Road Rage Within a Marriage

The hubs is on vacation. Which means he's back at home. Which means my "honey-do list" might actually get some items crossed off and I might finally get a decent back massage. Wink, wink.

It's not all roses and romance now that he's back. Apparently, I hog the bed. He forgets to turn lights off. But really, after being apart so frequently and for so long, it's a small miracle we remember what the other looks like, let alone why we like them.

Last night, we had our annual family photo; the one with all the nieces and nephews shoved in a room and some poor, underpaid photographer who wishes he was smarter and became an accountant instead, tries to take a decent pic of all the kiddies for their grandma.

In theory, it's a nice idea. The reality is, there are now 12 kiddies under the age of 11 (including three toddlers) to try and have sit still, keep their hands to themselves, look at the camera and smile. Last time we had vomit, tears, laughter and an um, interesting end result.

We didn't do the picture last year. I couldn't wrap my head around a family photo of everyone's children, when I was missing my son. Too many small, grubby faces to see and grieve that my son wasn't among them.

But time marches on, children grow up and the photo needed to be taken. So we went. I had a flask of liquor in my pocket, Boo was naively optimistic this time the photo wouldn't look like a bunch of escapees from the circus and my darling Fric and Frac were combed, clean and pretty in the back seat.

Off we went. Boo, being the big man he is, had to drive. My car. Which means a lot of gear grinding, bad shifts, the occasional stall and my favorite, the bunny hop. All while muttering under his breath about my piece of shit clutch and how I need a new car.

For the record, I don't need a new car. But if my husband continues to drive abuse my car, I may need a new transmission and clutch.

(He is sooo going to kick my ass when he reads this. Snicker.)

After the second stall and numerous grinding shifts later, I was getting annoyed. My children's necks were starting to hurt and I was justifiably worried about my car.

"Maybe I should drive." Hint, hint.

"There is nothing wrong with my driving. It's this fucking car. And the traffic. Why the hell is there so much traffic at six at night?" Boo is visibly annoyed now. The vein in his right temple is throbbing like a neon sign at a cheap motel.

"Um, it's rush hour. That's why." Rolling my eyes, I turn around to make sure the kids are wearing their seat belts correctly. They looked small and scared back there, but polished like a pretty penny. "Speed up, Boo. The speed limit is 60, not 20. We're late. You're family is gonna have our hide."

"You know, when you drive, I just sit back and let you drive. I don't boss you around and tell you what speed to drive and what lane we need to be in." Oh, the righteous indignation he was emanating.

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"That's because I drive the fucking speed limit and KNOW which lane to be in. You don't NEED to tell me how to drive."

Like, duh...

"Funny, how I have managed all these years to drive by myself and haven't seemed to have a problem. Funnier yet, I always arrive where I'm going."

Suddenly, Fric pipes up from the back seat, "Are you two fighting?"

Boo looks back and tells her, "No, honey, I'm just giving your mom a lesson in how to be a good wife. She seems to have forgotten it."


By now, we are extremely late, annoyed with one another and stuck behind the third accident we've encountered. Trapped in a small box with wheels while we'd like to throttle each other. Good times.

A strained silence takes over our car, as Boo swears under his breath and I check my watch for the umpteenth time.

An excited Frac pipes up, "Look Mom! Is this where we took Shalebug for a doctor's appointment?"

"No, honey. That's down a ways. This building is where your daddy went to school."

"Where he learned to become an exceptionally talented, trained professional in a highly skilled labour-intensive environment, thereby providing your mother with oodles of cash to spend on tattoos, books and booze, so she can sit around on her duff all day, while I bust my ass," Boo interjected.

An uncomfortable silence from Fric and Frac. They don't want to step on any invisible land mine and pay the price.

Sensing this, I did what any good mother and wife would do.

I turned around and replied to my kids, "Yes, this is where daddy went to school. It's a miracle place really. They can teach anyone to become a trained monkey."

As my kids peels of laughter bounced off the roof of the car, I looked at Boo and blew him an air kiss.

"It's good to be home, isn't it honey," I asked him, with a smile on my face.

Funny, he never answered back.