Sunday, May 23, 2010

Communication Breakdown

I've always had a little Fahrvergnügen.  As far back as high school, I wanted a nice little VW Jetta or convertible Cabriolet to drive to illegal drinking parties in cornfields.  Thankfully, I had a tomato red 1972 Buick Opel, because as my dad likes to remind me, it was easier to scrape the corncobs and puke off of the bumpers.

When Current Husband and I had our second child, I needed to upgrade from the two-door car I owned, and I talked him into buying a Jetta I saw in the paper.  It was sleek and beautiful and said "FUN!" and when you are logging an average of 4 hours of sleep a night and go to work smelling of breast milk with baby puke down the back of your shirt, you want to believe "FUN!" still exists.

We were driving the new car home and were on some winding, heavily wooded roads, and I jokingly looked at CH and said, "Wouldn't it be so funny if we hit a deer right now!"  
Ha. Hahaha.  Hahahahahahaha.  THUNK!   

And we hit the biggest raccoon I've ever seen in my life.  It was so big that I thought it was a wolf.  All was well EXCEPT that the Check Engine light came on, and it didn't turn off for the next five years we owned that car because the it was haunted by the ghost of a Mutant Raccoon.  You think I'm kidding.  We took it to the Jetta dealership about every six months after that, and they would run their electronic diagnostic, and every time they would say, "Nothing wrong with it.  We turned off the Check Engine light.  That will be $75."  We would get in the car and about five miles away from the dealership the Check Engine light would come back on, and we would shake our fist in the air and say, "DAMN YOU, MUTANT RACCOON!" and we could hear his ghostly chatter laughing at us on the highway.

We eventually got rid of that Jetta, and I felt all empty inside.  I was Fahrvergnügen-free, and couldn't bring myself to sing German beer drinking songs or polka or attend Oktoberfest.  CH saw my sadness, and agreed to get another Jetta a few years ago.  Now?  The ghost of the Mutant Raccoon has returned, and the Jetta has been in the shop four times in the past three months.  Someone gave CH a copy of Consumer Reports that says VW's all go down the crapper after about three years, so I can see that I am going to lose my Fahrvergnügen again soon.

Every time CH takes the car to the shop, he takes things out of his car and puts them in my van.  I am going to take a moment to tell you that CH is very paranoid (he would say 'safe' or 'prudent' - no, he would say 'safe' and then 'what the hell does prudent mean?') and he is a big car locker even though we live in Iowa and not in Gangbangerville.  I, on the other hand, am all "Oh, big deal, what do we have worth stealing?  Happy Meal trash?  They can have it."  Well it turns out that I was wrong (Did you see that CH?  I WAS WRONG!) and we did have something worth stealing, because we have now had two - count 'em TWO - Garmins stolen out of the Jetta, once because I didn't lock and once because one of our kids didn't lock.  So we lock.  I lose.

Last week, CH had to take the car in, so he put the Garmin in my van.  It was sitting on the floor of the van between the two front seats.  I remember taking Oldest Daughter to middle school in the morning and thinking, "I should put that in the glove box".  The next morning, I returned from middle school, parked the van, and called a friend while still in the car to reschedule something.  The conversation went like this:  "Hello!  Hey, I wanted to catch you quick because I forgot to tell you yesterday that we need to meet at...OH NO.  NO.  OH HOLY SHIT THE GARMIN IS GONE.  NO.  IT IS.  I KNOW IT IS GONE.  CH IS GOING TO BE SO MAD.  THIS RUINS MY WHOLE DAY.  I HAVE TO GO."

I tore that van apart.  Nothing.  No Garmin.  CH was sitting in the house, waiting for me to arrive.  He was leaving for Chicago in two days and wasn't going to have a Garmin.  His THIRD one.  GONE.  All because I probably forgot to lock the doors again.  I sat in the van, my heart pounding in my chest, visualizing the moment when I would have to tell him that I didn't lock, AGAIN, and his Garmin was gone, AGAIN, and he was going to have a small blowup and be mad.  And let me tell you, if you should know one thing about me, it is that I HATE conflict.  I am so passive aggressive that if I called the last donut, and then you took it, I would jokingly call you "Last Donut" for a year rather than stand up for that donut.  And I friggin' LOVE donuts.

I formulated a plan.  I would go in the house, act like nothing was wrong, chat for a moment, and then leave for Target to buy a new Garmin, program it, maybe wipe a little chocolate on the side, and stick it in the car like it never happened.  Then I would collect 5000 cans to pay off the Garmin charge on my card.  No harm, no foul, right?  What's a little white lie between spouses?  It was either Plan A, above, or Plan B, a hummer.  And I would rather collect 5000 cans.  I'm not judging, I'm just saying my Linda Lovelace days are over.  (Hi Mom!)

I walked in the house, sweating a little bit.  CH looked up from his computer, said "Hi!" all cheerfully, and I immediately thought, "He knows."  I said "Hi" and walked through the kitchen, down the hall and to the bedroom.  There it was.  The Garmin.  Sitting on his dresser.  That son of a bitch.  I picked it up and stomped down the hall.

ME:  (waving the Garmin at him) "Did YOU bring this in here?" 
CH:  (startled) "Yeah, I brought it in last night.  I didn't want anyone breaking in the van."
ME:  (now yelling bordering on screaming) "Do you think you could have told me?  Do you know what I've been doing for the last 15 minutes?  I've been TEARING that van APART looking for this stupid thing!  And I was going to drive to Target and buy a new one and plant it in the van, and that would've been $250 we didn't need to spend, all because you can't talk to me and tell me when you do something like this!  That's FIFTEEN MINUTES OF MY LIFE I CAN'T HAVE BACK!!  It's called COMMUNICATION!"
CH:  (smirking)  "So what you're saying is that instead of asking me about it, you were going to drive to Target, buy a new one and lie about it?  Who is the bad communicator?"
ME:  "That?  Right there?  That just did it.  And to think, I was going to give you a hummer because I felt so bad."
CH:  "........?"

And of course I had no intention of doing that AT ALL, but that is how you win a fight.
You're welcome, ladies.  You may pay me in donuts.


Tenille said...

I'm almost considering picking a fight with the husband tonight, just so I can employ your fight-winning technique.

Toni said...

FUNNIEST thing I've read in a long time!

MarryMead said...

The music gets me in a bad mood- must be something wrong with you. I gotta stop stalking this blog. Crap- you are funny!

GrandeMocha said...

I never would have admitted that I was going to go buy another one to hubby. LOVE the Hummer story, I filing that away for next time.

Megan (Best of Fates) said...

Hilarious! And it took me a whole minute of going like, "wait, she's going to sell a large vehicle to buy a gps?" until I got it.

I'm smart.

Joe Ambrosino said...

You saved it at the end, but still, you uttered the sweetest words a man can hear, "I was wrong" Personally,I would prefer, "You were right" but still.

kanishk said...

This is FUNNIEST thing
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Kristie said...

I love your blog so much! You should come on over to my blog and enter my giveaway!! Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Posting anonymously for soon to be obvious reasons, but I'm a regular follower....and I love to give my husband hummers. There. I said it.

Jenj said...

I have an 88 Grand Marquis and live in Gangbangerville and still don't like locking my doors b/c my ghetto-cruiser doesn't have that little button jobby that you just push...I acutally have to incert the key. And is it bad I don't know what a Garmin is and at first thought you were talking about some sex toy that gave road-head?! (ps follow me at

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