Out Of Bound Crazy – That Really Stings

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Sometimes the General drives me a little crazy. Actually, I may be significantly understating her effect on me. God as my witness, it shouldn’t be this difficult!  After all, she’s old enough to know better. She plays the “damsel in distress” card a lot more than circumstance dictates. 

 

Yesterday it came in the form of a text message before I got home from Houston. She was at church for the Wednesday night children’s program and guess what she discovered?  She discovered she had a passenger in the car.  It was a red wasp.

 

Most people who’ve lived as long as the General intuitively know that you roll all of the windows down in the car and you bid the little stinger goodbye.  Not the General! “No sire!”   Did the General jump out of the car while it was still in motion?  Actually, she didn’t include that information in her text, but I had the fear that it could happen. Like I said, “She sometimes makes me a little crazy”. The text message simply read: “There is a wasp in the car. Can you stop by the church before 7:00 p.m.?”

 

When it comes to insects, the General’s judgment is faulty.  When she was nine months pregnant with our firstborn, she saw a grasshopper and jumped off of the porch.  Give me a break!  That was almost 46 years ago. You’d think by now she’d stop overreacting, but although things change, some things remain the same.

 

My fear of snakes is a rational thing and most normal folks would be inclined to agree (value judgment on my part). The General’s fear of something as innocuous as a grasshopper is out-of-bounds crazy!  Yet, I could talk until the cows come home and I’d never be able to convince her that she’s over the edge for no good reason. I won’t provide her a lesson plan on eradicating a wasp from a vehicle, but the chances are slim to none that leaving all the windows up is going to effectively work. An attempt at gentle redirection wouldn’t do any good.  It would be a waste of my breath.

 

So I arrived at church shortly after 7:00 p.m. yesterday and took the opportunity to visit with folks while the activities came to a close.  At the General’s urging, I then drove her car home and she drove mine. She didn’t seem overly concerned that I was in harm’s way, but she dogmatically wasn’t getting back in the car until I could affirm to her the wasp was gone. Guess what? “I drove home with the windows down and the sunroof open”.

 

I didn’t see a wasp!  At 10:00 p.m. last night she wanted me to go out to the garage again and look in her car to see if I could locate the missing wasp.  Dutifully, I looked in both the front seats and the back. There was no wasp.  Of course, she wanted to know after I gave her my report, if I looked in the cargo space in the back?  I think I’ve already told you, but she makes me a little crazy!

 

Do you remember the movie Irreconcilable Differences?  Roger Ebert says of the movie: “The opening moments of “Irreconcilable Differences” are not promising. A lawyer is advising his client about divorce — and when we see the client, she turns out to be a little girl. Her plan is to divorce her parents, because they have (she stumbles over the word) ir … ir … rec … concilable differences. Right away, I was bracing myself for one of those smarmy movies about cute kids and mean parents. I could foresee the series this movie would inspire: “Kids’ Court,” with a different little plaintiff every week. It turns out that I was too cynical. ‘Irreconcilable Differences’ is sometimes cute, and is about mean parents, but it also is one of the funnier and more intelligent movies of 1984, and if viewers can work their way past the ungainly title, they’re likely to have a surprisingly good time”.

 

I thought about the title of the movie Irreconcilable Differences between my initially coming to rescue the damsel-in-distress at 7:00 p.m. and her 10:00 p.m. plea for me to look in her car for the wasp one more time.  The trigger for the memory of the term “irreconcilable differences” had to do with my car.

 

I mean it was the perfect evening! At 8:00 p.m. the weather couldn’t have been more pleasant.  It was 84 degrees outside and there was no wind. What a perfect time to go for a brief ride in the convertible.  I sent a text to my daughter to see if they were open for a brief visit?  She welcomed the opportunity for us to come over.

 

As we were leaving, I sent her the text: “The car is ready!  – Top down with the motor started – We are on a roll”.  This was going to be delightful!  I could feel it in my bones. Like I said: “It was perfect convertible weather”.  Did I mention the General dashed my hopes of it being a perfect anything before we got to the gate at the end of our driveway? 

 

“It’s cold!” were the two words that first came out of her mouth. With the press of a button, she rolled the window up on the passenger side of the car. Within ten seconds, she was asking for me to do the same. If you think it was a genuine question, you are wrong. It sounded like a mandate to me.

 

Of course, that wasn’t my only clue that all was not well in Denmark. The request that I roll up my window was followed by a mandate for me to turn off the sound system.  Maybe she doesn’t like the sound of Adele singing.  I don’t know.  What was definitive is that she didn’t want the sound system turned on and she wanted both windows rolled up.  Apparently that was as close as she could get to accommodate my plans for a perfect evening.

 

Okay, so my spiritual gift is pouting. I played the “pitiful Don” card, but it really didn’t garner any brownie points with the General. She didn’t care.  As I turned off of RR165 on to HWY 290, an 18-wheeler passed us.  The General couldn’t resist the opportunity to say: “If we are hit by that, we’re dead”.  Like I said, she makes me a little crazy!  The same would be true of her car, but it would have been wasted words to point that out.

 

When it comes to vehicular fun, the General and I have irreconcilable differences.  I may think twice before I invite her to tag along with me with the top down again.  She obviously has an aversion to letting the good times roll. That really stings and I didn’t see a wasp in her car or mine. Like I said, “My spiritual gift is pouting” and she has the skill set to push all of my buttons.

 

All My Best!

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Don

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