Sunday, May 06, 2012
Marriage 401, Lecture 13: Humiliation
I am assuming you guys already know the advantages of marriage: reduced living expenses, someone to zip up your dress, someone to point out when you're doing it wrong, but perhaps you are unaware of the disadvantages of a legal contract that can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to break.
One of the main disadvantages of this contract is that if you do something really, really stupid, you don't get to keep it to yourself. Even if this really, really stupid thing caused no damage to your car or to the other car and the other car owner says, after his daughter points out that, "Oh, Dad, that's what a bumper is for," and he has to bend over and get within two inches of the bumper just to see the one-inch scratch, "Well, I guess there's no point in spending $2,500 to replace an entire bumper just to get rid of one little scratch" and you sigh a huge sigh of relief because no, there isn't any point in spending $2,500 to replace an entire fender just to get rid of a tiny scratch and how many times did you wave off someone who had bumped into you? At least three. At least three. So now maybe your karma is coming around. But will it do you any good?
No. No it won't. Because when you waved people off, you were unmarried and driving your old Toyota and didn't have to explain yourself to anyone.
Now, you bumped into someone while you were driving 1. your husband's car 2. while you were married and 3. guess what you bumped into someone in the exact same spot while you were backing out of your driveway a year ago.
For the record, I'm blaming my sister. She was in the car with me and I was distracted.
Remember the van I hit right before we were leaving on a trip? The guy wouldn't take my insurance information. I kept trying to give it to him. He wanted to get together for lunch and talk about it. Which was weird. He emailed months later with an estimate. We told him to mail us a hard copy and we'd send him a check or submit it to our insurance and we never heard from him again.
So yesterday, I was backing out and not doing my due diligence. Our street is narrow and if you're not careful - well, bump. I bumped into the car parked on the street across the street.
I felt my stomach fall. I felt sick. I got out and looked. I couldn't see any damage, but I suspected eagle-eye SH might find some. To me, a car is merely a means to transport a person from Point A to Point B. I don't want to have too many scars, but I don't care about a few bumps and bruises. But he is a little more particular about his vehicles, a difference that has caused me to lament more than once that I should never have sold my car when I married him.
I walked the slow walk of the guilty to my neighbors' door and rang the doorbell. Ruth opened the door. I winced. "I just hit the car parked in front of your house," I said.
"Oh!" she said. "That's my dad's. He just got here."
Great, I thought. I have great timing. If I'd left for the store ten minutes ago, this wouldn't have happened.
They came out and looked at it. He didn't look too happy, but she waved it off. "Dad, it's not a big deal," she said. "That's what bumpers are for." I gave him my insurance information anyhow. "In case you decide to repair it," I said, silently praying that he would continue to think it complete insanity to spend thousands of dollars for what is truly a one-inch long almost-invisible scratch.
When we got back from the store, I noticed he'd moved his car into Ruth's driveway.
Telling Ruth's dad I'd hit his car was not the worst part.
The worst part was having to tell SH that 1. I had backed into a car 2. IN THE EXACT SAME SPOT I HAD BACKED INTO A CAR LAST YEAR.
This, my friends, is the reason to stay single.