Life Deconstructed: Road trip with Nancy on the highway to hell

Life Deconstructed - Maria Jiunta Heck

Any road trip with my husband is an exercise in patience, forced deafness and the fortitude that prevents me from opening the door, flinging myself onto the turnpike and tucking and rolling toward the nearest embankment, where I would breathe a sigh of relief at the quiet.

We decided to visit our daughter on her birthday and since we were only driving for two hours, I suggested we take my tiny car.


From the moment he squeezed his rear end into the seat, the whining commenced. “This is like a Tonka toy! The steering wheel is in my lap! It’s so small! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!”

He proceeded to crack open a tall, sugary drink and spill it all over the steering wheel that was in his lap. This wouldn’t have happened in his coveted car, I’ll tell you that.

And then: “Whoops! It’s everywhere! Where are your napkins? What do you mean you don’t have napkins in the glove compartment? How is that possible? I see every shade of lip gloss Clinique has ever made but not one napkin!”

Me: “It’s because I don’t eat three square meals a day from Turkey Hill in my car.”

We traveled a few more miles, me trying to become engrossed in an article on Kelly Ripa and what’s-his-face and Nancy clearing his throat and spitting out the window, or, biting his nails and spitting them out the window.

I cannot believe I’m married to a man who does so much spitting from a moving motor vehicle. Prince Harry doesn’t do this crap. I want to marry Prince Harry.

Nancy and I just do not travel well together. For instance, he’s not a rest stop kinda guy. He can drink copious amounts of iced tea during the entire trip and not require one bathroom break. I needed to stop at the Dunkin’ Donuts in Pittston. Also, for me, any trip more than an hour requires a Dramamine, four magazines, a book, snacks, neck pillow, blanket and headphones.

Or earmuffs.

Anything to muffle the sound.

Nancy enjoys singing loudly in a car and he never lets the correct lyrics get in the way of a good song. He sings loud, he sings often and he sings inaccurately. I wanted to scoop my own eardrums out with a melon baller.

Instead of “Sweet Child of Mine,” he sang “Sweet Caroline.” That morphed into “Sweet Dandelion.” Instead of “Sweet Dreams Are Made of These,” he sang “Sweet Dreams Are Made of Cheese,” instead of “Hold Me Closer Tiny Dancer,” he sang “Hold Me Closer Tony Danza.”

And if he couldn’t substitute stupidly inaccurate words for lyrics he would do something even more annoying: he would animatedly and joyously hum. This may seem harmless to you, reader, but please trust me — it’s worse than his snore. Much worse.

And, apparently, you can be issued a citation and possible arrest if you hold a pillow over the face of a driver while they’re steering a car. No jury in the state would convict me if they heard him warble “My Sharona,” or “My Corona.”

Since I made a point of drinking several vats of sangria during my daughter’s birthday dinner, the ride home was a blur. The key is to slip into a coma around Harrisburg and not wake up until he stops at Turkey Hill in Wilkes-Barre for a midnight snack of Turkey Jerky and a tall, sweetened iced tea.

Next trip, I’m flying solo.

“Another One Bites the Crust.”

Prince Harry, save me.

Life Deconstructed

Maria Jiunta Heck

Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at

Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at

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