Friday, February 13, 2009

Still A Valentine's Hit!

The other day we made a trip even more dreaded, than the dreaded trip to town. We did the long haul. A trip to the city!

Now part of my dismay in making long car trips is the discomfort of sitting on the low seats in the car. My knees and legs cramp, my back aches, my hip complains, and then for days thereafter all these body parts sustain sympathy pains that lead to chronic discomfort for a long time.

But that’s not all. When we hit the road for a long haul, Hub drives at a ruthless speed while I grip the arm-rests in the car, and hang on for dear life. Complaining diplomatically or non-diplomatically is of no help. Hub sets in his mind an agenda of arrival and departure that he MUST meet, or beat (which is even so much better).

But I have discovered one thing. The only cure is distraction. If I can manage to distract him with a provocative story that baits his interest, he eases up on the gas feed.

So on the way to the big city, as we blew in and out of the small communities and towns along the way, I could not help but notice the overflow in shop windows of Valentine goods. Chocolates, flowers, lace hearts, bandit bears, satin negligees, etc. And in shop windows, and on sandwich-boards and bill-boards, bold-lettered reminders for Valentine suppers, dances, and suggestions for honoring the day.

Unable to find subject matter for a story that could grip Hub’s attention, I was close to tears with fear at the incredible speed that we were traveling on the open highway. When the car went into a skid on an icy corner, I felt such panic I was now grasping at straws.

At this point I lightly touched Hub’s arm and said, “Listen to me, Hub. I’m going to only say this once, and you best be paying attention.”

So now I’ve got his attention and quick, quick, I must say something that will distract him from the foot-feed. Then with no forethought, out of my mouth came this clumsy verse:

“You can forget my Birthday,
And I won’t give a twit
You can ignore me at Christmas,
I’ll not get in a snit,
Our Anniversaries - forgotten,
I don’t give a rip,
But Valentine’s Day
I NEED to know…
I’m (still) a HIT!”

That wee bit worked like a magic chant. Hub eased up on the gas immediately.

Suddenly we slowed to a reasonable speed and for once in my lifetime I didn’t have to tell a long story of excitement and daring equal to a Clint Eastwood Movie for him to continue down the road at a slower pace.

As for me, my mind went from terror to relieved confidence in his driving as we continued our trip with him driving like a senior should drive – smoothly, cautiously, carefully – contemplating with fascination, no doubt, the provocation of what I had just said. Road noise diminished and all I could hear now was the slow grate of wheels turning in his head.


And what did Hub give his Valentine? A pair of lovely new hiking boots! Guess I’m still a HIT!


Pauline said...

It wasn't a hint, was it? He wasn't thinking, "Maybe she'll go take a hike and leave me to drive at my own pace..." ?

Joy Des Jardins said...

What a great post Roberta. Of course you're a hit with Hub...I can't imagine how you couldn't be. You are just too amusing and you keep him on his toes. Hiking boots huh? Nice.
Happy Valentine's Day sweetie.... ~Joy

Dick said...

You'll have to ensure that you only drive with him at the wheel when the muse is active, Roberta!

Roberta S said...

Hi pauline. Maybe it was a hint. But sometimes it is better to play dumb. Also, as badly as I needed new hiking boots, I feel I can rationally dismiss that thought. I prefer the other interpretation -- that I'm still a hit rather than to think that passengers who complain about their chauffers need good walking boots.

P.S. Do I detect in this comment support for Hub's maniac driving? :)

Roberta S said...

Hi Joy, thanks for commenting. If you're puzzling over the hiking boots, we do walk doggies every day, twice a day, and I think Hub tires of me complaining that my feet are cold. Furthermore, he hated with a passion, those ughly old ripped, torn, and way-too-worn-out boots I was wearing. He's been badgering me to chuck them in the garbage for five years already.

Roberta S said...

You're so right, Dick. But muses, being the jokers they are, can sit on my shoulder and babble away about lofty and provocative subjects and then completely forsake me, like a wisp of the wind. But I am still grateful that such abrupt departures happen more often when I'm writing than when I'm driving with Hub and doing oral compositions.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Hey Roberta...I wasn't puzzling over your gift of hiking boots...I think that was a pretty darn nice gift. Hub knows what he's doing. Hugs...