I am the one who does the stupid things. All our marriage has consisted of me

  • Locking myself out of places
  • Getting speeding tickets in school zones
  • Washing red socks in with a load of whites
  • Thinking I am ordering a box of tea but instead discovering I have ordered a case of it
  • Calling people by the wrong names

You get the idea. By contrast, my husband has never made mistakes. He doesn’t turn onto one way streets. He never forgets promises. He has not one time gone out in the rain without an umbrella. If he baked cakes, he would never use salt instead of sugar. You get my drift.

Thus, he has every right to be holier than thou, and he is, a lot of the time. He rolls his eyes at me on more occasions than I would like to count. But what can I do but weakly utilize the “I’m only human” defense, which never really holds up, because so is he?

The week started badly. I came home from the store via a different route, thus approaching our parking lot from the left instead of the right.  Things in the lot looked a little different from that angle, and so when I pulled into my parking space, it wasn’t the way I usually approach it. As a result, I actually parked in the space next to mine.

Cut to that evening, when I was home all alone at 9:30, watching the 20/20 about the woman who was lured out of her apartment into her parking lot, where she was abducted, never to be seen again. There was a knock on my door. I froze. Another knock, this time louder. I crept to the peephole and looked out. A man I had never seen was standing there. He was young, tall, wearing his hat on backwards, and his blue eyes were flat and dead.

I did not answer, naturally. Nor did I call out “What do you want?” Because it was obviously what he wanted: To lure me out of my apartment and kill me.

That night, when my husband returned from the rousing production of Hamilton to which he had taken our daughter as her Christmas present, he noticed that my car was not there. He assumed (why he would assume this is questionable) that I was out with friends. I have never in our entire lives together gone out with friends.

When he discovered that I was in bed asleep, he knew that either my car had been stolen, or that for some reason it had been towed. When we got up the next day and called the landlord, the latter was the case: I had been towed; and the man at my door was not a murderer, he was the “concierge” of our building (I didn’t know we had a concierge; and in my defense, concierges don’t usually wear their hats on backwards) coming to tell me that if I didn’t move my car, he would have to call the towing company.

My husband took the whole thing so diplomatically I couldn’t believe it. He didn’t reprove me, tease me, or roll his eyes. Perhaps he knew that if he did that, there would be unsavory repercussions. I paid to get my car out of impound, and beat myself up about watching that 20/20 episode, committing yet another dumb thing, and wishing I had more common sense.

But. But. We had a big huge snowstorm. The day after, while we were still under a level two snow advisory, my husband offered to take me for a ride to see the snow in the suburbs and watch the sledders at the golf course hill. “Ok,” I said, “But you need to be careful, because they say the secondary roads haven’t been plowed.”

He scoffed. As men do at their cautionary wives. The ones who nag them about wearing masks at the store, taking their vitamins, and those secondary roads.

We started out. The streets were fine. Dayton’s road crews had been hard at work. As we passed clear street after clear street, he pointed to each, saying “Wait–is that a secondary road?’ chuckling condescendingly under his breath. We passed one street that had not been plowed. He looked over at me. “Wait. That must be a tertiary road. Maybe those haven’t been plowed.” Chuckle chuckle.

We reached the sledding hill, and it was indeed full of kids and sleds. “Let’s go see the other sledding hill.” Sidebar: I have no clue why my husband has such an interest in sledders, all of a sudden. But here is the thing: he turned the car to the right and started up what was clearly an unplowed tertiary road. We made it almost to the top, where the car wheels began to spin. Our car did not move. “No problem,” he said confidently. “I just need to get a running start.” He backed down the hill a ways, gunned it, and charged forward, only to spin the wheels in the exact same spot. So what did he do? He backed down again, only this time, directly into a deep ditch on the right side of the road. Not defeated, he decided to rock the car back and forth to get out of the ditch.

This motion dug our car in further. We were marooned, and the trees that now were inches  from the passenger door prevented me from exiting the vehicle. My husband appealed for help to push us out. From three eighth grade sledders who probably weighed 80 lbs. each. Those were the biggest sledders he could find. Needless to say, the boys couldn’t budge the car.

AAA was called. They said that there was a level two snow emergency and there were at least 75 calls ahead of ours, clearly implying that any fool taking a drive during a snow emergency to look at sledders was low on the priority list. We called a neighbor to take us home. It took me three tries to get out of my side of the car. It was 24 hours before AAA had the free time to come to get our car out.

The towing man had to call for backup. It took two tow trucks and multiple cables to get our car out of the ditch. Ryan, one of the tow truck guys, actually asked my husband why he attempted to drive up that particular road.

It was a tertiary road, Ryan noted. It hadn’t been plowed yet…

The stupid scorecard is now EVEN.




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