Sunday, February 21, 2010

Driving Miss Crazy...Table for One or Two?

We need to address the driving habits of my husband today. First I will reminisce with you about the good old days. When I first met Steve he owned a "post divorce" 1990 Ford Thunderbird that barely started let alone moved. In fact, on our first date the car wasn't feeling well so Steve rode his two wheeler to his dad's house to borrow the "woody" station wagon to ensure he could pick me up. Try envisioning a 42 year old riding his bicycle to get his daddy's car for his big night out. When he arrived in his loaned wagon I was very impressed that he made every effort not cancel the date just because his car was on the fritz. His dad's "woody" was very cool. Totally the same vehicle Chevy Chase (Griswald) drove in National Lampoon's Vacation. Off we went to play some billiards at a local bar...what? Did you think we were going to Centro's and have someone valet park the "woody"? I don't think so. When Steve's car was finally repaired to a point where it was "drivable" he came back for a second date. It was one of the hottest days of the summer and we went down to see a Blue Jay's Game at the Skydome. I noticed how cautiously he drove me everywhere. His driving was comparable to an eighty year old who was carrying eggs in the trunk. The truth of the matter was .....he couldn't drive that car any other way....or would seize in it's tracks.

Driving down the Don Valley Parkway I demurely enquired if perhaps there was a chance that he could put the Air Conditioning ON. Back in the early courting days I was demure. You have to be demure for first impressions. Once the dating goes beyond a few years the demureness slowly wears off, goes out the window and is replaced with the REAL DEAL. So... I asked about giving me some cool air to which Steve replied  "The car is equipped with Air Conditioning however it is not recommended that it be used while driving it in hot weather". Uh? So in otherwords you can use the Air Conditioner in the Winter and the Heating/Defroster in the Summer? I'm fighting to stay DEMURE.  The situation was this.......the car needed to be on life support while it was standing still. The battery needed to be plugged in otherwise the car would not start. So while it is in driving mode, the air conditioning would suck the life out of something thus making the car stall during motion.  There were numerous issues that surrounded the car and Steve aptly named it a "No good son of a Nyippin Nyappin son of a bitch Upside down backwards in a canoe piece of shit". I know it's a long name ....good thing he didn't have to write it down on the Licence Renewal.

His mechanic diagnosed three things:

A) Steve (Griswald's) car needed to be thrown out
B) Steve's date (me) was going to be perpetually sweaty and frizzie.
C) It was going to be a long Summer

Unfortunately late that Fall, Steve's car was taken off life support and slowly slipped away. Ask me if I was sad to see it go? Soon afterwards Steve purchased a series of viable vehicles. As my demure disposition slowly dissipated with time so did Steve's cautious driving techniques. Now when I get into the car with Steve he takes great pleasure in making me nervous. If we have a reservation at a downtown restaurant for let's say 7:00 p.m. Steve's departure time is precisely timed from point A to point B. It all starts with the couch. He is still ON it at 6:05 p.m. In the meantime I'm standing in the front hallway with my coat on. "What time are we leaving Steve"?, I ask. "What time is it now"?, he replies. Why is it that husbands feel the need to answer a question with a question? "The time is 6:05 p.m", I answer. "Okay, I will be ready at 6:20 p.m.", he says. That gives him 15 minutes to do the following: Shower, Shave, Iron a shirt, Dress, Run his fingers through his hair, put on his shoes, put on his coat, get a snack for the drive (yes, he has to eat mini carrots in the car as an appetizer) and look for his cellphone and wallet. 15 minutes to do all of the above. Do you know what I can accomplish in 15 minutes? Nothing. I need 2 hours to get ready... I don't like feeling rushed. It's now 6:19 p.m - there is one minute to go before exit time. Where's Steve?..... Running around frantically searching for his cellphone. "I can't find my phone", he says. "Where did you last have it"? I ask. "I don't know, can you please call it"? he says. So I do....and there is NO SOUND coming from anywhere so Steve starts DARTING........through all the rooms.....listening to pockets, tables, boxes, drawers, envelopes etc. There is an assortment of strategies going through my brain at that point. One of which would land me in jail. "Maybe it's in the car"? I suggest. "hmmmm....maybe", Steve replies. Sure enough, not only is it in the car but it's on SILENT MODE so calling it wouldn't have made one bit of difference even if it was in the house. We are now finally ready to leave. Next step is getting into Steve's car. You see, Steve's car is utilized not only as a car but also as his ON THE ROAD office. This means that his car contains work associated paraphernalia - ladders, papers, pencils, pens, refreshments, tools, toiletries, electric razor, wiring, batteries, books, gym gear, golf clubs and two pigeon feathers. Yes, pigeon feathers. I have no idea why he has these vision impeding feathers but I have asked him and his only response is that he likes them.

At one point MO thought Steve actually lives in his car because he discovered a shower head in his backseat. My husband can eat, sleep, shower and build a home from his vehicle.....all while driving. We are finally on our way downtown. It is now 6:30 p.m. (reservation reminder....7:00 p.m.). As we pull out of the driveway Steve starts "self frisking". Self frisking is the act of touching oneself briskly to search for concealed items on your person. "What are you looking for now"? I ask. "I think I left my wallet at home", he says. "Are you sure"? I say. "Yes, I can't find it", he answers. Now we are pulled over to the side of the road and he is still "self frisking" with an addition of rummaging through the car's glove and armrest compartments. "Should we go back and look at home"? I query. "Hold on", he says. Let me look one more place. He then undoes his seatbelt, lifts his butt off the seat and reaches into his back pocket where .....VOILA! There's his stinkin wallet. Time now...6:35 p.m. - we are still on our street. Here's where Steve Griswald transforms into Stefano Andretti. I am anxiously awaiting the G-Force to hit as we make our way onto the main road. The ride begins with an estimate of what intersection we will be hitting at what exact time. It's precisely like being prepped for takeoff in a full size jet.

Here's an excerpt of Steve's conversation with himself:

"In 5 minutes we will be at Bayview and Steeles, if I don't get a red light I can make it to Finch in another 3 minutes. Once I get to Finch it is only 7 minutes to Sheppard. I'm hopping on Hwy 401 and shooting over to Avenue Road. That should only take another 2 minutes. I am going to count all the cars I pass while driving up the shoulder. If Avenue Road isn't too busy it will only take 8 minutes to get to Bloor. Once we get to Bloor I can let you out of the car (while I'm doing 60km per hour) and you can run in and get a table while I look for a parking spot"

During this explanation there are a slew moving violations occuring:

1. Excessive Acceleration (otherwise known as burning rubber)
2. Following too Closely
3. Failure to Yield
4. Failure to Yield to Emergency Vehicle
5. Failure to Signal
6. Speeding
7. Improper Passing
8. No Seatbelt (Only while looking for the missing wallet)
9. Wrong Way on a one-way street.
10. Weaving
11. Failure to Stop - Failure to go
12. Contemplating Parking in Front of a Hydrant
13. Contemplating Parking in a No Parking Zone
14. Contemplating Parking at a Broken Meter
15. Contemplating Parking within the Provincial roadway allowance
16. Obstruction of Roadway and
17. Failure to be ON time for the reservation

As I am adding up the demerit points while these are transpiring I acquire a new tone in my voice. This only comes through when Steve is driving. It mimics a high shrill and goes something like this....Steeeeeeeeeeeevvvvvvve.......waaaaaaaaaaaatccccchhhhhh oooooooooowwwwwwwwwwtttttttttttt. If you were able to read my body language you would notice that my hands are in gripping position, my neck is stiff and my birth canal is shut tight. Not sure how he does it but we are at the restaurant at 7:01 p.m. and I am already seated at 7:03 p.m. but still waiting for him to park. This is the time I look at the menu and decide what to eat. I don't know why I bother getting a head start on the food selections (Steve the menu studier is coming). Something that you may not know about me. I will not go to a restaurant ALONE. I would rather do TAKEOUT than sit by myself in an eating establishment pretending to be independant and happy with my own company. I am looking around to see if the other patrons think I'm a loser or if I have been STOOD up by my date. What's taking Steve so long to find a parking spot !

I start looking out the window and spot Steve running down the street towards the restaurant. I wave happily as he goes by the window so he knows where I am seated. He looks flushed as he rushes towards me. "Did you get a nice spot" I ask? "Not too bad" he says. "It's only about 5 blocks up the street", he points out. Five blocks up the street? I am thinking I might need a cab to get to the car later. I watch as my hubby settles into the seat, places his coat behind him, picks up his menu and then gets a familiar look of panic on his face. "Did I lock the car"? he asks. "How the heck would I know if you locked the car, you let me out while the car was still moving"! I answer. "Well, I can't remember if I did", he says. I am now sitting alone AGAIN in the restaurant while Steve is outside running past the window away from the restaurant towards his car. I'm also imagining that those seated around me truly believe that my husband had an argument with me and left. Bear in mind that the car is parked in another municipality and he is jogging over to ensure that it is secured. I look out the window after a few minutes and I see him passing by the window for the third time. As he is once again settled at the table - the menu is studied - our order is placed and we can finally enjoy each other's company - he looks at me with loving eyes and says "I have to pee"...."be right back".


No comments:

Post a Comment