay with me. i promise.
i will bring this home.

fast forward to october 2006. my first marathon is 3 hours away from home. a simple day trip. while risky, due to the nature of the 20+ year old beast & its’ tendency to breakdown … we plan on taking the airstream. with the LEM (lunar escape module, aka 1971 VW Beetle) attached. – we learned the hard way - never leave home without the LEM attached. my husband is slightly horrified that we drive a home on wheels all the way up to marathon & yet, stayed in a hotel. i try to explain to him, i want to be normal. i want to sleep in a hotel. not a parking lot. still. the preconceived notions linger. i am a work in progress.

i run the marathon. i am elated. it is everything i knew it would be and more. it is over, it’s time to go home. we sit on the grass for a while – my husband announces that he’s going to go get the airstream – he’ll be back in about 30 minutes. we hobble down to a field of grass where we can sit & wait for him to pick us up. we watch as other runners get picked up. cars pull up. they do that marathon hobble. a door opens. we watch as runners bend their sad sorry tired bodies & try to get themselves into the backseats of cars. its’ painful to watch. we lie in the sun on our mylar blankets. waiting. waiting for our ride.

i have never been so happy to see this bane of my existence pull up, this big shiny money pit of a fabulous thing. my husband opens the big door . he’s smiling. the stairs come down … and i know there is a couch, a bedroom, a bathroom & a stereo on which to play some rockin’ tunes and a fridge full of beer waiting for us.

i love our airstream.

it will be parked in front of our house in a few days …
ready to get packed up for marathon trip #2.

i can’t wait.


Anonymous said...

i've written 4 different answers..
erased them all.....
just really, want everyone to know that I am your mother.....and I am so proud of you !!! i too have learned to love your "rv"


Anonymous said...

Oh, this whole post cracked me up, Zanne. And, yay, what a nice comment from your mom! :) :) :)

Nancy said...

I'm cracking up that you still stayed in a hotel room. He must really love you.

The best line, Stay with me, I will bring this home.

You are adorable. You are gonna rock marathon #2.

Anonymous said...

oh, this is one of my favorite rv stories. do write the book. it will be so damn funny.

Unknown said...

If we EVER were to get an RV (and that's a big "if") it would be an Airstream, or possibly a teardrop (my sister has one of those and it's adorable!).

You and your husband probably have WAY more fun than your preppy classmates. Trying to keep up appearances must be exhausting!

zanne said...

betsy ...i'm telling you - there is no better way to travel to & from races!

Laurel said...

Hahaha...what a GREAT post! You SHOULD write a book! It would be great.

I think that thing looks like a blast and I will definitely be on the lookout for it next Sunday when I need a bed to lay on and a drive back to the hotel ;)

P.S I love Kentucky, It's a beautiful state.

Laurel said...

I will definitely keep an eye out for you and the marathon mobile.

I keep asking J where he made the reservations and he can't remember (he left the papers at work) but I have a feeling it is the Courtyard Marriot. Then Monday we are moving to a B&B in German Village for a few days of rest. I am so excited!

How is the course and fan support is up there? I'm just wondering what to expect.

Vickie said...

OMG, LOL, the only thing worse is having to do a--I can't say it--marathon and then having to walk 3 miles BACK TO THE CAR! But I too digress, I know where you're coming from. All's fair in love and war. I wish you only THE BEST as you set out on your journey. I can't wait to read about it! I will be there with you in spirit! I wish I could be there in person!

Vickie said...

I couldn't help but think of the Beverly Hillybillies. Sorry! Too funny!

Anonymous said...

Now that the Airstream knows you love it...maybe it'll stop crying out for attention by breaking down so often.

Andria said...

Oh my word this is hysterical! It kind of reminds me of when cousin Ed shows up in National Lampoons Christmas. I'm glad you've come to love it. Screw sweater boy. what does he know?

runliarun said...

Lovely story. Mostly because it is so honest. I understand exactly how you feel - that is I have similar reticences applying to different situations.

But as to RVs... I grew up in a country where a home on wheels was an unheard, unthinkable luxury. Nobody had one, for that matter. We knew them as we knew LEMs - from TV, once or twice in a lifetime, as when Armstrong landed on the moon.

You will never be able to please everybody. Kentucky? I heard they are clannish, heavily into blue-blood, inimical to outsiders. It's quite a feat you made a home there, I think.

And you deserve the best of homes.

P.O.M. said...

Now anybody in the running blogger world can look for the RV at their race to see if you're there. It makes you kinda famous.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled upon your blog. I LOVE THIS POST! You're a great writer, and I'm encouraged to read more (there goes the work day)!

zanne said...

thanks monica! glad you found the bog & are enjoying it! sorry about your work day. :-)

Groover said...

I love airstreams and would give a world to own one. You are one lucky girl. :-)