The following incident happened one week ago today, and other than acknowledging that it occurred, Wonder Woman and I haven’t spoken of it since … and that’s fine with me; I’d just as soon pretend it never happened.
Which is why I’m about to share it with the Internet. Go figure.
But I can’t not tell you about this one. It’s just too ridiculous.
As you might recall, one week ago today was Zan’s Big Birthday Blowout, and, jeepers crow, were there ever a lot of preparations involved. The drinks, the snacks, the gifts, the cake, the activities, the balloons … it was overwhelming … at least, I imagine it was overwhelming; fortunately for me (and Zan, and anyone else whose enjoyment relies upon the planning of things further in advance than two seconds from right now), Wonder Woman handles most such preparations.
What I am good for is the grunt work … in this case, the loading of the many accoutrements we had to bring with us to the party venue. And since the party was in the middle of the day, and I decided to work right up until departure time, I was, shortly before said departure time, scrambling to get everything packed into our two vehicles (and the necessity of taking two vehicles should help illustrate just how many accoutrements we were dealing with).
And all the while, the kids, with the fighting, and the bickering, and the constantly-looking-for-ways-to-piss-each-other-off-ing, and oy vey already.
All of which combined to transform me from Daddy Scratches into Daddy Frazzled.
So Wonder Woman gets in her car with the kids, and I get in my car alone (hallelujah!), and here we go, off to the party.
Now, much like our house, our driveway is teensy and tiny and narrow (just ask the Verizon FiOS guy), which means we have to park one car behind the other … and since Wonder Woman is an active participant in The World, and I am mostly a hermit, her car goes behind mine.
As I started the car and fastened my seatbelt, I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw Wonder Woman begin backing her car down the driveway. At this point, I did something else—turned on the radio or unwrapped a piece of gum or picked my nose or something; I forget (but the passage of time involved in whatever that menial task was helps partially explain why I didn’t expect what was about to happen). I then placed the car in reverse and did what I always do: used the side mirrors to navigate my way between the rock walls that flank the driveway.
This driving-with-the-side-mirrors thing is a carefully honed skill of which I am quite proud. I recall during my time in the army being in a close friend’s Camaro, which he backed into a familiar driveway at relatively high speed using nothing but his side mirrors, and I was impressed (as evidenced by the fact that I still vividly recall it nearly two decades later). Up until then, backing up a car, to me, meant draping my right arm over the back of the passenger seat and turning my body halfway around so I was facing out the back window.
But no more; in the years since, I’ve become a bad-ass, side-mirror-using motherfucker.
The thing about using the side mirrors, however, is that they only show you what’s to the left rear and right rear of your vehicle, and not what is directly behind you.
So imagine my surprise when, as I began backing down the driveway like the bad-ass, side-mirror-using motherfucker I am, I suddenly crashed into the front of my wife’s car.
In my sort-of defense, I was quite certain that she had long since cleared the driveway, what with my radio tuning or gum unwrapping or nose picking or whatever it was I was doing during the time I thought it would take her to get out of my way.
Wanna feel like a galactic douche? Back into your wife’s car in your own driveway while both kids are sitting in her back seat. No, really, you should try it; loads of laughs.
As I got out of my car, I could hear Jayna crying, and as I turned to look at her, I could see Wonder Woman, whose hands were still clutching the steering wheel, and whose mouth was agape, and whose expression said, “Wait, did my asshole husband actually just back his car into mine … in the DRIVEWAY??”
And yes, darling, he did, you lucky girl you. Quite a catch you got yerself there, eh?
Upon inspecting the damage, I discovered that it was limited to a couple of faintly visible marks on my rear bumper, and a broken license-plate frame and bent front license plate on her car. So at least I had that going for me.
Wonder Woman rolled down her window, and I stuck my head in to assure Jayna that everything was fine, and to apologize for scaring her—you know, while doing the standard “Happy happy, joy joy, everything is A-OK!” act that other parents will know so well.
“That couple was walking down the sidewalk, so I had to stop,” Wonder Woman said, as though I was even remotely deserving of an explanation. The couple in question was now on the opposite side of the street. “They crossed after you hit me.” Well, bully for them.
And I got back into my car, and we drove to the party, and never again spoke of it.
So, yeah, there’s that story. Stayed tuned; I’m planning to walk into a plate-glass door next.