Payback

The other day I drove 100 miles with  four feet of my scarf sticking out of the car and dragging along the ground. AND, it was 32 degrees and sleeting.

Sigh. Such a pretty scarf too: I got so I was very vain, wearing it.

I had closed it in the car door though I didn’t know it ‘til we got to our destination. It was frozen solid, like a brick, only sort of bent.

Old Dave thought it was the funniest thing in the world. I think he saw it as payback, because when I say I was driving I was really only helping him drive, which I admit I do, since he’s so aggressive a driver, passing this driver, nosing right up under their petticoats of that one. I used to read, or nap, or treat him to my own brand of fascinating chatter as we drove. Now I seem to  be so vigilant I can’t do anything but ‘help him’ steer. It’s like this anniversary card I just bought to give him where they even got the name right. As you can see, the front says “Dave didn’t have to watch where he was going…” Then when you open it up it reads “Because his wife was an excellent back seat driver.” 

back seat driving

Just look at that woman sitting behind him. Of course I don’t look like a bit like her – not me! But the weird thing is, she does look a lot like my mom when she got her bossy hat on. Hmmm, what was it that Oscar Wilde said? “Every woman becomes like her mother. That is her tragedy. No man does. That’s his”? (Good old Oscar Wilde: so epigrammatic always – and so RIGHT!)

Rare When It Happens

Rare when it happens that the room you rent looks even nicer than it did in the brochure. I drove yesterday to Portland Maine to see two college pals and am staying at a B & B called The Pomegranate Inn. A month ago when I first saw the picture that opens up on their website I said to myself “That’s my room!  And it’s on the third floor, up under the eaves, high among the treetops!”) The three of us walked and talked tirelessly for seven straight hours and all I could think when I turned the key and walked into room 3 was “where’s the bed?” I turned on the tiny television for a few minutes for the inanity of the 10 o‘clock dramas (yet more body parts found in urban settings! yet more lady coroners in low-cut lab coats joshing with yet more engagingly boyish members of the law enforcement community! ) then slept and dreamed of peonies and cotton balls and Oscar Wilde. And when I woke this morning I understood why:

I am in a room with intricate hand-painted walls where the bright ocean light is positively ladling in through the windows, onto the bed, onto the walls, onto the fat and cheerful pillows. The place looks exactly as it had in the promotional literature and maybe better and how often does that happen in life?

Speaking of Oscar they say that even as he lay dying he was funny. The story has it that right near the end he turned his face to the wall, opened his eyes and said “Either this wallpaper goes or I do.”

I have always imagined that wallpaper looked quite a lot like this. But me, I could look at this wallpaper forever – and I’m just betting this room is every bit as nice at dusk on a clammy November day as it is right now at seven on this high-summer morning.