Thursday, November 21, 2013

39 in a 25 zone

I hear the husband one level down in our townhouse talking to the phone. "Here," he says, "I'll let you talk to her."

Probably the worst thing he could utter. Usually he doesn't do this. Usually he will tell them I am unavailable, take a message and I don't have to get involved. He knows I hate phones and the people who use them. He knows this but he's still mad at me from the night before.

It started out innocently as do all marital squabbles.  I was sitting next to the five-year-old granddaughter in the back of my 2003 Chevy Impala because we were going to play Barbies while Grandpa drove us to the pizza place. Next thing I know blinding red and blue lights are pulsating through the rear window and the big guy is frantically digging through the glove compartment for the insurance card. The flashlight is shining directly on his face as Officer Jill explains she clocked him doing 39 in a 25 zone. I am trying to calm the child down, she is convinced this police person is going to shoot Grandpa, the woman does sound fierce and her gun is so big.

Back on the road Dave is hanging his head and moaning, "all my fault, all my fault, I wasn't paying attention," and after the twenty-fifth recital of this information I say this. "Yes, you seem to have a problem paying attention which is how the motor oil ended up in my radiator instead of the anti-freeze last week."  Well, you would think I just okayed the terrorist bombing of every preschool in our city, the tirade that came from his lips. I, of course, had to keep up with the pace and soon the child is laughing and yelling, "stop saying those dirty words, Grandma!" "Well, he's an asshole," I say.

I am always amazed when my kids allow me to watch their kids unsupervised.  There have been a few episodes over the years, not many but enough to make my children wary. It's probably best I not be allowed around anyone of youth or impressionability when I'm angry or driving, often the same situation. "Pick a lane, you you person you!" is so ineffective.

So this is how I find myself talking on the phone to Velma, the ancient secretary of our local hiking club. Two years ago I went on one of their hikes to please my father and now she calls me every few months to encourage me to rejoin the fold, come to our chili dinner, the potluck at the park, the duck dinner at the Chinese place.
 I probably just need to be nicer to my husband but that sounds like so much work.

2 comments:

Dan said...

I'm inclined to say "No hope." But that thought ricochets through my head like a bullet that doesn't know when to give up. I know I'm an optimist but I hate that. "... you you person..." Potty mouth.

Arizaphale said...

My Principal once asked me if I couldn't have called the 13 year old boy, doing the unsafe and ridiculous thing, a 'scallywag'. I don't know. It just doesn't have the same ring to it. To be fair I did not actually call the child a dickhead....just suggested he try not to be one....I'm with you on the language thing. And the husband thing too, while we're there.