Can you send me a replacement husband? One who isn't a car guy? The one I have is constantly thumbing through his Craigslist app on his iPhone or emailing me ads for rusty old cars to ask me what I think. He already has too many cars, and they sit in the garage and make the clean laundry smell like gasoline and leak oil on the driveway.
Sometimes, we go out in a car with moldy lap belts and no hood or roof, and I wonder if we are going to break down somewhere and fail to make it home. I also worry about spiders. These cars are very loud and very fast, and he is constantly seeing exactly how fast they can go on freeway onramps.
He is preoccupied. When I am telling him about my girlfriends' dating and family problems, I sometimes wonder if he is thinking about cars instead of listening. He can't remember any of their names. Sometimes he forgets I am in the car.
Santa, my husband has a separate budget for cars that is basically a huge wad of cash that he hides in the gun safe. I don't fully understand the economics of street machines, but I think $2,000 would be better spent on a dishwasher that doesn't leak, instead of a collection of old truck engines. I don't know how much cash is in the safe, but I do know he will leave the house with it early on Sunday mornings in one of his loud cars and return with another car, or portions of another car. The iPad, the iPhone, and the laptop are constantly chiming with eBay notifications about newly listed parts and cars.
I never had to hitchhike to a gas station before I married him. He takes me to rough parts of town to look at cars and parts. And I can't get used to the smells. The fumes from his old cars make the dog throw up when he sleeps in the garage, and he takes me to junkyards that smell like fertilizer.
Santa, for some reason, his cars require huge trucks to support them. His friends are also car guys, and they have trailers to move cars back and forth between storage facilities and racetracks. Sometimes, I see a car that I have never seen before, and no one can tell me who owns it. Is this normal? On Thursday nights, my husband and his friends get into a huge truck towing a race car and disappear until well after midnight. He returns covered in black specks, smelling like oil and burnt rubber. He also stands around in mall and restaurant parking lots without intending to shop or eat. Instead, he and his friends just look at cars.
I don't understand how being fast makes a car not butt-ugly. Most of the garage is dedicated to car parts, and I have to use a goat path to get to the laundry.
We plan weekends around fixing cars. When he leaves to work on a car, he can't give me an estimate about when he will be home. When he does, it is off by hours, sometimes days.
I can't drive any of these cars. They lack speedometers, gas gauges, and parking brakes and have complicated shifters and rows of switches to operate them.
I hope this isn't too much to ask.
Car Craft Mag
831 S. Douglas St.
El Segundo, CA 90245