Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pull over and get the heck out!

In the beginning days of my marriage to JR I did everything I could to get my in-laws to like me. Okay, maybe that was shooting a little high. I wanted them to at least get over the feeling that I stole their 31 year old baby from their protective arms. I just ripped him away to do nefarious things to his person. And worse off I liked it. I had the big ole pregnant belly to prove it.

In the spirit of new daughter-in-law friendliness I opted to let my father-in-law drive JR's precious Volkswagen Scirocco. Big mistake.

The whole experience went something like this:

Eddie: Margaret and I need to go to Fred Meyers (like Target) would you like to come?

Me: Sure.

We all pile into JR's Scirocco because that was the only car home at the time. Eddie picked the drivers seat immediately because he's the man. My mother-in-law had to have the front passenger seat because she was afflicted with Rheumatoid Arthritis and just couldn't get into the back seat. So I squeezed my 7 months pregnant body into the back seat of this tiny car. I had to go pee. I always had to go pee but this was worse. My pretzel position put more pressure on my already abused bladder.

Anyway, off we go. I'm in the backseat giving Eddie directions. We go a mile or two with me becoming increasingly aware that Eddie is having a hard time shift gears in this vehicle. He's grinding them, he's not down shifting, he's not slowing down at corners, he's skipping gears altogether. I'm starting to fear for my life and the life of my unborn child. Not to mention my mother-in-law who JR thinks of as the God of all women and if I could be just like her his life would be complete. The paralyzing fear and the intense pressure on my bladder made me go pee just a little. It wasn't pleasant.

Me: Turn left here. God, Eddie slow down before you turn.

Eddie: I can't. If I do I won't be able to find first gear again. (as he cuts off a big delivery truck).

Eddie: G*dd**m truck.

Me: Make a right here. For the love of God Eddie slow down before you turn! You had to have been riding on two wheels.

Eddie: This F*&king car has such a short throw. (as he blows through another stop sign.)

After a few more miles, many missed stop signs, several near collisions, and at least one curb hopping incident the direction/driving conversation took a turn that Eddie could not have anticipated.

Me: Pull over.

Eddie: Here?

Me: Yeah, pull over here.

Eddie: There's no store here?

Me: I know. Just pull over.

Eddie: Ok.

Me: Turn the car off.

Eddie: Huh?

Me: That's right, I said turn the car off. Good, Now get out.

Eddie: Okay (looking all bewildered)

I haul my fat body out of the back seat; I'm sure rupturing something vital in the process.

Me: Get in.

Eddie: Are you going to walk to the store?

Me: No Eddie. Get in the back seat.

Eddie: But, I was driving.

Me: No Eddie, what you were doing was not called driving. Not by anyone's standards. Get the hell in.

Eddie slowing stuffs his 75 year old body into the back seat of the car. I graciously move the seat forward. Okay, maybe it wasn't so gracious as necessary since I'm short but it did give him more room. We smoothly drive off.

Eddie sulking in the back. Muttering things like; I would have gotten the hang of it eventually and It's the car's fault and I don't understand what the problem was, I didn't actually hit anything.

Me in the drivers seat actually stopping for stop signs, downshifting, grabbing all the gears, and not grinding them.

My newly minted mother-in-law calmly seating in the passenger seat laughing her head off.

Margaret: Michele, Thank you. I've been wanting to do that for almost 50 years.

I only ever drove with Eddie once since that time. And, that one time he had the nerve to backup on an on-ramp to I5 in downtown Seattle. Once, again I asked him to pull over. Which he did. He knew what was coming. He'd been there before. He got out and switched me places. JR was in the car that time. He was astonished. He looked over at his dad who told him: "She won't let me drive".

Me: Eddieeeee?

Eddie: She won't let me drive EVER.

And I didn't!
Linda over at Crone and Bear it was kind enough to present me with this butterfly award. I'm not sure what the rules are (I would just break them anyway) so lets just say if you want it help yourself. If you want to perform some sort of ritualistic ceremony complete with chanting, do that too. I'm good with it.


P.S. Jen over at Sprite's Keeper had an interesting idea. A painting give away. I could paint something over the next week or so then host a give away. How does this sound to you all?


  1. Definitely do a painting give away - that would be awesome.

    I love the story. Maybe I need to be more forceful with my FIL.

  2. OMG - I totally need to do that with my FIL too. He's had several strokes & seizures and STILL DRIVES, just apparently lies on his DL every year. It's terrifying.

  3. Thank God my Father In Law never offers to drive. And he lives far away. Far, far away.

    Paint away, sistah!!

  4. What a great story!! My husband is awful as well. We almost killed each other in Hawaii fighting over the correct route to the rental car place.

  5. This story is hysterical. I think everyone has memories of driving with elderly relatives and wondering if they'd make it to their destination. (Memories of Gramps backing up on the freeway because he'd missed his exit come to mind.) You are the only person I've ever heard of who actually took action and wrested the keys away. Good for you!

  6. Oh, yes! I want to be considered in the painting giveaway.

    And once more I laughed and laughed you are funny and make my day ever so much better.


  7. You sound like me with my FIL, I don't take any crap. It's scary to be in a car with someone who can't drive to save their life, you made the right move.

    The painting giveaway sounds like a great idea, if it's not too much work.

    Congrats on the award!

  8. Oh my!!! Bet that stories was repeated by your MIL a few times!! Too funny!!!

    Thanks I needed a good laugh!

    I would love to be graced with the opportunity to a painting from you!

  9. Well, my FIL just drinks a half gallon of whiskey before he wants to drive us and, since he's lived in the middle of nowhere his life and therefore has never been in trouble for it, he thinks its no big deal.

  10. Oh my GOSH this could have been written about my father. With the huge exception that I'm the youngest child and would never have the balls to make him scooch over.

    Love it! Loved your comment on K's blog, too, which is how I found you..

  11. Lord, I really, really enjoyed that story. I could completely picture you growing more desperate and ticked off in the backseat. And it sounds like a great Mother-in-law bonding moment!

  12. I love your writing...and your name...and you're a librarian? You are my kinda lady!

  13. Hilarious! You are a love! I adore you! In fact, I wish you lived closer so we could have lunch together and cackle at nothing and everything in particular. I think it would be grand.

    Why did I not know you when I lived outside of Seattle, daggoneit???

    We'd have had such fun!


  14. You are one brave woman!! But I say, good for you.

    So, do the in-laws like you now?

  15. I could never to that to my FIL. He's actually a good driver and I even let him fly me around in stunt planes doing aerobatics! However, get near my stove in the kitchen? Back off buddy!

    Yes! Painting giveaway!!! SQUEEEE!!!!

  16. Good girl! My FIL scares the shit outta me. I can barely talk to him!

  17. You are absolutely invited to guest post - just let me know when you've got your post ready and we'll get it done.

    Thanks for playing (I was afraid nobody would be interested).

  18. That is the best story. Good for you for taking control!!
    And I so think you should do a contest!!!!

  19. Just stumbled across your thoroughly enjoying my stay! :) LOVED the story! :)