Today I was listening to Car Talk at work, as one does, and a woman called in to complain about her husband. Actually, she started by saying something like, "My husband is a really wonderful man," which you know is a bad beginning because when you genuinely admire someone you don't have to schmooze, and plus he--I mean, they--were from Colorado.
Her complaint was that he downshifts their automatic into second gear when he slows down, which is, obviously, madness. She said that this drove her crazy because it was bad for the car and that she "had to pay half the car payments." I nearly jumped out of my seat in the Fashion Pod because I thought she was going to say he would leave their automatic in gear when stopped and PULL UP THE PARKING BREAK because that's what my ex used to do, and in spite of what a docile super-trad girlfriend I was at the time, it made me want to bite pieces out of the dashboard and throw myself screaming onto the pavement.
To my great shame, I'm the only person in my family who can't drive a stick shift with ease. I learned but never really practiced. The Car Talk brothers told the Coloradan wife that not only did putting the car in second gear not hurt the car but that she should be sympathetic to Husband because men these days so often don't feel like they're useful and that was his way of feeling like he was DOING something.
Okay. My ex wasn't even driving his own car. He wasn't even driving my car. He was driving my mom's car. Nothing prevented him from buying his own car and coming to pick me up for things, but he didn't, nor was he a very good driver. This was years and years ago but I'm still thinking about it, because I have no idea why he didn't buy his own car.
And the woman who called into Car Talk. It's not about the wear and tear on the car. It's about how she has to pay half the car payments and then still be expected to put up with his manly foibles. What does she get out of this? Oh yeah, nothing, because he's not taking care of her by paying for the car himself. Maybe if he wanted to feel like a man he could have done that very basic of American male things--have a car. And that universal manly thing--pay for stuff for his wife.
I would like to know what was preventing Mr. Colorado from buying his own damn stick shift instead of expecting his wife to finance his fantasies.
All this talk about women taking over stuff men used to do is nonsense. Men just don't do the same stuff they used to do. Nothing is stopping Mr. Latin Mass from getting up going to Mass every morning or getting involved with his church, he just would rather feel sorry for himself than DO SOMETHING.
I'm a bit tipsy on a Monday, so tonight you get the unedited version. Tomorrow I will have blogger's handover, I'm sure, so enjoy it while it lasts.