Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Car and Driver

Husband and I fight for several easily categorized reasons.

First we fight because I'm an inept fool in the kitchen and can never figure out anything nutritious to feed Bar Mitzvahzilla and Daughter. Despite this, and bewilderingly, they continue to grow. Husband isn't convinced by this evidence. He'd like to see some changes, like the introduction of the crockpot into my lexicon.

The second reason we fight is because after the kids eat whatever I pop out of the microwave, rather than them driving me nuts all night while I wait for Husband to come home, I park them in the front of the TV. Well, not quite. First homework and two chores, then TV. This allows Inept Mom to write. Of course, Husband thinks there should be no TV. I totally blame it on him that the last TV series I watched on an ongoing basis was Seinfeld.

These disagreements are almost manageable. The one area that can get ugly is when Husband is driving the car and I'm the passenger.

Husband's theory of driving is wound up with the preservation of the household vehicles - he wants them to last one hundred years. He wants us to drive our cars until they fall to pieces beneath us in the roadway and we're left jogging to our destination. To this end, his driving technique - he has a technique -is intended to reduce wear and tear to all car parts. He never wants to pay for repairs for anything that could have been used more tenderly.

To preserve the brakes, Husband will scan the roadway ahead - like ten miles ahead. If he sees the tiniest hint of a red traffic signal anywhere - like even with binoculars - he takes his foot off the gas and starts decelerating. Why speed up to get to a red light?, he asks. This creates quite a problem in the roadway. People start passing us and honking at us; suddenly there's an island around us, a slo-mo island.

He also takes courtesy too far. If we're driving past the entrance of a building, he's a little too meek. He'll scan the store; he'll scan inside the store. Is there anyone at the checkout stand who might be coming towards the parking lot sometime soon? If so, then he'll slam on the brakes, nearly sending me through the windshield.

I was raised in a family in which we never plan to keep our cars. When the payments stop, we get rid of them. We are constantly seduced by shinier, newer models, or we want a different color. If something breaks, that's it. We want that car towed away, never to be seen again, even if it just needs a battery. Since we're not rich people, this can cause some problems.

Husband only has one thing to say about my complaints: he asks me if I'd like to drive.

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