Cross off one more item

We’ve been light on content around here this week.  Thought you could use a break from the usual pathos.  Don’t get too used to it; we’ve got a rather weightier series coming up next week.


            The subject header read “I bought a car,” which might not seem so odd to most of you.  People buy cars all the time.  I have been known to do so on occasion.  But, this morning, when I opened my inbox, I was a little surprised.

            You see, the email was from my husband.

            He is in LA, working on the projects that will consume his professional life once we move there in seven weeks (counting down, y’all).  I am in London, puttering about doing miscellaneous tasks like editing my book, talking to movers, and raising our children.  This is nothing new.  I am used to him coming and going, which he has done his whole career, although I was a little surprised by the person who, upon hearing that J would be traveling back and forth to California over the next two months, said “Oh, this will be a tough stretch for him.”  For him?  Tough stretch for him?

            I told J when he left this time that he should test drive some cars.  We need to buy immediately upon our return, given that we had to sell ours upon leaving two years ago.  We have budgeted carefully for this.  We had narrowed down our list and I figured he would test drive a few and then report back, perhaps eliminating one or two.

            Instead, sometime between when I spoke with him at 10:45 GMT last night and when I turned on the computer this morning, he purchased the family vehicle.  Now, how would you feel if your spouse made a major purchase without consulting you?  If he or she decided to plop down a sizeable portion of your budget on the car you are going to be driving for the next ten years without so much as checking what color you might like?

            Dude, was I ever relieved.

            One less thing to think about.  With the move and the kids and the book and his travel and selling our other house and Zachary in a growth spurt so his ankles stick out every time he gets dressed for school and filling out forms for the preschool and immunization records and everyone but Benjamin getting a stomach bug (including our nanny so that I was up half the night working on the book because she was out sick and J is in the States and the damned book still has to get done, hence the bloggy break this week) and us all still needing to eat every now and then, I was just pleased he was not asking me to think about the damned car.  I do not give two shits and a raisin about cars.  As long as he investigated fuel efficiency and safety and cost, he could put me in a pink cardboard box with wheels and I would be fine.  He found the car and got a deal?  Great.  Check one more item off the list.

            His email sounded a little nervous, like he wasn’t sure he made the right decision.  His doubt, however, comes not from thinking I would mind but from thinking most spouses would mind.  Me?  He knows I do not care and do not want to think about it.

            We have been together for thirteen years.  When we met we were practically still in diapers (OK, in college).  We are like some hybrid tree that started out as two very distinct entities but now is a mass of tangled branches and trunks and roots.  We get each other.  I make social plans without his consent.  He buys cars without mine.  It would stress us both out any other way.

            So, honey, because I know you are reading, don’t worry about it.  I am thrilled.  And we have people coming over on Saturday night.  We’re ordering in, because you know damned well the last thing I want to think about is going to the butcher.

29 responses to “Cross off one more item

  1. Oh geez, I’m way too, erm….particular (read: picky) about what I drive to be okay with *that*, but I understand what you’re saying. It’s a cool thing.

  2. “Two shi*ts and a raisin . . . ” Now that is hilarious!

  3. J is awesome. Yay for crossing that off your list! 😀

    My husband picks out all our cars. He is awesome too. I want A/C, good car seat installation, and automatic transmission; those are my only requirements. 😉

  4. Wonderful!

    I love the image of you as two intertwined trees. I get that.

    Wow, seven weeks!

  5. I totally understand. Thre are things that we just KNOW in a long marriage, isn’t there?

  6. I know that feeling. There are just some things I don’t need to weigh in on. And things Mr. H would never expect to have to decide. Thank god. Life is exhausting enough. That kind of shorthand is much easier.

    Two sh*ts and a raisin…now, that’s funny.

  7. How odd, we have the same sort of arrangement. I know nothing about cars and care nothing about cars. As long as it’s got wheels and can take us from A to B I couldn’t give a monkeys.

    Similarly, I tell him about the ‘social’ do’s and what not, but it doesn’t really affect him otherwise, he just has to remember to come home [I phone him to remind him!]

  8. Totally agree! One of the unsung joys of a good relationship is when you “get” each other enough to do this kind of stuff. It’s sort of a mutual leaning – both doing the supporting so everything stays stable.

  9. I competely agree. One less thing.
    Congrats on the new car!

  10. I hope he got a good one because, as an Angelino of many years I can tell you one thing – you are going to be spending a lot of time in that car.

  11. And the car was? Don’t leave me hanging.

    On our last vehicle purchase the husband wanted a small p/u truck. Thankfully I nixed that idea and got a car that gets 33+ mpg. We drive it everywhere. Best decision I ever made.

  12. I also do. not. care. about cars. Does it run? Will it get me from point A to point B? Fab. Sign me up. And like you, I would trust my husband to buy the “right” car. It’s kind of exciting, though, right? A new car? Not as exciting as my new pair of red ballet flats, but, you know, cool.


  13. Car buying can be way to stressful. I agree you have enough going on. And I commiserate on the stinkin stomach bug that seems to be contagious across a whole ocean!

  14. first—“light on content”? surely you jest.

    and, yes, the story of my marriage was cars and planes purchased with no consult. i hated it.

  15. Yes, with a huge move like that, and jet lag, and lost underwear, no brushes, setting up the telephone, you just want to be able to get in the car and go. So glad that is one more thing off your list.

    I moved back to the States two years ago…and I still can’t find stuff.

  16. I’d be thrilled if I were in your shoes as well.


  17. Yes, but what kind of car was it? Mary and I need to know.

    Good luck packing. And writing your book. Oh, and raising kids.

  18. I have no idea how I’d feel. On the one hand I am a control freak and would object on principle. My husband would patiently wait for my principle to pass and then I’d settle into liking it, I’m sure, since, like you, we met so freaking long ago we grew up together (MY GOD! We met TWENTY YEARS AGO!) and know what will work for us.

    But then again, it is not a trend. Not on HIS part anyway. Maybe a bit on mine. He has commitment issues, so I usually buy things: new shirts, socks to replace the holey ones, shower curtains, bed sheets, etc.

    Isn’t it funny how people always think of the effect on the person coming and going, and not on the one holding down the fort and left behind?

    I’m much better at being the comer and goer.

  19. i’d be fantastically relieved that someone was taking care of business.

  20. (No, you did not miss pancake day. It’s this upcoming Tuesday.)

  21. Did you change each other’s diapers? I lived in London for 5 years!

  22. Sounds like a beautiful arrangement!
    PS What kind of car?

  23. We have a similar understanding in our house. Only I make all these decisions (I bet you are shocked) and John remains rather happy about having one less thing to take care of.

  24. Hmmm…. I don’t think my husband would buy a car without checking with me. And I don’t know how I would feel if he actually did that. Maybe how I would feel would depend on what I have on my plate at that point of time.

  25. It’s great that that worked so well for you…I, on the other hand, would have a heart attack if my husband bought us a car without my vote. Aaahhh!! This is partly because I like cars and my husband doesn’t care as long as they get him from point A to point B. I’d be afraid of what he’d pick out without me…

  26. I love the line about a hybrid tree as well, and I have the same kind of relationship, thankfully. I am so glad not to be living in a home that is fighting over control. We work together really well. He knows what I like, and I do not have his patience when it comes to major purchases. I can’t stand to spend six months looking at cars. So we talk about what we want, and he spends six months looking – I just see the winner. And we’re both happier for it.

  27. I? would flip out. But that’s cool that your husband knows you well enough to know that you would be OK with not being a part of that purchase.

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