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in my mind i'm 
oing to carolina
how reality sideswiped a 
thousand miles of expectation
by Megan Thome
1 2 3 4

Three chicks. Two Carolinas. One convertible. It was our first-annual, all-girl, all-fun road trip commencing Memorial Day weekend 2002, and by the grace of Shag, we were determined to escape our jobs, our men and ourselves. We were so game for bucking the rules that we came up with, well, a set of rules. Self-concocted, self-inflicted rules to protect us from our normal, everyday niceness, those eager-to-please parts of us that caused us to put others first, dress appropriately and rationalize tax increases. These rules were all about breaking the rules. These were our road rules.

But as with most expectations, reality never pans out the way you envision. Prince Charming cuts the cheese; Snackwells can still make you fat and your period doesnít care if itís prom night. And so it went with our road rules Ö

rule 1  Absolutely no franchised eating establishments will be tolerated, even if it means going hungry, even if it means losing a whole dress size and becoming a Slim Fast celebrity. Local scheist only.

reality 1 When Haagen Dazs called, we answered. And while we took in our fair fare of salmon, crab, shrimp and pineapple chutney, I reluctantly watched us pay homage to Cinnabon and Burger King.

rule 2 Appearance is a priority. Lipstick, hot pants, starlet sunglasses, strappy sandals, feather boas. This is not some slacker-Tom-Green road trip. This is the ultimate in feminine wiles on wheels. Truckers will honk twice at one blonde bombshell, one bodacious brunette and one buxom black beauty in our sweet, sexy convertible.

reality 2 Why is it that when you aim for cool, the act of trying takes all possibility of being cool right out of the equation? I made the mistake of packing a very hippy-chic bamboo beach mat for my first rendezvous with the Atlantic Ocean. For reasons unknown, the natural fibers generously emitted a sweet, pungent, feed-trough smell. The foul, make-your-eyes-squint stench permeated all of my clothing. All of it. And no amount of lipstick, or even artificially flavored watermelon lip gloss was going to divert the attention. Right now, that mat is still in the trunk of my car because I just canít bear to bring it into my apartment.

keep on trucking as the road trip continues

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