Thursday, July 22, 2010

Our marriage is in trouble.

Dinner was the prelude to a disturbing evening. I'm supposed to be blogging about running, but we've drifted into Italian food, so we'll just get that over with and get on to the evening (which is how I usually think of dinner anyway). Tonight I waltzed to the table with plates of linguine nestled in creamy, citrus-flavored sauce so subtle and mysterious that we were halfway through it before we could figure out which flavor was gerbil-chervil and which was sauteed orange zest. It doesn't photograph well, but it tasted better than it looks. Pretty good in an exotic (yet artery-clogging) way!
Spaghetti Scented with Orange

And then like Dr. Jekyll and Pasta Hyde, the evening took a strange turn ...

After dinner my adoring Michael, who last night affirmed that I was a goddess forevermore, offered to take me in his truck to a warehouse store to stock up for the Anhinga Writers’ Studio Summer Workshops next week. What a good guy.

Still flushed with love and linguine and concerned by the sheer bulk of my purchases, he then generously offered to let me borrow his truck next week so that I could take all our conference stuff to the Hilton without having to make multiple trips in my bitty Honda.

I was touched, but hesitant. He drives a Ford F-150. It’s like an aircraft carrier with car keys and a Gator decal. Worse, it’s his baby. I told him that I would need to practice a little in order to feel confident in docking the Saratoga at the Hilton.

So three miles from home, he pulled over and with a flourish, turned it over to me. Fearlessly, I slid behind the wheel and threw it into gear. I glanced at Michael.

His face said, “You go, girl.”


I pulled out into traffic anyway. From outside the truck, the drive home was perfection itself. But inside the truck, it was another matter altogether. Michael Browning was slowly decompensating. The man can hold a beating human heart in his hand and not even break a sweat, but put Bev behind the wheel of his truck and he loses his mind in six of the longest minutes of his life.

I won’t describe it. But I will tell you that I parked halfway up the driveway, got out, and walked the rest of the way to the house. A goddess can only take so much.

He has been sitting out there in his darkened truck since we arrived home. I watch him from the window. His forehead is pressed against the steering wheel. They’re both safe and happy again.

Tomorrow night I’m ordering Chinese.


  1. Does this here truck have a stick shift? Because I refuse to learn to drive a stick. Men have tried to teach me, apparently because they think I'd look good doing it, or something like that. On those occasions, I got where I was going without crying much, but dear God. What is the point? If I can have a car that is smart enough to know what gear to use, then I want that car.

    But if it doesn't have a stick shift, then you're golden. Truck-driving sorts sit up above the masses like they're in a tank. You can see forever up there. You can roll over economy cars like bugs. Hang in there, dear. Drive the truck and be strong.

    Happy anniversary!

  2. I have one thing to say: I am ROTFLMAO. I can't see for the tears! Been there, done that sister with a State Trooper sitting next to me! Laughing some more, almost caught my breath! Had one (father) teach me to drive and then married one! They ARE NOT, repeat NOT, good passengers! Especially, when you are in their vehicles!!!! Can't catch my breath! Laughing some more!

  3. Thanks, guys! I had NO IDEA that truck-driving-with-panicky-men was a universal theme among women! (No stick shift, Mary Anna. Now I know it could have been worse.)

    From the romantic glow of Wednesday night's anniversary to last night's Six Minutes in Hell -- a precipitous fall from grace.

    I think Michael is okay now. But I noticed the truck keys clinched in his fist all night as he slept. This isn't good, is it?

  4. I once drove my ex-husband's Trans Am to Taco Bell and it literally caught on fire and burned to the ground. Had a bad wire that waited until I drove it for only the second time in my life to flare up and die. The engine literally melted from the heat. NEVER drive the man's car-baby. Did I mention he's now my ex?

  5. AHHAHAHAHHAHAH!!! Did you tell Michael this story before last night? Is this why he went insane on me?

    "What is it about a boy and his truck?" the goddess muses.

  6. What is this about a boy and his truck? A whole other blog Bev - get started!