How was your Labor Day weekend? No, I haven’t had a stroke from licking sand off a hot dog. I realize it’s incredibly gauche to ask about your weekend when it’s the Friday before a new Saturday. I really just want to tell you about my ah-mazing non-laborious holiday.
How was my weekend? Why thank you for asking! My pretend husband was away on business, so this housewife had to take a solo adventure to the mecca of nachos and pralines: Charleston, South Carolina. My parents worried about me driving alone to meet my friend and her family there. I assured them I don’t always drive with my knees. I only do that when I’m texting.
Here’s what to do if you decide to drive alone to crash someone else’s family vacation:
1) Blast the gayest music on the planet in the car: I blame doing one too many Richard Simmons workout videos as a child on my love for fabulous with a capital LOUS music. Start your journey with the classics: Cher, Madonna, Donna Summer, Peter Allen. Add Lady Gaga. Stir in drag queen realness from RuPaul and Lady Bunny. Scissor Sisters. Because here’s the deal: It’s just you in that tin can you call an automobile. There’s no one to say, “I want to hear John Mayer now” and make you feel dead inside.
2) Endanger the life of your friend’s mother-in-law: My friend’s family planned to eat at the Subway drive-thru for lunch when I arrived. This was unacceptable to me. Vacation is a time to indulge in exquisite food, not cardboard masquerading as sandwich bread. I was going to Taco Boy. My friend’s delightful mother-in-law Barb asked if I wanted company. Considering she had only met me twenty minutes before, I thought it was pretty gutsy of her to jump in the car with a relative stranger. The Folly Beach location had no parking, so we went to the one on Huger Street. Barb soon realized this restaurant was not in the best neighborhood. Her eyes began to well with regret as we drove past crumbling sidewalks and tall weeds growing in abandoned patches of land. She told me it looked like “an industrial area.” My hands were sweating as I insisted the nachos were amazing. A near-death experience would only make them taste better.
3) Get your friend’s mother-in-law drunk so she forgets about said endangering: Once we got onto Taco Boy’s patio with the giant fan, bossa nova music and elephant ear plants, Barb no longer needed whatever the equivalent of an Amber Alert is for seniors. I told her to get the Frozen Screwdriver and we split the nachos. A well-travelled sixty-something, she told me with ultimate certainty that these were the best nachos she’d ever eaten. On the way back to the hotel, my bikini top popped off under my beach shirt and the GPS got us lost in yet another shady part of town. Was Barb in fear for her life for most of this lunch trip? Absolutely. But she also had the best nachos of her life. Worth it.
4) Pretend you like historic houses when you really want pralines: My friend could tour historical sites in the hot sun until you sweated to death. She wouldn’t notice right away if you collapsed behind her because she would be too busy explaining the difference between a graveyard and a cemetary. My only contribution was saying I liked the pineapple tops on the pillars and a coral front door.
5) Little Critter on Isle of Palms: As a kid, I was obsessed with a computer game starring a fuzzy creature-child named Little Critter. He would eat a hot dog on the beach in a scene I replayed over and over again. He made these satisfied munching sounds that ignited a Pavlovian response inside of me. Thankfully my mom was always ready with a Hebrew National Hot Dog. This time, a middle-aged man who worked at the Isle of Palms County Park concession stand was like my mom, except he charged me $3.50 per wiener. That Nathan’s hot dog and me had our way with each other on the beach that afternoon, as you can see in this video. I call that kind of behavior Little Crittering.