It all began simply enough- or not. Leaving our local pub after a quick bite to eat, Dear Paul noticed that there was water in the passenger side foot well of my car. Hmmm, I thought- must have been due to a leak in the newly installed windshield and I planned to take it to the installer to look at it the next day. Between that evening and the next day, though, I was alarmed to hear actual sloshing in the car! So much water! What on earth had happened?
I confidently strode into the repair shop the next morning and announced that they had made an installation mistake with the windshield and I would like them to fix it. The manager was very nice and assured me that they would check it out right away. After two hours of sitting in the parking lot visiting with a very nice yet odd little man who kept saying to me “If you wanna play, you gotta pay!” I left with instructions to go to the ‘leak specialist’ in nearby Poulsbo- hmmm. So, Daughter Natalie followed me to Poulsbo and I left, expecting to be called later in the day to come and pick the car up.
Now, dear readers understand that I, like so many people, depend on my car. I take great pride in it- always clean and well maintained. I take care of it and it takes care of me. Not so with my Dear Paul, and his ragtag fleet of automobiles. Things began to take a wrong turn the moment that I asked him if he could take me back to Poulsbo to pick my car up when it was finished. He sat there at the dining room table, attired in his uniform of choice, naturally-robe and loafers, dark beer in hand, with a dumbfounded look on his face. Oh for crying out loud! I knew what was coming! And oh yes, Dear Paul once again did not only disappoint, but rose to a new low. “Well…why don’t you call Enterprise and have them deliver a car and I will drive you up there in that.”
Call Enterprise? Are you kidding me? He has at least 10 cars and not ONE of them runs well enough to take me up there? I was fuming, furious and am embarrassed to admit that I let out a tirade that would make a sailor blush. “Well I can’t take you up there in my garbage scow…” Said garbage scow is an ancient Cadillac Fleetwood otherwise referred to as the garbage truck. Clean it out I screamed! It’s been at least 5 years since you have even cleaned it!! He is semi-famous around our small town for being the weird guy with the car full of stuff. He has to scoot junk aside to even fit into the vehicle, yet vehemently denies that it’s dirty.
So, naturally I got on the phone to vent to any and all I know. It took me hours! Turns out that the car repairs which are too detailed to bother you with, have taken almost a week. And for almost an entire week Dear Paul hasn’t even asked me about the car. He did however slink in with two dozen red roses “To cheer you up.” Hmmm. He also enlisted his friend Erik to lend him his ancient and just as dirty Mercury Monarch to tote me around in. Tirade Round Two ensued. Finally his friend Jerry called me to offer me his Honda and to take me to get the car when it was finished. Which it still is not.
Years ago, dear readers, if you have read my other stories, I wrote about the Christmas that Dear Paul was unable to buy me the diamond and sapphire bracelet I coveted, because it was $8,000 and not the $800 he thought it would be, but managed to buy a Cadillac (yes the very same one) for himself on Christmas eve because he was so depressed about the bracelet. Priceless.
He doesn’t get it. I know that about him. So, you can imagine the look on my face the other morning when he announced that he had bought not one but TWO new old cars this week! WHAT? I have no car, he has many, and I have to beg rides? Ok, a third tirade ensued. This had to stop because I am getting chest pains and headaches from all the screaming.
The next morning he was up and dressed and getting ready to leave the house by 8:00 AM. This is a man that goes nowhere before noon because he talks on the phone for two or three hours every morning, in his robe with his beer. I asked him what he was doing and he announced that he was going to clean the Cadillac out. After I was revived from my fainting spell I offered to get him some garbage bags. “No, I don’t need any he said…” He then changed his mind and rustled under the kitchen sink and pulled out two teeny tiny wastebasket bags.
Hours later he returned with a big smile on his face. “Well I cleaned it out. Do you want to go for a ride?” Now, could I possibly say no? And as I wrestled open the car door he warned me not to try to open the window because it sticks open, and notified me that the seatbelt doesn’t work, the heater is stuck on High and the radio is broken…and off we went. It’s the little things.
God bless you, my dearest of the dear. Amen and goodnight.