It’s Good to Be the King

Domestic Serfdom

SG Buckley

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Photo by Paweł Furman on Unsplash

We’re driving to Italy tomorrow from the UK. There are so many little things to do. I wonder what I’ve forgotten. Just yesterday, I realized we needed the UK sign you stick on the back of your car to tell drivers in Europe your steering wheel is on the other side.

Wondering what else I forgot, I ask my husband.

“We need passports,” he says, and walks out of the room.

I can’t tell if he’s kidding.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve…

cleaned the car, filled it with fluids, checked the tires, updated the Euro toll pass thingy, verified the car insurance in Europe and roadside maintenance, scrambled to get the UK sticker (thank you Amazon!).

And that’s just the car.

I’ve booked hotels and restaurants, the Euro Tunnel. So much paperwork, payments, and codes to put on phones.

There was the travel insurance issue to sort — thanks Boris for Brexit! — and dog documents and organizing unnecessary tape worm appointments in Europe and the rabies shot— ditto, you’re the worst, Boris — and digging through drawers to find European converters — not your fault Boris.

I’ve called in favors from neighbours to take out trash bins, water the garden, and push mail through the door slot so it’s not obvious we’re away.

I’ve shopped for toiletries and bathing suits for my daughter, and car snacks and extra dog food. I cleaned out the fridge.

I’ve carted my kid to the dentist and friends’ houses, per usual, and done my day job.

Today I’m doing laundry and taking out trash and closing up the house.

Funny enough, the only thing I haven’t done is get the passports.

Perhaps my husband can help with that.

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SG Buckley

Writer, editor, parent. Former staffer at Quartz, WSJ and Inc. magazine.