riding in cars with girls who talk like boys

chevy veggie austin

I just left a message on one of my best friend’s work voicemails, saying the actual letters OMG. Not, Oh My God, but "OMG, I’m having a Legally Blonde moment and want to squeal! I also want to curse. But I won’t. Because this is your work phone, and who knows what assistant listens to your messages. But OMG!" Holy shitballs, she’s pregnant. I know it. And now, it’s likely that her secretary knows it. It’s her second baby. And I have tears in my eyes. Good, happy, joyful, Stevie Wonder tears, but also selfish miss tears. I want to be there. That’s the hardest thing about distance: you can’t be there. Even those long wonderful catch-up calls aren’t the same. Because you’re not on her sofa, ordering in sushi, watching your shows.

I want to live through it all, every time she has to run to a trash can and hurl. I want to live in the details with her. And the details can’t come in Tweets or Facebook status updates, because that’s not friendship. It’s sound bites. And photos. And "Well, I saw the photos online, and I’m up to date now, so there’s no reason to call."

I’m here, in Austin, working on building new friendships, finding other friends for shows, sofas, and sushi. It’s why when I was approached by Chevrolet to go on a roadtrip to Pearl’s Farmer’s Market in San Antonio with a small knit of Austin food bloggers, I hit reply: I’m in.

Because you can’t talk about hoping to find friends; you have to go out and make them. And sometimes making them involves driving a pickup truck.

I wanted to call the whole thing off. I had to arrive at the dealership at 8AM on a SATURDAY, ready to sign a model-release form, in case they wanted to use any of the photos. Therein lied the problem. Saturday. 8AM. Photos. Crapjacks.

I’d invited a friend to join me, and as I got a glimpse of my swollen vagina eyes in the mirror, I thought, "Damn, she’s a good friend to do this with me." Because it was damn early. I don’t want to do this. But it was done. I was going.

I was in my car, driving to pick her up, when my mood began to lift. Okay. I can get behind this. Roadtrip!!! I came alive when I saw her. We were wearing the same shirt. Figures. No, don’t change. Who cares? Let’s begin. We’d have hours of music and gossip, and girl. And as much as I needed it, I also knew it would go by too fast.

Before long, I was talking like a trucker. Balls this. Blow me that. Talk of swampass (where you turn a passenger’s seat heater on, without their knowledge, in the dread of summer–surprising them with a suspicious case of swampass).

On our way back from the farmer’s market, we were planning on meeting up with the rest of the group at a "Fourbucks," to switch cars. We took a certain pride, knowing we’d bypassed traffic by calling OnStar, when the others hadn’t thought of it. We arrived first. Waiting. And waiting. Until we decided not to wait and to instead, in true girl form, hit the outlets. A designer handbag later, we were back in Austin at the Capitol Chevy dealer, where they had my personal car detailed! And I was reminded that beautiful friendships really are in the details.

And yes, this is the first blog post about a farmer’s market that doesn’t actually mention food. The detail didn’t escape me.



  1. You’re dead on about what facebook does to friendship. I loved this post. Thanks.

  2. My boyfriend, hopefully soon to be fiance, is my closest friend. He knows about the details of me. But I worry that knowing that much about someone makes them become almost sibling-like, instead of a lover who still can make your pulse race. Thoughts?

    1. My hubby and I have been together for 14 years, married for twelve and I have not noticed a lack of passion. But we do pick on each other like siblings sometimes.

    1. Mine too! I intend to make a LOT of use of this word during Summer 2010.

  3. Totally random, but I love the title of this post. I also love your “Stevie Wonder tears.” I know you meant how his songs bring tears and joy. I don’t always agree with what you have to say, but I will say, I really do love the way you write.

  4. I’m also a huge fan of the word Swampass- I returned home from many NYC shvitzy summer days to stand in front of my air conditioning and dry my “swampass” before I could even sit down! I love your writing style and smile every time I read your blog posts. I hope your quest for friends in Austin is going well, I know if I lived there I’d be your friend :)

    1. I agree, Stephanie’s posts always brighten my day just a shade! And even though this sounds borderline stalker, I have contemplated moving to ustin just so I can be her friend, hehehe.

  5. I met you when you first moved to Austin. I’ve watched from afar since then. This will sound creepy, but I’ve always thought we’d make good friends, and this post made me jealous. I wish I had a friend like you, with her own vocabulary.

  6. Stephanie, have you ever read Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood? I think you’d really enjoy it.

  7. I’m pretty tired of all these amateur food bloggers that although I admire their passion feel that they have something professionally to offer to the conversation. Thank you for knowing when to write your foodie prose and also knowing when enough is enough.

  8. LOVE your blog!

    What was the ride like? Have you journaled about the actual driving aspect?

  9. I am a management consultant and travel a lot for work. I wonder some times if I’m missing out on the real moments life is about by not being around for my friends. When you write like this it resonates and I thank you.

  10. I’m not a fan of Farmers Markets. Not to say there aren’t really good ones but there has been a proliferation of crap out there. Kinda like going to a street fair and seeing the same spice guy, sock guy, rug guy, shamwow guy, NY Daily News subscription guy…

  11. How would you compare San Antonio and Austin? Never been to either and would welcome your thoughts.

  12. Road trips are soooo much fun. Day road trips too. Have you ever driven cross country? Would love to read that journal! Love the blog!

  13. Next time you go can you please find out what the deal is with the 30 different kinds of eggs there are which all seem to really be the same?

  14. i miss the friends. i lived in nyc and dc and loved meeting up after work, hashing through the details of our lives. it’s not the same, living afar. moving to a new town is hard.

  15. I’ve been REreading your straight up and dirty book. And I know time has passed and babies have come. But I miss your posts like that. This one was very close and I enjoyed it. Thanks

  16. I have actually lost several female friendships because of Facebook.

  17. Hi Stephanie–totally not relevant to this post, however in the spirit of girly endeavors, I’m doing some pre-spring cleaning/shopping & I’ve been searching your site trying to find a Web site you mentioned (who knows how long ago) where you pointed out this gorgeous vintage-inspired necklace you were lusting after–it was pearls and chains and a cameo all rolled into one fabulous necklace. Of course I didn’t bookmark it–and I don’t know what’s possessed me to think of it all these months later. On the off chance you know what necklace/site I’m referring to and can post/email the link, I’ll be eternally grateful.


  18. Wow – A lot of your readers have semi-creepy friend crushes on you. It’s a testament to your great writing and realness that comes through but I have to wonder if that ever makes you feel strange. San Antonio was fun!

  19. Pingback: Tasty Touring » Blog Archive » Take your Veggies to the Chevy

  20. After living in Atlanta my entire life, I’ve been nervous about moving to a new city, wondering if I’ll find friends. Thanks for the change in perspective; your words — “You have to go out and make them” — are the truth.

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