Sunday, June 17, 2007

Eccentricities #64

What are my eccentricities?

I had to ask my husband. His answer wasn't very flattering, he said it is the things I do that drive him absolutely crazy, like the plastic cup I put under the dripping faucet in the bathroom sink, so I can use the water that drips instead of wasting it all. It's the fact that I can't throw anything away that still has usefulness in it, so even when I agree to give things up, they are still in a pile in the house til I can get them taken to somewhere they can continue to be of use---the church food pantry, the emergency shelter supply house, the battered women/families thrift store, or even sometimes just to a particular dumpster, not one close to home but nearer to where the homeless hang out in our town. JR tends to want to blame this eccentricity on my mother who was raised as one of 11 during the Depression. He does this so he doesn't stay furious with me; I understand and appreciate his motivation; and Mother, God love her, was gracious and loving enough not to mind, but I am willing to own my own eccentricity. "Waste not, want not." I am not sure from whom I first learned that. Mother is a good guess, but surely not the only possibility. But now it is my own and I believe it. Unfortunately, I live it too. I am the inveterate saver married to the frustrated tosser.

This tendency makes housecleaning, which is way way down my list of fun things to do, a much dreaded activity; and it makes the idea of moving, ever, a nightmare to be forestalled.

The other real eccentricity I can claim is lots more fun; and it is one my whole family shares. We anthropomorphize our vehicles. We think that is the right and proper way to handle one's wheeled family members. Each has a unique name and a story about how that name was selected. I trust them and talk to them and depend on them and thank them for loyal service and dependability. My first car ever, when I was 21 and just out of college, was Prince. He was my white knight, my stallion, my freedom, my wings--to my first real job, and back to Tallahassee to the man I loved on the weekends. After JR and I married, my car became "Prince Practical" because he was our everything mobile, and he wasn't anybody's idea of "hot" or "sporty" but he was up to every challenge. I cried when we sold him even though it was to get me a new car; Prince had over 100,000 miles and we were now young marrieds with a baby, JR was working 2 jobs and we needed 100% dependability in the car I would be driving. JR had his own new baby, a second hand Triumph Spitfire, "Joycey," one of the prettiest, but hands down, the most unreliable car we ever owned. My new car was the same make and color as Prince, so I called him "Cousin," Prince Practical's City Cousin. He was good and reliable also, but like his name, he lacked the charm and dash of my Prince. After Cousin, we had Mosby, the Gray Ghost, and Jake/Jakey, the VW bus, on whom I finally learned to drive stick shift.

Then we began my series of Honda's. My first was Shingo. We got him in December, in fact, on our daughter's 9th birthday. The first "Oh, God" movie with George Burns had just come out that year. One of the primary characters was the 9 year old daughter of the John Denver character. His daughter had the same name as our daughter and her little Japanese friend was also an important character. His name was Shingo; so it seemed appropriate that our first little Japanese friend become "Shingo." Our Shingo was a member of our family for 13 years, nearly 150,000 miles, and he was our personal hero in bad situations more than one time per family member. JR had now become interested in having a pickup truck and he kept saying, "Our next car is going to be a truck!" However, when a friend at school needed to get rid of a nearly new Honda sedan because he and his wife had just found out they were pregnant and needed to get out from under new car payments, they made us a deal that was toooooo good to pass up, so our next car was N.A.T. "Natty," Not a Truck. When we had to get another vehicle, so the kid could drive herself to her magnet school, she got JR's truck. We called him "Bear." Sorry to say I don't remember the derivation of his name. Anyway, we love our cars and respect them, and when they get old and we have to begin talking about getting a newer vehicle, we are careful not to do it when riding in the old guy or even where he might be able to hear and get his feelings hurt, you never know when it might just break the old guy's heart and his spirit, and he might actually just quit trying to go on because he feels unneeded and unloved.

You may have noticed that I always refer to these beloved cars as "him"s. I am a woman. I am proud of my sex and I love being a woman. But I am also of the age when we liked being taken care of and protected, having doors opened and heavy things lifted for us as if we might not be able to do these things for ourselves. We could, of course, take care of these things for ourselves if there was no man around, but preferred to be considered diminutive and delicate. This and my need for my "Prince"when he came into my life, undoubtedly influenced my creating male personas for my autos. But I must admit, it is true that women tend to be more temperamental, moody, and infuriating. Our one female car, Joycey, was the worst of all things feminine; she let us down in a pinch more often than we could count, and when we got rid of her, it was a relief. So it should be no surprise that we have had no more female vehicles. That undoubtedly is another of my eccentricities.


Blogger Annie said...

Oh, I could relate to this post.My husband is the inveterate saver, and I am the frustrated tosser. You can only imagine how stressful our last move was, after twenty years of collecting junk in the basement and attic. We nearly came to blows, but I have to say you've topped him with the dripping water into a cup. Too funny. Loved it. Thanks for the laugh.

9:34 AM  
Blogger sundaycynce said...

Thanks, Annie, glad I made you laugh. Go hug your husband and tell him as frustrating as he can be, you know there are people worse and appreciate him for little steps. We need that!

10:48 AM  
Blogger Kerstin said...

It is a good thing that I am good at decluttering and throwing things away, considering how many times I have moved in my life. Perhaps that is my eccentricity, I don't mind moving to the point where I almost thrive on the excitement that change and movement bring with them. Funny about your cars, ours have names, too, and I have caught myself talking to it!

Anyway, thanks for stopping by my blog!

Take care,

1:32 PM  

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