In Praise of Mancation
Recently, my work became a mancation of sorts, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Picture me rollin’.
The dull pain in my head throbbed in time with my vibrating rear view mirror. Lil’ Wayne blurred the asphalt behind me in syncopated rhythm. It was afternoon and I was still burping up the prior night’s fun. I was flying through the swamplands of Louisiana behind the wheel of a yet-to-be-released, iridescent infrared 2015 Lexus RC F-Sport, when I came to the sublime realization that I was on a de facto vacation, doing actual guy stuff for a change.
Posh in Progress experienced a bit of good fortune recently when Lexus invited Stacey to fly down to New Orleans to preview and road test the RC, a new line of sports coupes. I was ecstatic that such a prestigious company noticed our work and wanted to include us in their launch event. Keeping it real, I mostly dreaded the idea of spending a couple days wrangling our two babies all by myself while Stacey was gone.
My lovely, caring, sacrificing, and overall wonderful wife suggested that I go instead because sports cars are much more my thing. Before she could finish her sentence, I agreed that she was right and told her how great she was. (I owned a Lexus IS 300, a RC predecessor, when I met my wife. I hoped to keep that car for decades, but sadly, it met an untimely demise on a snowy road in Lawrence, KS.)
Everything about this event was first class and exclusive to us attendees. We stayed at the luxe Windsor Court Hotel in downtown New Orleans, easily one of the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed. My junior suite was simply a place to sleep because we’d be in town for less than 24 hours.
The night we arrived we had a wonderfully rich and authentic New Orleans dinner at Bourbon House, and afterward, a few of us ventured down to Bourbon Street and over to Pat O’Brien’s for dueling pianos and the obligatory Hurricanes (mine became slurricanes real quick). As an aside, I found Iggy Azalea’s Fancy to be an immensely better song played on the piano, rapped without an appropriated accent, and after a couple stiff drinks.
The next day, I battled a sneaky tough Hurricane hangover. Fortunately, each time I hit the ignition on a RC, the pain faded with each roar of the engine. I spent a little over an hour, roughly, driving both the RC 350 F Sport and RC F, on both city streets and rural highways, driving back and forth from our tour of the Oak Alley Plantation.
Both RCs were sexy and exquisite. Their lines were beyond sleek; their ride balanced. I was impressed how Lexus maintained its signature luxurious styling while tacking on the heavyweight performance I had never felt when driving the IS series. The gorgeous leather seats felt tailored just for my hind parts alone. When I quickly achieved the speed limit, braked in traffic and cornered sharper than I probably should have because I could, it felt how I imagine a baseball might feel nestled into a well-broken-in baseball glove.
The RC F (the RC on HGH) was my easy favorite. I now have a tangible understanding as to why old guys buy sports cars: speed and attention are fountains of youth. I actually had to try not to speed because my right size 13 easily fell to floor and the car responded without effort, it seemed. When I stopped a couple of times on the streets around the hotel to take pictures, people literally gasped.
It has been quite a while since I felt the special brand of virility to which I had become accustomed as a younger man. In the clichéd blink of an eye, I went from being a young, athletic, advertising professional, working in the urban music industry, with a nice income and sexy fringe benefits into a graying stay-at-home dad in his 40s that runs a startup woman’s lifestyle blog from the break of dawn, during kids’ naps, when the kids go to bed at night, and on weekends.
The current snapshot of my life is hardly a picture of despair, but the day-to-day execution of my life plan to create a juggernaut of a media company is literally messier (given the kids), and more estrogen-friendly, than the one I would have painted of myself even ten years ago.
A couple days removed from family life would have been cool in and of itself, but I got to drive a couple of sweet, sweet cars that I won’t be able to afford any time soon, in a wonderfully debaucherous city like New Orleans. I would have tried any and all manners of persuasion to get my wife to see why I should go on this trip instead of her. Again, lucky me, none of that was necessary. She’s the best.