My husband brought work home over the weekend, and it took up most of his time on both Saturday and Sunday. And with midterms this week, my daughter was pretty much in the same boat. This meant that I was pretty much on my own for the entire weekend. This allowed me to engage in “secret single behavior”: a phrase I first heard in that episode of Sex and the City where the gals talk about activities one indulges in only when alone.
For Carrie Bradshaw, it was standing in her kitchen and reading fashion magazines, while eating crackers with jelly.
For me, it’s getting into the car and taking a drive. As a teenager, I would borrow my mom’s car on a Saturday and just see where the roads took me. I wasn’t allowed to go on the freeway, which I figured was my parents’ way of keeping me close to home. But I soon discovered that there were roads that led out of the Valley and into the City; knowledge that served me well a few years later when I had to commute to work.
At the risk of sounding like that “Californians” sketch on SNL: A typical Saturday might start with a drive through Topanga Canyon down to Malibu, south on Pacific Coast Highway, east on Sunset and then back into the Valley through Sepulveda or Cahuenga pass or a trifecta of canyons (Benedict, Coldwater, Laurel) — with my radio blasting. It helped me work through whatever writing projects I had going on — or simply to clear my mind. And gas back then was cheap: just 60 cents a gallon.
Obviously, I don’t have that kind of time any longer — or the money to keep filling up the tank.
But I don’t mind an excuse to do some recreational driving. And on Saturday, I had an errand to run that took me into the city.
No, I’ve never indulged in street racing. But I did end up taking Sunset Boulevard on Saturday, and remembered how I cringed the first time I saw that clip — because I knew every single curve in that road. My date and I were sitting in the front row of the theater, which made that race scene even scarier.
I don’t think they could film that scene today without completely trashing the Porsche and the Ferrari — there are too many potholes on that road now, which meant that I had to take those curves even slower than I would do normally. This was OK, because it made the drive longer.