By Sophia Yakumithis

This week, I piled up in a crossover with my mom, dad and boyfriend for the weirdest double date in history: a 12-hour drive back home to the good ol’ Midwest. 

With nothing to do on campus except sit outside on a rotation schedule with a select grab bag of three of my friends and the mundane repetition of going to Starbucks, I decided to haul my deteriorating mental health and weak immune system back home before flu season hits. 

I hoped things would actually be fun and that I would change my mind, but the harsh reality is that sitting on grass in an act of desperate socization just doesn’t cut it, and it’ll be covered in snow before we know it.

The drive from Massachusetts to Ohio is a long one that I’ve experienced many times. Usually, though, it’s just me and my mom. This time, for my sanity, she kindly picked up my boyfriend along the way and, to my surprise, my father joined us as well. 

With the entire peanut gallery locked in a car together for half a day (don’t worry, they quarantined), I anticipated this trek to be quite the experience. And when I say “quite the experience,” I’m not referring to awkward smalltalk or icebreakers. Climate change has melted the ice in this weathered relationship, so none of the players in this scenario are strangers. What I was highly anticipating was this road trip’s playlist. 

Boy and my mom both have incredibly specific but diverse music tastes, while my dad and I are a “whatever I’m feeling that day” kind of listener.  Additionally, we youngins have a few cheesy, sad boi playlists that I was certain would pop up on Spotify at some point and then be made fun of by my ruthless parental unit (“Shummer ‘20”).

The compatibility of all our music tastes ended up being surprisingly fluid. Like, so fluid that I don’t think anyone groaned once at any song that was played during the entire 12 hours. We listened to everything from Kendrick and Carly Simon to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Backstreet Boys. We even threw in some classic “Old Town Road,” along with everyone’s favorite, the Jonas Brothers’ “Sucker.” 

The biggest hit, though, and what I strategically wanted to wait until my father fell asleep to listen to, was “WAP.” Hearing my mom spit out Megan Thee Stallion’s verse in the company of others was not only therapy-inducing and scarring, but a weird moment of pride. And an even bigger moment of pride was Boy indulging in my mom’s random love for Daddy Yankee with an unsolicited drop of “Gasolina,” which she enjoyed explaining to my dad.

So, if you’re ever looking for an emotional rollercoaster that you can ride in less than a day, take this exact road trip. And let’s not forget about Boy opening a plastic baggie with a greasy piece of salami and brie, which served as a makeshift “air freshener” for the majority of the trip. I really enjoyed that. So much.