Make or Break

They say that a road trip will either make a friendship stronger, or destroy it.  I’ve been on two major road trips in my life that weren’t with my parents – a trip through the province and up into the Yukon, and a trip down to California.  The first was with a friend and the second was with my husband for our honeymoon. 

The first trip happened in the summer of 2005.  Background details are complicated but I’ll try.  Remember we talked about Bob?  Well, Georgie (not her real name) had known Bob all her life.  If you ask me, I would say that Georgie was in love with Bob, but she never admitted it – always saying he was like a brother to her.  But, I digress – She was supportive during our relationship, but when we broke up, she found it harder and harder to be supportive of me, and leaned more towards Bob – which could be considered fair since she’d known him longer.  But, almost a year after Bob and I broke up, Georgie and I went on a 2 week and a bit road trip, just the two of us, putting almost 6000kms on my little Jetta.  In all honesty, I love that we did it.  I probably would never want to do that same road trip again, but how many people can say they drove to the Yukon? 

Georgie and I are very different.  She’s outdoorsy, a tomboy.  I am a lot more girly, and prone to picking a hotel with a soft bed over camping.  But we survived, with minimal disagreements.  We camped.  We hiked.  I was willing to try almost anything, which is probably why we didn’t fight.  We were up north for about 2 weeks, before we started the long trip back home.  

As I mentioned, Bob and I had been broken up about a year – if we don’t count the month of lapsed judgment on my part in between. I’m sure I wasn’t expected to be a nun after that.  But, Georgie started teasing me about boys – not in a best friend kind of way – but in an interrogating, suspicious kind of way.  Maybe I should mention that just before we left on our road trip was the start of A and I getting together.  I hadn’t told Georgie yet, scared of her reaction.  She was half-in-love with A – bringing him cookies and calling him…. And, I didn’t want to mention anything till I was surer of what was going on with A and I. But, I guess she had figured it out on her own.  I was never good at hiding things.

She teased and annoyed me, but I refused to be baited.  We got home, and the next day she called and ranted.  She said that she couldn’t be my friend if I dated A.  That I had lied to Bob about why we broke up, saying I wasn’t ready for a relationship, and now was jumping into one with A.  Jumping in – after a year?  Seems more like wading or crawling. 
Sadly, our friendship ended that day.  We pretended for a few weeks – but our relationship was irreparably damaged.  And, to this day, 5 years later, I still link the death of our friendship to that road trip…  I was sad to find that Georgie wasn’t a true friend.  That she only wanted to be my friend if I did what she wanted me to do, be who she wanted me to be.  Don’t know how I kept ending up in these toxic relationships with people who wanted me to be different – wanted me to be their pawns. 

But the road trip made me nervous of all road trips.  When A wanted to go to California by car for almost 3 weeks as our honeymoon, I was incredibly nervous.  We’d been married a month, been living together a month – seemed early to test our relationship with a road trip.  But A is a true best friend.  He wants me to be me.  And we not only survived our first road trip, but we became closer.  We relished the time away from work and family and friends – the time for just the two of us. 

And that is my story of the two road trips – with two very different endings. 

 

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