Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Country Strong

I really liked that movie. Although, I didn't enjoy watching Gwenyth Paltrow make a mess of her life and kill herself, I did think it was an emotional, yet tastefully done movie. Lately, I have been saying this phrase to myself over and over again. Obviously, because I live in the country, and I am also strong. Until recently, I only considered myself mentally and emotionally strong (except for those days that I end up in my bathtub, sucking on a bag of Wholly Guacamole), but as of late, I can now consider myself physically strong! Don't get your hopes up. I don't look like Demi Moore in G.I. Jane or anything. But I got some definition. That's all a noodle like me can ask for really.

I am going to introduce you to another phrase that makes me feel strong: Road Warrior. This phrase was introduced to me in the year 2005, when I roomed with a road warrior my freshman year of college. She had a whole family of road warriors. They took on the road with delight and honor, glory and dignity, serving their...well, trips and chores.

road warrior > 1. one who experiences battle with the road; a heroic individual that endures many hours of travel via land via the automobile 3. an optimistic driver who spends many hours in the car getting to places, doing things, taking trips, driving hours upon hours at a time every day. 4. a country bumpkin who must drive hours to go to a city or town, see people, and do every-day activities.
Examples: Doesn't she live in the middle of the Delta? She must really be a road warrior.
He drove 2 hours to get here for this; what a road warrior!

As you can see, road warrior has positive connotations. If someone calls you this, it is a good thing. It is a compliment.

I myself picture me with long stringy, tangled hair, face painted blue on one side, wearing something similar to a loin-cloth dress, which has been ripped at the seems from a lot of fighting, with a bow and arrows, screaming some kind of heroic war mantra, maybe just screaming in general, in a toyota 4-runner going down 49, with an army of country road warriors behind me, fighting for their freedom.

I saw this scene on a road war with W (who is a road Warrior with a capital W--giving him props for all the road warring he did during our relationship prior to the nupitals). This was at an old abandoned convenience store (stating the obvious once again) in a little mini-town somewhere around here somewhere. It struck a chord with me because I used to love Coca Cola, and I also thought it was a little ironic-- convenience in the country? Only if you're a road warrior. 

But this place looked a little like an old Road War battle ground, where warriors surrendered and abandoned. I imagine a guy driving up in this cute little green bug to this abandoned country convenience store, thirsty and starving, tired from his fight, maybe needing some gas, maybe having to use the restroom, maybe all of the above, finding out it was just a ploy and not really a convenience at all, and just giving up and abandoning his men, taking up the role of hitch-hiker, a fallen soldier. 

As a road warrior, the smallest amount of traveling is no big deal to me. Going to the Kroger an hour from my house is not a big deal at all. The only thing I'm concerned about is ice cream in that case. I have come to enjoy my time in the car, especially now that I have XM. Thank goodness for satellite radio. This has become my time to contemplate, reflect, and maybe belt out some songs on the radio I don't want anyone to know I like.

This weekend I am bringing some serious road warrior skills to the interstate. I am headed to Nashville, and from there, I cannot tell you my secret road warrior mission when I get to the destination. This weekend I am like an undercover road warrior spy with a top secret task, undertaking a mighty duty, and facing my arch enemy and nemesis: Interstate 40, the cruelest of all the roads.

I have a little bit of a bad relationship with this interstate. It was the main route between me and my boyfriend when I lived in Nashville. We would call each other when traveling to each other on I-40 and complain about how dreadful and disgusting this stretch is. "I can't believe I'm on this stupid interstate again. You had better give me a big kiss, bake me cookies, give me a massage, tell me I'm the most attractive person on the planet, buy me a bracelet, and set up an introduction with Oprah when I get there."

Tomorrow I face the dreaded enemy. But I am a road warrior, and we stay on the sunny side of the road to stay alive. I look forward to taking on my foe. I will smile the whole time; I will not let it get the best of me. And especially, because my sweet grandmother will be with me. She is a strong sidekick.

So bring it on! Whatever lies ahead of you, put your big boy/girl britches on, and face it with a smile. There's no getting around it. Just do it! Be strong.

Liza Jane