Sunday, June 15, 2008

Road Trips and More Ex-Wife Drama

I went on a blog hiatus. This past week both the girls were out of town. I thought I would really enjoy the time to myself. It turns out that after a couple of days, I really didn't know what to do with myself. It was pretty lonely. So, let's catch up.

Melissa went to stay with one of her old friends in NC. We agreed to meet them halfway last weekend. Melissa gave up on the idea of driving herself once she realized I wouldn't budge on that issue. We decided to take her car so that we could both drive. I don't have her covered on my car because it would be too expensive.

We had to run a couple of errands before we left town. I drove first. I immediately noticed that her car wasn't driving quite right. I told Melissa that something was wrong with her car. She immediately responded with, "No, there is nothing wrong with my car". I told her not to argue with me, that I have been driving for 15 years and I know when something is wrong with a car.

After driving her car for awhile, I realized that there really was nothing wrong with her car. Her gas pedal is a little stiffer than mine, and it was making it seem as though the car didn't want to go. I told her that I was wrong. To which see responded, "See Mom, there you are floating in your boat of being right while I swim in my sea of wrong". I deserved that, so I let it slide.

After initially thinking there was something wrong with her car, I was a little paranoid about driving her car on a long trip. After all, her car is pretty old, and it was a long trip. The majority of the driving consisted of us driving through the boon docks. When she took over driving, I watched all her gauges very carefully. After a while, I noticed her temperature light creeping towards hot. I turned off the air condition and it creeped back down. Now I was nervous. I cut the air back on and once again it creeped towards hot. This time it got almost all the way to hot. The car wasn't smoking or anything, but I decided we should stop and have a look. I told Melissa to pull off at the next exit so I could check it out.

The next exit was of course, in the middle of nowhere. The store we stopped at was one of those little country stores. You know the kind I am talking about? The ones with the tables inside where the townsfolk gather to hang out or whatever. After waiting for a while for the car to cool down, I popped the hood to have a look. I took off the coolant cap and the antifreeze was full, it wasn't bubbling and the car wasn't steaming. I told Melissa that we should check the oil while we were stopped.

It looked like it was just a tad low. I told her to check in her trunk and see if she had any oil back there. She brought me the quart and I began dumping it in. As my eyes wandered down, these words jumped out at me: AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID

Yes, I was pouring transmission fluid into the engine. I totally freaked out. By this time, we had attracted the attention of the folks in the store. Of course why wouldn't two beautiful women messing around under the hood of a car not attract attention right?

So Larry, his brother Darrell, and his other brother Darrell came out of the store. Larry was an obviously elderly gentlemen who looked to me to be about 85 years old if he was a day. His brother Darrell was a big, burly guy in overalls. His other brother Darrell I think was just tagging along. Larry was the spokesman for the group. He asked me in a very southern accent , "Ma'm, do you need some help?". To which I responded, "Well, I didn't need help but I probably do now. I just dumped transmission fluid in the engine". Because Larry looked old enough to be my great grandfather, I trusted his judgment. That and I had no choice but to trust his judgment because we were in the boonies Larry said that I hadn't put enough transmission fluid in the engine to hurt it.

Thank God I will never see Larry, his brother Darrell, and his other brother Darrell again, because my humiliation would never have allowed me to show my face in public again. One of the things I pride myself on as a single woman/mother is that I am a capable person. I can check the oil in my car, put air in my tires, I know what to check for if you think your car is overheating, and I can pump my own gas. (Yes, there are women who don't know how to pump gas) Having to tell these men that I had dumped transmission fluid IN THE ENGINE was not one of my finer moments, I have to admit.

Anyway, the car didn't seem overheated and we were on our way. I really think maybe the thermostat got stuck. I will be checking that out soon. In the meantime, I will not be taking Melissa car on any long trips, it just stresses me out too much.


I met Keri's stepmother yesterday and picked her up. My summer seems to mostly consist of me picking up and dropping off children in other states. We haven't heard from her dad in several weeks as he was none too happy that I let Keri go stay with his ex-wife. He coincidentally called last night. He didn't even know she was coming home yesterday. We weren't home when called last night so he called again this morning. He wants to see Keri. The problem is that Keri knows he has a live in girlfriend, and has expressed to me that she doesn't feel comfortable going to visit him under the circumstances. I tried to talk to her dad about it this morning. He wouldn't hear what I had to say. He accused me of being the one who has a problem with his living arrangements.

The funny part is that I could care less who he lives with. It took me a long time to get over my failed marriage, but eventually I did. I even tried to tell him that I was happy that he seems to somewhat be getting his life together. He wouldn't hear that either.

What it boils down to is that he wants me to force Keri to visit him. I wont do it. Right now she is not ready to accept this new relationship in his life. I am not going to force this woman down her throat. What he wouldn't give me a chance to say was, that I think in time her desire to see her dad will outweigh the discomfort she feels about his new girlfriend, and she will want to visit. Right now she is just not ready. What really disturbs me the most is his unwillingness to accept her discomfort. He immediately blamed it on me. Which shows me that he is not sensitive to her young emotions. Do I really want to force her to visit him knowing that will be manipulating her into accepting this woman when she is not ready? No, I think not. It's really a shame that I have to protect my daughter from her own father.

1 comment:

Godless Sunday said...

"One of the thrills about healing and being a healthy person is to be happy alone. I think if I can't be happy by myself, then I am not capable of being happy with someone. It is not the responsibility of our spouses to MAKE us happy. Not that they don't, but it shouldn't be their job." This is very smart, and I think true. Good story. Women need to hear these stories. They need to know the way in and out of bad marriages.