We visited some good friends last time we were traveling through Chicago. These are some of the people we make a point to stop and see, they graciously provide a decent meal and clean showers. It’s nice to feel at home when you haven’t actually been home in weeks. It’s also nice to interact with some of the coolest people on earth. (Shout out to Tinley Park!)
I was on my best behavior, because I really want to be invited back (this chick makes the most delicious lasagna ever) and I love these people. I was reminded that even when I’m trying, I’m the reason we can’t have nice things. She handed me a hand blown wineglass, and I immediately broke it. I requested a sippie cup and the evening went from there without a hitch.
It’s okay to serve me on plastic plates. My mom still buys styrofoam for family dinners. She says it’s because she doesn’t want to do dishes, but I know it’s really because I’ve broken all her good dinnerware and she’s terrified I’m going after my grandmother’s china next.
I don’t try to do these things, I’m just a spaz. I find this habit a disgusting quality in myself, but I can’t help it. The harder I try not to break things, the more things I break. Glassware is in grave danger around me and I don’t even want to discuss electronics. My husband calls me ‘Powder’ because I can simply hold a cell phone and it ceases to function. (For those of you who don’t get the reference, it’s a movie about a weird kid who has some crazy thing inside him that draws electricity and tears everything up. Google it.)
My husband is eternally nervous I’m going to break something in his truck. The poor man watches me as much as he watches the road, it must be exhausting. The last trip out, I put my feet on the dash and destroyed the air conditioner vent. I tried to be cool about it, but he saw a little piece of it pop out and hit the floor.
“What was that?”
“Um, just a little piece of the vent. It’s okay.”
“No. It’s not okay. Is the vent broken?”
“Just a little bit. I think I can wedge a piece of paper in there to keep it open.”
The vein in his head started to throb.
“Just get all the pieces and put them in the glove box. I’ll fix it later.”
He’s become quite masterful at fixing things I break. He really should thank me, I’ve done him a favor there.
When we stopped, he got his tool kit out and went to work. (Side note: If you’re ever in need of a tool, com see this guy. He is prepared for the Zombie apocalypse when it comes to tools and things he may need on the road. His carry along kit is like a surgeon’s bag. It’s really impressive. Again, probably because of his special needs wife.)
He spent an hour fooling with the thing, and finally got it back together.
“It’s like a goddamn Rubik’s cube. Please don’t put your feet on the dash anymore. What are you doing?”
“I’m checking the cooler. The little plug in thingie is really hot.”
“DON’T TOUCH IT! I DON’T HAVE ANY EXTRA FUSES!”
And so it goes. I break things and force the world around me to fix them. It’s the American dream. My service to the entire population goes completely unnoticed, and everyone thinks I’m a looney toon, but I know the truth. You’re all welcome.
For more of Wendy Benton Parker’s blog posts, check back ever Wednesday and Saturday evening, or follow this link to her previous post.