I'd like to say our evening improved after that point, but it proceeded into a comedy of errors. The "Check Engine" light on our Explorer, which he'd taken on his trip, had come on, and he asked me to follow him to the Ford dealership in my car so he could drop it off for repairs. Fine. He hops in the Explorer, I hop in my car, and we're off.
Except I don't go to the Ford dealership. I go to the Chevy dealership. Why? Because as a general rule, we take most of our cars there for repairs. We live in a rural area, it's close by, and they'll work on any car, Chevy or not. I heard "Ford" but thought "Chevy." Sit-com plots have been based on less.
So I'm sitting there, singing along to Clay Aiken's uninspired version of some Christmas tune, when I notice that the Explorer, with my husband in it, is nowhere to be seen.
I circle the lot and don't see him. Oh no! He must have stalled on the road! So I backtrack, looking for him. No sign. Now--and I do this sort of thing more often than I care to admit--I panic. Of course he was at the Chevy dealership. I probably just didn't give a good enough look around. In fact (and my face turns red at the thought), he was probably chasing me down as I pulled out, trying to get my attention while I drove blithly on.
I race back to the Chevy dealership and circle again. No sign of him. This time I am sure of it.
Which means...oh no again...he is stalled somewhere and I must have just missed him. I peel rubber out of the lot and drive the 1/2 mile back to our house, peering down ravines in case he lost control and tumbled to his death.
Still no sign. So I again (God help me) manage to convince myself that he really was in the lot I'd just driven around five times, and that I again had just overlooked him. Back to the dealership, where this time I actually park the car, get out and walk the lot. No sign of him.
Then, and only then, does the word "Ford" occur to me and it dawns on me why I can't find him. I race onto the highway for the 2 mile drive to the FORD (not Chevy, but F-O-R-D) dealership.
He's not there.
Some old guy starts crooning "White Christmas" on the radio and I tell him to...well...let's just say it wasn't a very Christmas-like thing I suggested he do to himself.
I give up and go home. A few minutes later my husband arrives. We shake our heads at one another, each realizing what has occurred.
For having to drive back out to the Ford dealership after a 6-hour drive home from his trip, he was in a pretty good mood though.
I think he was just grateful that this time I didn't meet him at the door with a torch and a death wish.
(For tips on how to improve your love life, please e-mail the author)