Gives your jaw something to do instead of answering difficult questions like, “Are you ever going to propose?” All hail jerky!
Beware of ones with too many pictures—she’ll keep trying to show you shots of the fluctuating weight, suffocating mediocrity, and huge head that is Lindsay Lohan while you’re fantasizing about shooting the gap on the fourth turn at Daytona to edge out Jimmie Johnson. But something with choice read-aloud bits—even if, especially if—it’s not something you would ordinarily pick up, can be entertaining and enlightening.
5. UP-TO-DATE, DETAILED MAPS
Nothing can kill the mood of a successful road trip like being hopelessly lost. She’d think you’re an idiot, and you’d know she was right.
6. TILT STEERING WHEEL, AND CRUISE CONTROL
We have to mention it: The first allows for easy extraction of her head from your lap when you’re being pulled over for erratic driving. The second allows you to thank her for charming the officer out of giving you a ticket. Brace the wheel with your knee to free up your right hand, then move into the slow lane, to prevent truckers and other unwanted audience members from peering over her shoulder.
7. NON-SCRATCHY BLANKET
Eschew the U.S. highway system from time to time in favor of a back road that roams off into the countryside. You’re likely to turn up the perfect opportunity to take a break, stretch your legs, and have a shag. Though not all fields are soft like a Robert Frost poem—and, after hours of driving, the hood is hot—a blanket saves the day.
8. TOILET PAPER
So simple, yet so heroic. Pull a roll out of your bag and observe the expression on her face.
9. A BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE
At the end of your trip, you deserve to celebrate in grand style … and you might need a way to reopen conversation channels, if—by chance, and despite all best efforts—you aren’t speaking when you arrive.