One of the detriments of the holidays is the fact that we frequently spend too much time in the car. All that driving in close quarters with nothing better to do than get on each other’s nerves can be hard on a marriage.
It doesn’t affect Roy and me, though. We have learned over the years how to drive with each other with a minimum of aggravation. And if you believe that, I’ve got some farmland in the Sahara Desert to sell you.
I admit, that when it comes to driving, I’ve done more damage than Roy, but that is no excuse for him to continuously state the obvious when I am driving.
“Make sure you pull out into the lane to turn right,” he will instruct.
“Would that be the only lane there is?” will be the snarled reply he gets as I step on the gas and charge out into the traffic, barely missing three trucks and a taxi.
It never fails; whenever I get angry with him for telling me how to drive, he always ends up being correct. “You need to be in the left lane to exit onto 212,” he explains patiently.
“No, it’s a right exit, do you think I have never taken this road before?” I splutter, then I’m immediately distracted by having to hastily move over to get into the left lane exit for 212. He is always annoyingly quiet when these things happen; that knowing silence of the man who doesn’t have to point out that he was right; it’s all laid out in front of us.
The worst part of driving with Roy is when he takes a nap. There’s something about him being unconscious that brings out all my insecurities. It never fails; he will crash for a few minutes and I’ll come upon road construction or something else that requires a detour.
I know, I know, detours are always carefully marked, but I just follow the signs—I don’t look at the road markers. I’ll be driving along and Roy will awaken suddenly.
“Where are we, I don’t recognize this road,” he’ll ask, reaching automatically for the road map.
“We’re on a detour, I don’t know what road it is,” I answer, continuing to look for the arrows to guide me back to the main road.
“That sign says Brownton is three miles that way on this road,” he says, checking the map. “Are you sure you didn’t miss a sign somewhere?”
“Why do you always doubt me? Do you think I’m not smart enough to follow the road signs?” It is at this point that I have to give my full attention to the road, because ahead is a dead end. These scenarios are always followed by that knowing silence, but it is occasionally broken to give me directions back the way we have come to find the detour marker that I completely missed.
The deepest part of winter is upon us and that is probably a good thing for our marriage. We don’t travel that much in the winter and therefore, we can’t have these lovely, marriage-mashing road trips. However, I am a little bit concerned about next summer. We are planning a trip to Philadelphia and I hear that’s a tough city to drive in. Maybe I’ll just get a Philadelphia map and do some simulations on the roads around here. Think that will help? Or am I in for some more of those “knowing silence” drives?