Like Flying the Space Shuttle, Only Harder

I’m going to change my name to “Anyone”, on account of that age-old adage “It could happen to anyone.”  Yeah?  Then how come I’M ALWAYS THAT ANYONE?

It’s not a rhetorical question, I expect an answer by noon tomorrow.

Happen to me it did, my car broke down.  I know why…not three weeks ago I was bragging to some friends about how my car broke down and left me stranded for the first time ever since time began ever and it is a ten year old car with well over 100,000 miles on it and look how cool I am, all driving a car that doesn’t break down and everything. I ROCK.  Only that totally jinxed me because in a matter of six hours, not only did my car completely break down, my husband’s did too.  And is that a funny story…

He had a late meeting for work and had just called me to say he was almost home.  At that exact time, I had been reaching for the phone to call him to tell him that there was a strange pickup truck turning into our driveway and OMG, now a man is getting out of the car!  He’s heading toward’s the house!  He looks just like you!!  Do you have a twin I don’t know about, because if so I have some friends that I really do need to set up…

Of course it was him.  His car had died too, leaving us on the phone with Enterprise (“Hello, Enterprise? I need to rent a car…”) begging for whatever they could get to us as quickly as they could get it.  Do you know what they gave me?  It starts with ‘mini’ and ends with ‘van’.

Gag me with a fork.

Because I know you’ve read my Empty Bucket List, you know that #7 precludes me from owning such a beast.  It does not, however, preclude me from driving one in the extreme circumstances in which I happen to have found myself.

I don’t understand new technology, obviously.  This idiot Dodge Grand Caravan does.not.shut.up.  It beeps at you and clicks and honks and waves and somewhere lurking below the racing-style steering wheel (hello?  in a minivan??) is a button that I’m sure would cause my laundry to pop out of the trunk, all folded and sorted.  In short?


It took me ten minutes to find the stupid PRNDL, which is up on the dashboard instead of down on the floorboard between the two front seats where it belongs.  It looked like a joystick from 1983.  I decided after another ten minutes that I would just drive with the windshield wipers on, in utter humiliation on a beautifully sunny day, rather than waste any more time trying to figure out how to turn them off.  I’m sure I turned them on accidentally trying to contort my way into the thing…I am an SUV woman all the way, baby.  If you’ve got less than 18″ vertical clearance I don’t even want to talk to you, much less ride in you.  This thing rides so low I checked my butt for flames of friction every time I got out.

And woe unto you if you don’t put on your seat belt the very instant said flaming buttocks hit the seat, for you will be beeped at incessantly until you comply.  Big Brother, anyone?  I am 41 years old, I don’t need my car policing my seatbelt wearing habits, thankyouverylittle.

The boys, of course, loved it.  Michael was all over the growl of the engine.  So let’s stop there…a minivan engine needs to growl?  Who do they think is driving these things, Mario Andretti?  I’ll tell you who drives them…suburban women.  They don’t need their car to growl, they need it to warn them when the light is green so they can get off their phone/put the mascara down/stop reading and hit the gas.  Growling engine?  Not so much.

I have never been so happy in my life to have my 2002 Nissan XTerra back.  I love that car.  I love that it has tic-tac-toe etched in the back left quarter panel, courtesy of a younger John and Michael.  I love that the bumpers are faded as a result of a problem with the plastic that year, and I can tell instantly when there’s another of my model year around because of that.  I love that it sits really high so I can see over the other cars and figure out what the delay in traffic is.  I {heart} my car.

Thanks to Cinco Car Care, I have it back.  They fixed Patrick’s too, so we are finally back in business.  I’ve been an errand running fool all day long, and even picked up the first Christmas present of the season.




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