Crazy B*tch (Memoirs of a Lemon Lover in Recovery)
Chapter 47—“Luxury Rides At Rocket Speeds” (fortheloveofgodbuymycar!)
If Nils had chosen his words any differently I might have accused him of issuing an ultimatum. He was too wily for that. Instead, he started to lay it out for me. He started to prove to me that if we were to get married how we were planning, there was no way we could reasonably afford to keep the car. Moreover, he also outlined the many ways in which it could reasonably be considered unreliable. His logic, especially in a vacuum away from my dad’s “advice”, was not only air tight—it was solid and impeachable.
I am not sure if my house was bugged, or if my dad is psychic, but somehow he found out that I was seriously considering putting my car up for sale. He rallied some of the most vehement enthusiasts and we were besieged with “casual” phone calls from “friends” calling to “catch up”. These friends feigned delight at the news of our pending nuptials, and then not so subtly launched into an intensive persuasive discourse speaking to the ills of selling my beautiful black car.
I was saturated with comments like: “you know what you should do…” and “if it were me, I would…” The big crescendo was always the same, “It is such a nice car, why would you sell it?” The only thing that shut up these sycophantic busy bodies was my challenge for them to buy my car off of me. Often once that offer was on the table these busy bodies suddenly had someone at the door, or another call beeping on the other line. Nils was a gentle and patient man, but these calls steamed him up in ways I could have only imagined if I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes. I swear I could actually see the steam curling out of his ears.
Somewhere along the way, Nils broached the topic with my mom. Likely, he brought it up during tea, while they were discussing linens and silverware. My mom was more than mildly incensed. According to Nils, she slammed her tea cup down on the table so hard that she broke the handle off. Nils claimed that he could see every vein in her neck, and one throbbing vein just above her left eye—the one that twitched.
Nils is a smart man who knows how to stay safe. So, Nils did the only thing he could do: he ran for cover. I wasn’t there, but apparently while Nils was hiding in the neighbour’s storm cellar, word on the street was that my mom’s voice carried so shrill and thunderous that windows rattled for a good three mile radius.
The whole experience had a profound effect on my dad. He agreed to help me ready my car for sale, and to help me list it in as many places as possible. He also offered to be the one people contact to inquire about the car. He reminded me of how he was able to sell Ol’Bruiser and suggested that compared to her, my beautiful black car would likely sell herself. (Although countless wise ass remarks about hookers sprang to mind, I refrained from speaking any out loud—my dad just wouldn’t find it funny). So, with teeth marks in my tongue, I agreed to take my dad up on his offer—but with one provision: I would write the ad myself and it would be used in all postings: verbatim. My dad and I shook on the deal. It was perhaps one of the most formal, and I have to say, cold moments, my dad and I ever shared. Neither one of us got misty over the prospect of selling the beautiful black car; I was at a loss to know if that was progress, or the over whelming lack thereof.
Later that night, and with Nils support, I composed the advertisement promoting my car. It was damn near poetic, and I was certain it would move anyone who would read it. As I finished, I realized that such a moving piece of prose should properly have a title: a shiny red bow, if you will. Nils and I thought for a moment, and at the same time we looked at each other and yelled out the exact same phrase: “Luxury Ride at Rocket Speeds!” It was one of those “soul mates” moment where we easily share a thought and finish one of another’s sentences. It was a beautiful title, it was clever, flashy and adeptly communicated our determination to sell without any hint of any possible desperation on my part.