This is so awkward!
Over the past year, I have written about the tiny, but not insignificant, imperfections in my married life. I have shared with you the fact that my husband constantly loses things, makes a mess in the kitchen, hogs the remote control, and two weeks ago, how he micro-manages my driving. (Hang on to this last one. It has relevance to what follows.) Through it all, and a tribute to his true character, he has remained a good sport, actually aiding and abetting me by taking the photographs for many of my blogs.
The other evening, we were driving to meet some friends for dinner. Or I should say, I was driving, he was managing.
“Get off at the next exit,” was his latest instruction, as if I hadn’t already been to their home at least ten times. And my long-term memory is still intact, thank you very much!
Exiting the highway went smoothly. So did the drive towards the intersection where he told me I had to make a left turn, again demonstrating lack of confidence in either my long-term memory, or sense of direction. (The latter, just between you and me, would be warranted.)
It was then that the unthinkable happened. As I steered over to the left lane, I failed to notice the concrete median that had absolutely no business being where it was, and drove the car right over it!
Terrible grinding and crunching noises ensued. The car groaned and creaked and lurched forward with short, reluctant jerks until I managed to get it off the road and into a parking area. By then, the dashboard was ablaze with lights of every color. Icons appeared showing little oil cans, bright tiny engines, water droplets, and pictures of other auto parts sitting under the hood that are unidentifiable by the lay person. Clearly, anything that could possibly go wrong, had.
There is no subtle way to put this, so I will come right out with it. I WRECKED HIS CAR!
I will not bore you with the details of what followed, just to say our gracious friends came to our rescue, helped us in securing a tow truck, and later, after a delayed dinner, drove us home.
I know what you’re thinking. Don’t be afraid to ask. How did my husband react to my poor grasp of spatial relations and the loss of his car? Did he shout stupid questions at me, like “How could you do this?” or “How could you not see that curb?” Or “Maybe you need glasses!”
No, it was much worse. He was gentle. He was sympathetic. He was supportive. He never raised his voice. He comforted me, telling me these things happen. It was an accident. Luckily, no one was hurt. He assured me that the road was confusing and unfamiliar, that Consumer’s Report had given this car the top rating for models built too low to the ground. How sweet was he! How utterly guilt-provoking!
He handled the aftermath calmly and confidently, calling the insurance company, the repair shop, the auto rental dealer. I waited and waited for the shoe to drop, but it never did.
In a sense of fairness, I thought it only right to share his kindness with you, as I do his foibles. It is part of my self-imposed penance, and much less of a fashion faux pas than wearing sack-cloth in Palm Beach.
The outcome is that his car is totaled. Not good news. But was that a glint of excitement in his eye as he informed me that he would now have to shop for a brand new one?
As for me, this little episode resulted in two sleepless nights, where I lie awake wondering how I could have been so stupid? And do you know the biggest frustration about this entire episode? Because my husband was so very, very nice, there was no way to manipulate the circumstances and figure out how any of this could have possibly been his fault!