Car is in motion, about to enter the highway, when Carol asks if there’s a branch of the store closer to where we now live. I reply if she can find it and direct us to the location, I’ll go that way.
Out comes the smartphone and voilà! there’s another store only half the distance away. Google Maps says “5.6 mi., 15 mins.” Of course, we have *just* driven past the first exit we need to take, so I make a U-ey and head back on the other side of the road.
45 minutes, umpteen missed turns and 2 screaming matches later, we still haven’t found the “closer” store. “F*ck it! I’m not going to f*cking BJ’s now! I don’t know where the f*ck I am!” I calmly state. Carol responds in a huff, “Perhaps if we pull over for a moment…” Christ Almighty! She sure knows how to push my buttons.
As we start to head back toward where we think we live, we pass a supermarket on our left. I rapidly reassess our plans and decide to mitigate any further risk by moving grocery shopping to the top of our remaining priorities for the evening. At the intersection, I expertly veer across two lanes of oncoming traffic, fly into the lot and glide to a stop in an open space, just barely crumpling the fender of the car parked facing us.
We enter the store and find ourselves in the produce section. Carol prods me: “Would you like some salad tonight?” “NO!” I tranquilly respond. “Do we need any cold cuts?” “I HAVE NO F*CKING IDEA!” “How many jalapeños do you want for the chili?” “HAVEN’T YOU EVER MADE CHILI BEFORE?” “If I make sausage and peppers this week, will you want some?” “I HATE SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS!” “What kind of ice cream do you want?” “I DON’T… uh, Peanut Butter Cup.”
After we check out and put our groceries in the car, Carol says she’s happy to drive home if I prefer to navigate. “Good,” I think to myself, “she recognizes her limitations.” I quickly pull up the directions home and promptly point us toward the wrong exit from the parking lot. “Jesus,” I think to myself, “she can’t use the GPS and she can’t drive, either…”
After missing several road signs since it’s now dark out, we finally find ourselves on a road with which Carol is familiar and she gets us home in just a few more minutes. I bring in the groceries while Carol throws our frozen pizza in the oven, and by the time everything’s put away and the cats — who have been underfoot since the moment we walked back into the house, no doubt reacting to Carol’s mood — are fed, dinner is ready.
We sit on the couch with our slices, flipping on the TV and ready to decompress from our brief excursion gone horribly wrong. The tension between us appears to be dissipating. I don’t intend to make a big deal out of this mishegas and am prepared to forgive Carol for her earlier unwarranted outbursts.
I take a bite of my pizza and burn the f*cking sh*t out of my mouth. I can’t believe Carol is still being so petty AND she’s willing to have me suffer second-degree burns just so she can settle the score between us? I glare at her — she is watching the TV, not looking at me. Oh, she is SO evil — she doesn’t even glance in my direction to see if her cunning effort has succeeded. Fuming, I take another bite of my pizza and again burn the f*cking sh*t out of my mouth. My GOD this woman is so vindictive.
After we finish our pizza, I extract my revenge. I cheerfully offer to get ice cream for both of us and short her one scoop. Then the pièce de résistance — I recommend we watch Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love, telling her the star-studded cast combined with the filmmaker’s pedigree ensures it will be hilarious.
Heh-heh-heh. Talk about mis-direction…