Ugly Volvo Wednesdays!

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Crazy B*tch (Memoirs of a Lemon Lover In Recovery)

Chapter 45—Does This Garage Do Bridal Registry?

My boyfriend stood by me throughout all the mania of my relationship with my beautiful black car. He didn’t always understand me, but he ‘got’ me—especially when it came to how I felt about my car. We had been together for approximately half of the time I had been with my beautiful black car. My parents loved him—especially my dad. The sweet man would sit and listen intently as my dad regaled him with all his glorious tales about his beloved Swedish import.

Nils was a catch. He was an only child who grew up in an isolated town in the Interlake region of Manitoba. He was tall, fair, funny, and handy. He is a gentle giant of a man. When he hugged me I was certain that there was no one any where who was in a safer, more loving place. Nils was gainfully employed and was both emotionally and financially secure.   He could fix anything that wasn’t a car. He was one of a select few people who knew who Sir William Stephenson was, and where he really came from. He also knew what ligenberries were, and he loved meatballs with ligenberry sauce. He really had a calming influence on me, and while he himself did not drive a Swedish import, he really loved driving mine. Nils listened patiently to me as I explained exactly why I kept the beautiful black car through thick and debt. He found my family to be, in his words, “very interesting”, and found it absolutely adorable how he used the word “interesting” as a politically correct synonym for “effing crazy”. He never once judged any of us, and we returned the favour and never mocked his taste in cars to his face.

Perhaps it was pity, perhaps it was the borrowed Jaguar, but Nils proposed to me on New Year’s Eve. I am not sure if it was the beautiful way in which he proposed (in the Jaguar, at midnight) or if I truly grasped how amazing (and a little blind) he was, but I said yes without even a nanosecond’s hesitation.

We were ecstatic lovers in love. Thoughts of expensive car repairs, for the first time in well over a decade, were the furthest thing from my mind. Instead of mulling over turbos and fan belts, I contemplated gowns, veils, and flowers. There was excited talk of bridal showers and china patterns. China patterns? Those two words couldn’t have been more incomprehensible to me if they had been in Greek. Apparently there is also something called “silverware”, and another thing called “flatware”—who knew? I’ll tell you who knew—Nils—that’s who. Most women would have found it disturbing that their man could talk about these wifey things with such fluidity. Personally, I was relieved, and it gave me more time to look into what exactly a bridal registry is, and if there were any garages in the city that offered them.

Of course, I would check with my garage first, but really, if people were compelled to buy me gifts who was I to limit them to only one garage? Things like air filters, synthetic engine oil, antifreeze, windshield wiper blades, car seats, and power washers were readily available at any number of garages around town. Furthermore, if I could register, bridally speaking, at enough garages then I might be able to stave off an onslaught of this “china pattern” thing Nils and my mom prattled on and on about.

My mechanic just chuckled; I think he thought I was joking. Since he was busy fixing my car, I didn’t waste precious time trying to clarify things. There would be time enough for that later. I began to phone around. I would have gone in person, but I saw no need in putting unnecessary snowy, cold start, winter miles on the Jaguar. In hindsight, the overall response to my inquiries might have gone better if I had gone and inquired in person. Over the phone, my responses ranged from abrupt line disconnections to wild and frenetic laughter. One guy thought he was being pranked by a local radio station, and consequently was thoroughly pissed off when I refused to give him some kind of complimentary concert tickets to the sold out Bon Jovi concert. I did not make the situation any less awkward by musing how Bon Jovi’s target demographic is women in the forty-to-fifty something demographic. Granted, it wasn’t my most diplomatic moment, but the guy could have sworn a little less than he did. I was, after all, a new bride-elect.

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