Monday, August 11, 2008

Baby, You Can Drive My Car

But I don't want to drive yours, if it's all the same to you.

My husband and I have a running joke. He calls me a "car chick", which I'm totally not, (not that there's anything wrong with being one, I'm just not) because I tend to gasp a little bit when I encounter old muscle cars. (gasping occurred, also, when we got an up close and personal look at the new Dodge Challenger, too, but I digress) I like looking at these cars, but I can only assume that a true "car chick" would also want to drive one - maybe even know what's what under the hood. I am only interested in the aesthetics. I couldn't car less about what's under the hood if I tried really hard to care less. And I am waaaayyy more interested in being a passenger than in being a driver. I drive because it's what one has to do to get from point A to point B. I get absolutely no pleasure from it.

Sometimes I full on hate it.

Last week was one of those times.

A little back story: The girls (my daughters and my niece) had gone to Western Pennsylvania to spend a week with their grandparents. From there, my parents were taking them out Eastern Pennsylvania, to visit my aunt, where Tom and I were going to join them mid-week, spend a few days, then bring them home. We warned all three girls that we would all five be coming home in my mid-size car - not the motor home my BIL took them to my parent's in; not the van my parents took them to my aunt's in - my mid-size. They needed to pack accordingly.

When the morning came for them to head out east, my eldest calls me crying because she knows her guitar won't fit and she'll have to leave it till next time (not a tragedy - next time is in 3 weeks, and there are a couple few other guitars around the house). She is crying and carrying on in the hormonally charged end of the world way only a 12 year old girl could manage. Then my niece starts crying, too, because the last time she rode in my car for any distance she got car sick. The obvious association was "Aunt Tammy's car makes me puke". She called her mother and insisted that she let Tom and I borrow her SUV. My sister had no problem with this. The girls were happy. All was well.

Except for two little things.

First, my car gets about 28 MPG and my sister's SUV gets about 17 at best. Perhaps you haven't noticed, but gas? she ain't cheap. So this immediately makes a huge difference in our budget.

Second, for some reason I had told Tom ahead of time I'd share the driving with him. I knew he was really tired and thought it would be nice. We hadn't agreed on a 50/50 split, but I offered to take the middle leg of the journey - about 2 of the 8 total hours on the road - not a terribly generous offer, but more than I'd ever offered before. He happily accepted the opportunity for a little road nap.

I made the offer when I still thought we were taking my car.

My turn was supposed to begin as we got on the PA turnpike. I took the wheel of my sisters car. It's much bigger than mine. Not, you know, the wheel, but... anyway... From the moment I was handed the keys, my body went into full-on muscle awareness. I was tense from head to toe. From my hands - holding on to 11:00 and 2:00 with a death grip - to my fully engaged abs. This is total body driving. I don't really have a good explanation for why I was so tense and upset, but I was. I woke Tom at one point because I was entering a tunnel and I couldn't find the headlights. Yes, I'm that much of a pain in the ass. When I turned the car back over to Tom at the end of my shift I actually had to do a few stretches to cool down before getting back in the passenger seat where I belong.

Tom drove all the way home.


Bass Is Life said...

You are SUCH a car chick!

Tammy said...

I never heard of a car chick who actively hates driving...