I finally had the chance to talk to my friend Trina from college last night. She's hard to get ahold of -- she drives one of Oscar Mayer's wienermobiles. Yes, you read correctly. Trina drives a 19-foot hot dog around the country. It's a 2000 model, so it drives pretty well. She is a spokesperson for Oscar Mayer. Trina and her partner travel every day, often driving long distances all around the country. Trina sleeps in hotels, but is always representing Oscar Mayer.
We started talking about life after the wiener. A person can only be a hot dogger, as wienermobile drivers are titled, for one year. Trina's year ends in June. She said she has no definite plans and is a little frightened of the real world outside of driving a hot dog around the country. "You know how it is. You slept on gym floors all summer," she said. Trina is right. For three months I live in a bubble. For a year, Trina has lived in her bubble created by the Kraft Corporation. Life outside the bubble can be very intimidating and scary. Before you know it, you're back at home, sleeping on a bed, and still waking up at 7:30. Everything you once knew is officially gone. My first night home after my rookie season was one of my most restless nights. I don't think I wanted to sleep in my bed, and I kept going over the show in my head. I would roll over when I would turn around in the show or switch sides of the field. When I tossed, my body would jump and I would wake up. I've heard of people who actually have to sleep on the floor at home for a few nights to get accustomed to the "real world." I went from having everything mapped out for me, much like Trina and her spokesperson schedule, to having meal choices and no schedule written on a dry erase board. In less than 24 hours my life was flipped around. I didn't have an exact plan of my future after aging out. Trina doesn't have an exact plan either. I told her not to worry, she'll figure something out. We decided that there should be some kind of "bubble exiting" program for those of us who are entrapped in life that is completely scheduled and free of indecision. Maybe DCI could give us all air mattresses the last week of tour to prepare our bodies for home. Better yet, I would have loved a brief synopsis of current events during tour. Former President Ronald Regan died this past summer. I found out almost a week later, and from then on bought a newspaper at every rest stop. Maybe some brief headlines on the dry erase board every morning would help. Then again I think that would burst my bubble. For three months, a lot of us forget about what we left behind. We focus on what we are doing for a block at a time. Our main concern is practice and excitement comes during a show day. While I wasn't concerned about anything but the Bluecoats, I realize now that I think I was in denial. I was denying the fact that eventually DCI would burst my bubble for good. Becky Novac currently lives in Hoboken, N.J., and works for Universal McCann in New York City as an assistant media planner. She is 22 years old and a recent graduate from Penn State University where she majored in journalism and psychology. Becky marched with the Bluecoats in 2000, 2002 and 2004 as a member of the color guard. Past columns by Becky Novac: A day filled with intangible rewards Traditions make drum corps complete The Art in what we do Hockey, alumni and Valentine's Day Dates Everyone needs goals Adapting Turning pro Wondering about the "kids" Resolutions It's the little things A Rock star Remembering the passion Banquet weekend Missing out Unknown suitcase adventures The Even years