I hid it on the top shelf behind two dirty rags and a box marked ‘weights & stuff.’ Tonight, nothing was coming between me and Property Brothers. Before long, however, my guilty conscious started screaming and I turned myself in: I stopped the treadmill and handed Jon the remote.
We’re that sickly-sweet couple that runs side-by-side on the treadmill and yells things like ‘race you’ and ‘keep going’ while offering up high-fives. The gym routine is all cake-and-cream, but it becomes complicated when we’re sharing a TV screen.
Jon wants to watch baseball or the news, and I want to watch Property Brothers or Top Chef. Most times we debate back-and-forth until one of us gives in (I’ll let you shower first if …..) but Jon was late to the gym tonight and it occurred to me that we could skip the debate if the remote went missing….
Sweet Jon checked all the bikes and treadmills and stair-masters when he arrived at the gym. Defeated, he told me that the remote was missing and we’d have to watch whatever was already on (Rehab Addict). His whole search took about 10 seconds, but I felt guilty and told him to look on top of the bookcase behind the rags. Jon grabbed the remote, smiled, and put on the Brewers vs. Pirates game.
Before he started running, Jon did Zoolander-type stretches that made me laugh so hard I almost fell off my treadmill. No one else makes me laugh that way — the ‘lose control and grab your side and hope you don’t snort’ kinda way — and I realized that he could have the remote forever. I like him that much.
The Phoenix sun took its toll, and we took refuge in my sister’s borrowed car in the parking lot. We opened the moon roof, turned on the radio, and crawled into the back seat. Very high school of us, I know.
Unlike most teenage trips to the backseat, this adventure was PG. We were exhausted from flying to Phoenix, driving to the Grand Canyon, hiking Sedona, and then going to the spring training games. I curled into Jon’s arm, thinking about how perfect the trip had been, and marveled at how I’d rather be lounging in the backseat than anywhere else in the world.
How does that happen? What mix of ingredients does it take to transform the most ordinary of places into somewhere seemingly magical and worthy of travel?
We weren’t in the City of Lights or the Land of Plenty, but I wanted the moment to continue on and on (and on). If Travelocity sold this vacation, I would buy it without a single question or second thought.
Give me tenderness in the backseat of a beat-up old car. Show me the stars and let me be giddy about your arms wrapped around me. We’ll play folk songs and let the world fade away.
When we got back to my sister’s, Jon did fantasy baseball research (he runs 3 teams) while I baked some treats for my family. I meant to make strawberry shortcake muffins, but I bought the wrong kind of cake (luckily) and ended up with something better than I could have imagined — Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes.
Easy as pie and delicious as, well, cake. If you want to make your own, make lemon cupcakes, place a strawberry in the center when cooled, and then top with whipped cream. A recipe so good it should be trending.