Some things you need to know:
First, neither Chris nor I are “car snobs.” However, he likes finely made machines and turned 40 a few years ago. These two facts necessitated the purchase of a “cool car.”
Second, when we built our house we did not upgrade to the wider garage doors.
Third, we do not have “my car” and “his car.” Basically, there’s the “you-got-the-kids-and-dog car” and the BMW. Therefore neither of us really has a “car” home. You know, the one in which the radio stations are pre-programmed to Coffeehouse and Oprah, NOT NPR and String Quartets. In this car, you know how to get your travel cup into the cup holder without looking. This is the car you can ease into and out of the garage with an almost sensual one handed maneuver. No, we/I do NOT have that kind of car.
Today, since Chris was on dog and kid duty for the morning, I got the BMW.
Recall: I am addicted to coffee, start my day at 7 and am, by some accounts, a not-so-good driver.
The ride down the hill is quiet. As in: no radio. This is because I could not figure out how to put my travel cup of steaming coffee into the cup holder while driving in order to free up a hand to switch on the radio. I basically spent 7 minutes clutching my mug whilst weighing the pros and cons of chancing a lap of hot coffee in exchange for some Jack Johnson.
Luck would have it that every one of the five traffic lights between home and office was green. So I speed along in the fancy car clutching my coffee and listening to the voices in my head.
I pull into my usual spot–right next to the giant blue dumpster. I get out. The lights are still on. I get back in. I push the start button. The engine roars to life. I put the mug of coffee that has not left my hand since I walked out of the house on the roof. I slide into the drivers seat to inspect the situation. Again, I hit the start key. The engine switches off. The lights stay on. I contemplate pretending not to notice. Chris will come down in 9 hours and jump the battery. Not my problem. I hate this car. Then suddenly I remember that if I shut the door, and touch the handle in the exact right spot (yes this gazillion dollar machine has a G-spot) everything inside the car shuts down.
Sweating a bit despite the frigid temperature, I basically crawl my way into the building. I am exhausted and I haven’t even done any work yet.
The day is like any other. Physicals, conversations about cholesterol management, the occasional sore throat. I shuffle through a 12 inch stack of papers and take about a dozen phone calls–including one from my son telling me that he was a finalist in the science fair—”Weren’t you going to come to that Mom?” I get teary, curse my job and vow to cut back–again.
Finally, it is done.
I limp back to “the-no-kid-no-dog” car. I laugh at it’s strategic placement next to the dumpster (I really have more business driving that.) Forlornly I grab the now frozen travel cup off of the roof and head home. As I pull into the driveway, I recall that I will definitely need two hands to get this thing in the garage. I am smart. I open the door and place my favorite Starbucks travel cup in the driveway ($20.)
I make the turn into the middle bay ignoring the cacophony of bells and beeps—-this car makes so much freakin’ noise!
The beeps are suddenly silenced by the sickening high pitched screech of metal door on garage frame.
Uh -oh. I stop. I put the car in reverse. Gas (just a little.) The screeching changes pitch.
I stop. I can’t open the door. I am literally stuck half in and half out of the garage.
Now the kids and dog are watching me. Maisy puts her face against the passenger side and mouths “You have room over here–turn the wheel!”
Goddamn smart ass.
She is, however, correct.
The car is in the garage. Way over to the left. It bears a gigantic swath of white garage trim paint on the driver’s side.
I prepare my speech for Chris. Really, this is his fault. He wanted this car. He was too cheap to get bigger garage doors. How could we have missed the science fair?
It turns out though that I need not recite my speech. He already knows. Maisy told on me ( it was HIS idea to get her a cell phone she could use while hiding in her bathroom.)
He looks me up and down and shakes his head a little. I understand he is silently telling me to call Charlie at the auto body shop. Charlie is on speed dial.
Then the real punishment. Without a word, Chris hands me my Starbucks cup. It is now barely recognizable —flattened by the giant tires on the “I-got-the-kids-and-dog” car.
We are even.