I hate traveling and I hate talking about traveling and I hate thinking about traveling and therefore… Hashem made me a travel agent
ou’ve seen them around. They seem like a pleasant enough couple — at first. (Cue the deep alternating bass notes — Bah-BUM! Bah- BUM! — that would accompany a shark approaching his prey.) This couple will corner any unsuspecting fool and ask an innocuous-sounding question like, “Going anywhere this summer?” or “Have you ever been to fill-in-the-blank?” (Suggested inserts: Endless Acre Park; the Swiss Gevaldheim; Sweeny, North Carolina).
If you’re that fool, back away slowly and then run for the hills. Don’t worry about being polite. Suddenly remember your emergency dental checkup. If there is nowhere to run (say, in an elevator), start speaking a foreign language. Preferably a made-up language, because these people have Google Translate and they’re not afraid to use it.
Should you answer them, smile, or give any kind of encouragement to the Travel Meivinim, you’re done. The Meivinim then acquire a gleam in their eyes and begin to prattle on and on about the best motels, supermarkets, and gas stations in a particular vicinity. They’ll regale you with totally unamusing stories and tedious anecdotes. Prepare to nod and smile a lot. Every once in a while, one of them will stop and speak in an aside with his/her spouse, while you’re expected to stand there looking captivated.
“Honey, where was that amazing dollar store with the cute little whatchamacallits that we… Ha! Ha! Ha! The Grossmans would really get a kick out of…” While they melt down in hysterics, you, the victim, may be able to escape their notice and flee.
I’m not trying to speak ill of the well-meaning Travel Meivinim. In fact, I think their Special Superpower could be used to vanquish our bitterest enemies. Set this couple on any hardened criminal, and they’ll be able to bore their victim into submission and elicit a quick confession.
My point is (yes, I have one; thanks for your vote of confidence) that some people adore traveling and recounting their adventures to anyone, willing or not, to listen.
And then there’s me.
I hate traveling and I hate talking about traveling and I hate thinking about traveling and therefore… Hashem made me a travel agent.
For me, travel is a source of anxiety. I can make it from Monsey to Passaic okay, but any grander plans, be they by car, train, or chas v’shalom airplane, have me groping for my smelling salts.
When in motion, I see danger at every turn. I have the best kavanah in davening when we’re passing an 18-wheeler. The voice in my head tells me, “Y’know, when you’re drivin’ one of them things, ya can’t see anythin’ smaller than a schoolbus.” (The voice in my head is a redneck.)
If someone’s driving erratically, I point out the car and yell at my husband, “LOOK OUT! He must be drunk!”
“There’s a 90-year-old nun driving that car,” my husband Yosef states calmly, as we pass her car.
“Maybe she broke into the sacramental wine?” I suggest.
“A Muslim nun.”
“Really?!! This I gotta see! Slow down!”
He hits the gas pedal with a leaden foot and we surge forward. I’m so disappointed.
(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 650)