As a child the thought of traveling evoked images of perfectly packed suitcases, pantyhose-d flight attendants in their navy crepe separates, and freshly sanitized hotel rooms with an underwhelming selection of five television channels whose local news reporters seemed so mysterious and exotic compared to the ones back home. There were always restaurants—for every meal, oh joy! And sensible shoes. And a bounty of toiletries gratuitously provided by the Hilton Garden Inn.
Sometimes you get older and mom stops planning your trips for you. That’s when you find yourself hanging wet thongs to dry while asking your roommate if she has a suitcase you can borrow a few hours before your scheduled boarding time. That’s assuming that there will be overhead room left for it.
Probably not, though, because you weren’t responsible enough to check in early, which put you in the VERY LAST boarding group. Asshole businessmen will have already usurped all of the overhead space with their asshole briefcases so they have plenty of legroom beneath the asshole seat in front of them.
They’ll also roll their asshole eyes at you when they have to get up and lift their morning paper off of your MIDDLE SEAT so that you can get to it. They thought they lucked out, but no. You’re the Group 4 scum that was finally scraped from the floor by the one power outlet in the gate (because you forgot to charge your phone), that’s taking the empty seat next to them.
If the plane crashes in a large body of water, you’ll probably not be let in the lifeboat because you’re just some shithead in Group 4. “Women and children!” you’ll scream from the floating wing, as you realize that you’re not a girl, but you're not yet a woman. You’ll hold your iPhone above the waves and grip your sinking purse with your toes as you hopelessly dog paddle with your remaining limbs.
Anyway, I flew to Seattle last week to visit my boyfriend. I was faced with a series of god-imposed brainteaser challenges while packing, which is sort of what I’m writing about right now.
First: what shall I pack? I can go to Weather.com all day long, but I’ve stopped pretending that I have any fucking clue what 59 degrees means. Is that, like, light sweater weather? Leather weather? Will we be doing activities? Whatever. I’ll just pack borderline slutty outfits and add tights. What next, God?
Oh, cool, thanks unto thee. I’ve been smitten with a zit. It hadn’t surfaced yet, but I could feel my pore bloating beneath my soft tofu cheek skin. I already packed a quart’s worth of fancy shampoo (Davines Nou Nou… WUT WUT?!), conditioner, moisturizer, and BB cream. I thought, “What would Hannah Johnson do?” Then I considered jamming a vial of Drying Lotion into an orifice to smuggle it through security.
This conundrum was truly ticking my brain stem, or my left frontal cortex, or whatever. What would my long distance boyfriend –who, up until that point I’d been able to trick into thinking I look fuckable at any given moment– think of me polka-dotting my mug with pink tempera paint before bed? The zit hadn’t even bubbled to the surface yet. No, the drying lotion simply wouldn’t do.
Suddenly I had a vision of my roommate Abby’s face floating above my left shoulder, “You can totally use Emergen-C as a scrub,” it whispered, just as she had done when I moved in and our pantries became one. Then it faded away until just her creepy smile remained, like the Cheshire Cat.
That’s it! I’ll just take really great care of my skin all week, lightly scrub and drink plenty of water. Recipe for a perfect complexion.
Emergen-C was perfect for my trip, but not because it staved off the fucking three-way, spew-y orgy that multiple pores ended up having on my right cheek. (I just kind of rolled with it and talked to everybody over my left shoulder all week.)
First off, it’s not liquid. Second off, what else is there to do with your long-distance boyfriend during that slightly awkward, slightly I-haven’t-been-naked-with-another-mammal-in-a-month time than get drunk? What else can you do when you both love getting drunk, his friends love getting drunk, and his friends love getting you drunk? What else is there to do than drink too much?
Just when you’re walking home thinking, “Aw, yeah, sloppy drunk awesome sexy time,” you sleep. You must have just decided to sleep. You peacefully flutter your mascara-crusted eyelids to daylight and to your booted feet sticking off the edge of the bed. You feel refreshed after your deep blackout nap, but are immediately annoyed with your younger self for not fucking WASHING YOUR FACE before bed like AN ADULT.
You climb over your dude to get to the bathroom to snatch a Pond’s wipe when the nausea sets in. You lean over the toilet (BOY toilet!) and begin to make belching, allergic dragon noises, hoping that all of the alcohol will just Niagara out of your mouth, out of your veins, into the bowl. This, my friends, is when you grab the Emergen-C.
The true first step to curing a hangover is sandblasting off the dried-on, set-in shit you didn’t clean from your face the night before. I put a dab of Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash (BOY cleanser!) in my palm and sprinkled it with the Emergen-C. It felt nice! The granules are small, so it wasn’t painful despite my eager scrubbing. And it was Ah-sigh-EE flavored, so I was like pushing in some antioxidants and shit. The combination was really quite refreshing!
Then you can hydrate, or whatever, with the rest of the packet.
So, haters are like, “I stopped reading when you said you got the zit anyway.” Whatever! My entire face skin, surrounding that disgusting pore infection, looked glow-y and felt soft and smooth. I knew what it was like to be, like 98% worth of celebrity, or a rich person, that has money to get facials and stuff. Even while traveling! Even while forgetting to wash my face or take vitamins for a week!
Obviously my skin would have been in tip top form if I were at home with my vanity and my clean towels and my soberness, but this stuff was a miracle worker in a pinch. Also, even with a zit, I still got breakfast quesadillas in bed: