I believe I have explained my little obsession with driving.
In short, I am a Texan and many of the most important moments of my life have taken place in a car. You can fill in the blanks yourself, since I don’t write one of those smutty, tell-all blogs. No, except for my fondness for certain four-letter words and blatant exaggeration, I am all about nuance.
But, back to this driving business. I believe my husband and I have reached a tipping point.
We’ve now been in our downtown condo for 15 months. He rides the bus to work. I stroll down the hall to work. We walk a lot. We go for days without using either of our two cars, which sit in the condo garage.
The truth is pretty obvious: We don’t really need two cars. This has been an occasional topic of conversation between us recently.
We are in total agreement: This is crazy. We don’t need two cars. We should get rid of one.
We are also in total disagreement: “What do you mean, I should sell my car? Why don’t you sell yours?” You know, the kind of discussion that deteriorates rapidly into bared teeth and slurs on the lack of reasoning power of the opposite sex.
Buying real property, you see, we have learned to compromise without drawing blood. Or much blood, anyway. We have learned to appreciate each other’s little quirks such as, for example, the fact I have really good taste and my husband does not. But, whatever!
When it comes to cars, though, we haven’t had to share or compromise. For 30 years, we’ve been able to — how should I say it? — express our individuality through our cars. We’ve driven an assortment of vehicles ranging from absolute junkers to luxury vehicles — VW bugs, one Plymouth, one Cadillac, Toyotas, Volvos, BMWs, Lexuses, Infinitis.
Most recently, he’s been able to salve his social conscience by buying a Prius. Since I prefer a bit more freeway power than a lawnmower, I drive a sportier Japanese model.
I consider everything we’ve shared over the years: apartments, houses, condos, beds, toothbrushes, trips, sabbaticals, childbirth, children, pets, meals, movies, money, tax returns, illnesses, surgeries, deaths, jokes, conversations, laughs, meltdowns, politics, secrets, disagreements, triumphs, disappointments, droughts, ticks, head lice, rodent infestations, deluges, tennis, racquetball, graduations, funerals, weddings, pink eye.
You would think, given all this history, sharing a car would be a snap. But maybe that’s the beauty of a long marriage: Now and then, a stealthy undertow can still surprise you and you realize too-tranquil waters are really overrated.
He says driving an Infiniti wouldn’t kill him, as long as it’s a hybrid. I tell him an Infiniti hybrid costs too much. The new, bigger Prius, though — we could maybe negotiate about that.
(Copyright 2012 by Ruth Pennebaker)
Read a loosely related post that struggles to use driving as a metaphor