Nov 232010
 

I have blog apathy, so here is an old LiveJournal post from August 2007. Peace out, girl scout.


It’s been dire straits ’round here ever since our car abandoned us. Thankfully, Henry’s mother has been generous enough to let us use her car whenever she doesn’t need it (and as luck would have it, that’s quite often). We decided to be nice and not force her to rot away in her apartment over the weekend, so we rented a car at Enterprise. It was one of those vixens on four wheels — a Mazda 3. I wanted to hug it every time I got into it. But that’s not the point of this story.

Last night, Henry informed me that he wouldn’t be home in time from work to return the car by its noon curfew. When it slowly (but surely!) dawned on me that what he was really trying to say was that I was going to actually have to get off my ass and do something, I freaked out.

“But I don’t know how.” A good enough excuse as any, I figured.

“What do you mean you don’t know how? Just drive it the whole whopping one mile down the street to Enterprise, give them the key, and have one of them bring you back home.”

Oh, anxiety! Hold your horses!

I began to grow weary just by imagining the impending hassle, much like the day when I will round a corner and get my head lopped off by a sickle-wielding serial killer.

My mom came over this morning so I could get it over with while my wrestler-child was napping. As I backed the car up the driveway, I glanced at the car seat, still fully-fastened to the backseat. I’ve never had to deal with removing the front-facing car seat, only the rear-facing carrier.

“Mother fucker!” I yelled. Henry was supposed to take that out for me. I threw the car in park and climbed into the backseat, thinking that I was about to embark on an easy journey. Within five seconds, it became clear that this was a job for a spinach-eating Mensa member. My mental energy quickly waned as I searched for the magical release button to make all my dreams come true.

Right after I nearly snapped off a finger, the spandexed idiot we employ to mow our lawn crept up on me, whining about his six dollars. I’m pretty sure he’s that paper boy from Better Off Dead, all grown up. I told him I didn’t have it and he did this really obnoxious motion with his head, like he was using his body movements to whine “Aw, maaaan.”

“When can I stop back?” he asked impatiently. Just to get this asshole off my back, I ran into the house to see if my mom had cash, which she didn’t. But at least it looked like I kind of cared by asking her.

I reported the bad news to him and he stalked off. “Sorry!” I yelled sarcastically at his back. I also didn’t appreciate the way he looked the rental car up and down, because I know he was thinking, “Oh, she drives this but doesn’t have six fucking dollars for me?”

Asshole. I’m so over him anyway.

Returning to the task at hand, I accepted the fact that I needed help. My mom came out and together we toiled and bumbled in the backseat until I broke down and called Henry. Obscenities were sprayed, nails were broken, ulcers burned, and my mom was bracing herself for a trip to the nearest psych ward, before I finally conceded that I’d just let one of the guys at Enterprise do it for me, per Henry’s suggestion.

“They know how to do it there!” he promised.

When I handed the key over at the counter a few minutes later, I asked the Enterprise employee if someone there could help me remove the car seat.

“Um, I can see if someone will try, but I can’t make any promises. None of us here have children.”

An older woman was leaning against the counter next to me, waiting for her invoice. “I can help you; I have three children of my own.” I thanked her, but a young man in a dress shirt popped up from behind a desk and enthusiastically asked me to let him try.

“I’m up for the challenge!” he said eagerly, like I was holding tryouts for some outrageous Japanese game show.

After a few minutes, I returned to the lot to check on his progress. He got about as far as I had.

“What did your boyfriend do, glue this in here?” he laughed, but I got a real sense of anguished emasculation out of it.

The mother-of-three jogged over. “No luck? Let me try.” She climbed in the backseat and began furiously working to unsnap the opposite side.

After a minute passed, she turned around and looked at me. “Holy hell!” she laughed, as she blew out a breath saddled with exhaustion.

The woman she was traveling with got out of their minivan and came over. “I gotta see this car seat!” she said with wide eyes.

The mother-of-three saw this as her way out. “Oh good, see if you can do it!” she yelled over her shoulder as she ran back inside the office.

“Wha—I just said I wanted to look at it!” But she shrugged and climbed in anyway.

Another Enterprise employee came over and the first one called out, “Oh good, are you here to help?”

“Aw shit, no. I’m just here to take the girl back home.” What a nice gentleman. I’m sure that will be a pleasant cruise to look forward to, I thought.

Oh yes, Henry. This is so easy, that’s why it took three people to do it. I hope we get a car soon so I never have to worry about this car seat bullshit again. Or, I hope Henry and I stay together at least until Chooch graduates from car seats. The reality of either option is a scary one though.

The Enterprise employee finally dominated the car seat. He stood up and stretched his back. “Tell your boyfriend not to work out so hard!” he laughed. Yeah, I’ll tell him to lay off the cock-pulling, I thought bitterly.

Everyone involved had a nice laugh and exchanged contact info for a future reunion, and then I got back in the car with my chauffeur. We made strained small talk as he shouted and pumped his arm out the window every time we drove past his homies. Which was a lot. Then he flipped on the radio just in time to catch a lovely joint by Bel Biv Devoe.

“Daaaamn, I always forget how old this jam is!” I nodded in agreement and added that I thought I was in middle school when it came out. You know, just to tip him off that I have more urban in my blood than my pasty-suburban facade lets on.

I guess it didn’t impress him much (sometimes my flava just can’t be sensed, I guess), because instead of pulling into my driveway, he sidled up on the curb across from my house, leaving me to cross the street with a big ass car seat over my shoulder. It was kind of like the car rental walk of shame, I guess.

Edit: A quote from Henry. “It’s the easiest thing in the world.”

  One Response to “The Car Seat Impasse : A LiveJournal Repost”

  1. HA!!! I just saw this…both my kids are in boosters now, but when we had the forward facing ones with the latch tethers…my wife would not touch them, she felt that you needed a pair in a sack to figure out how to properly attach them, so I always had to be the man and fasten in the car seats…oh well, I didn’t mind, made me feel like I was good for something

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