September 30, 2020

rendez vous, si vous plais

After our successful backyard, photo shoot I placed a desperate call to my folks to borrow my dad's car because the Kia died.  He never drives because he is stuck inside during the pandemic.  He has leukemia and he CANNOT catch this dang virus.  

All summer my friends have encouraged me to ask my folks if we could borrow dad's car.  Mom drives a jaguar and she usually drives him to his doctor appointments.  Any idea how helpful it would have been to have an extra car during this hectic summer?  Dad drives a Buick Rendez Vous - maybe from 2010 or before.  

Not like I was asking for the keys to the jag.

Coach didn't urge me to call, knowing my red-headed-step-child status in the fam.  He did suggest that if I did ask to borrow the car, that I promise that only Coach or I would drive it.  He figured that might make them relax a tad.  

My mom was kind of caught off guard when I called.  Lad was starting a job, ironically at a car dealership 45 minutes north of us, THE NEXT DAY.  Ed was still doing his internship at the other car dealership, also far away but not the same direction as Lad.  Coach needed to get to work, and I would need to drive people places.  

If you are old-enough not to have to e-learn right now, then you might be out of practice, but trust me - the math did not add up on this.  We were a couple cars short of being mobile and I was a few relaxing days shy of not losing my mind.  I'm not even sure I used that correctly, but I was in panic mode.

My mom sputtered a bit.  Dad was busy and she couldn't ask him, so she agreed.  Hesitatingly.  Really???

Ed dropped Mini and I off to get the car, then we ran to Walmart for her phone.  I saw school supplies:  "Grab a bunch of notebooks and stuff," I ordered her.  Always with the multi-tasking.

The next day, we learned that the Kia would be getting a new engine, but Ed would come home in yet another loaner car.  I honestly am not sure that is right - how did we get that loaner?  I sometimes feel like the detective in the Pink Panther movies.  (thanks GIPHY).  

Anyway, before Lad realized I was borrowing a car from my dad, he told his new job that his first day would have to be Tuesday.  

Now we were back to 3 cars:  red minivan with new brakes, the great white, and a loaner car PLUS MY DAD'S CAR . . . the Rendez Vous.  Four cars for 6 drivers:  bonus.  

I was ready to return Dad's car and Coach was like:  wait a minute.

He felt the Great White needed to be checked over.  Was it making a noise?  

Ah, she looks so perfect in the shade so we can't see her peeling paint.  We have to be careful not to park it behind Mary Ann's driveway (pictured on right) because she no like that.

Me:  (eye-roll) Yes, it makes lots of noises.  It's old.  Like me.  

We decided to drop the Great White off at the local shop to have it checked out.  This worked since Lad was home.  He followed me over there.  Now we were back to 3 cars, our usual low-functioning, high-stress, who's-on-first status.  

When I drove Curly to dancing that night, I called my mom.

Me:  The Kia needs a new engine, but it will be free.  Yippee.

Mom:  (disbelief re: the Kia, but quickly switching gears) Can Dad get his car back then?

Note:  I have only been in possession of dad's car for like 20 hours.  Not EVEN  a full day.  

Me:  Um, well - here's the thing.  Don over at the car place is looking over the Great White to be sure it's all systems go.  I will keep you posted.  Probably tomorrow.  

The next day, she called to ask about the return of Dad's car.  Again.  I wanted to call all of my friends and shout:  SEE?  I TOLD YOU.  

We only borrowed it for a few days, imagine if I had asked for it for the summer?  I guess like my grandpa used to say:  IT'S HELL TO GET OLD.

Fortunately, Don agreed.  The Great White is old, like me.  (He didn't draw the parallel).  If we expect to keep it long-term, we should plan to put lots of money in it.  I love GW, but it's not a long-term option.  

Closing a gas cap with electrical tape is all the rage,
here in Beverly Hill-Billy land. 
Sucks when the tape loses its stickiness.

We got GW back and I dropped Dad's car back at his home, and we all slept better that night.  

Then Ed went back to school, and the car juggling continued.  Lad drove our car to his job.  He was waiting to buy a used car until something acceptable turned up.  How dull would life be if there were available cars for more than half of our drivers?

As an aside, since we are sort of speaking french here with the Rendez Vous . . .  merde- that was my take-away from high school french class.  It translates to 'shit'.  I think I took 3 years.  I was awful.  Could not speak the language.  Did OK translating on paper.  

I attended an immersion weekend.  We weren't allowed to speak English.  My friends were going.  It was the only speechless weekend of my life.  I now know what it was like for my mom when she was considering being a nun (true story).  She had to be silent during set hours in the convent.  

I'm surprised Coach hasn't insisted on a similar 'only french spoken here' weekend at our home.  He's not a cultural guy, but the silence he might embrace.

Anyway, I FORGOT that the other people on the weekend could understand french.  Like, maybe they were there to practice being silent like me?  In the cafeteria, I turned to my friend, pointed at the food and said, "C'est merde."  Translation:  this is shit.  No, I am not sharing my high school transcripts.  

Anyone else suck at foreign language?  Have you said something that qualified as an 'oops'? Who's tired of talking about cars?


Amy said...

It's amazing how you make it all work, and I'm glad GW checked out ok! Hopefully Lad finds something soon.

I wish I'd learned French! I got stuck in an airport in Paris (work trip) when my flight home was canceled, and that was NOT fun, trying to get them to put me on another flight, which ended up being in a whole other airport!

Ally Bean said...

Where do you park all these vehicles? Maybe a nosy question but the first one that came to mind. I like the electric tape used to accessorize your gas cap. It demonstrates ingenuity and stylish sense of joie de vivre!

Ernie said...

Amy - I wish I had learned french too. Ha. Get it. Three years of studying it and if I was stranded in an airport I would be just as lost as you were. Yes, glad good ole GW is still up and running. Although no more long road trips, so limited abilities.

Ernie said...

Ally - We have a 3 car garage. On a good day we could park 2 cars in the garage - the rest is bikes, lawn mowers, etc. Usually we park GW in the garage and the other two cars are parked at the end of our very short driveway (because we have a side entry garage, so short, stubby driveway). The driveway IS wide due to the 3 car garage, so that helps. Remarkably we have never plowed back into one of the other cars. Yes, the tape . . . that is very representative of how we roll, whatever works!

Beth Cotell said...

I also took three years of French and merde is one of the few words I remember!

And your parents are ridiculous. No matter what I have ever asked of my parents, they have always said yes. I'm sorry yours are so sucky.

Kara said...

I took 3 years of Spanish and two of Latin. Because in order to not have to take a language in college (specifically the state school I was going to attend) you needed either 4 of one, or 3 & 2. I flailed through Spanish 3, and was pretty much told by the teacher that there was no way I'd get through Spanish 4 without tanking my GPA. The other options available to me at the time were German I or Latin I. I took Latin, because the teacher was much nicer.

My older girls are taking French now in high school. They have an ear for languages that I do NOT have. The youngest one is taking Latin in middle school.

Ernie said...

Beth - C'est merde. Hilarious! My folks drove my sister's kids everywhere once she was divorced. I have a husband but he works till 9 pm a few nights a week and when they were younger more often than that. They would help on a rare occasion, but once I was far away from home and Ed was about 12 and wanted to hang with his friends at the pool. I called my dad (who lives around the corner) and asked him to drive him for me. He dropped him off at the pool a few miles away and told Ed, "I'm not a taxi driver!" That just about killed me. So weird about the car. I hinted all summer and my mom would just say it was too bad the dealership didn't let Ed borrow a car.

Ernie said...

Kara - I definitely think you hit the nail on the head - having an ear for music is a thing. I think it is linked to the gene with the ability to play an instrument. I do not have that. Latin in grade school? Curly was shocked recently to learn that I did not take Spanish in grade school.

Kari said...

I took three years of French and I only remember a few words and ALL OF THE SWEARS. Eat sh** and die, was a personal favorite. Ahh, good times.

I really want you to do a family photoshoot of all of you in front of GW parked in front of Mary Ann's driveway. PRETTY PLEASE??? I WILL DRIVE DOWN AND DO A RIVERDANCE IN YOUR STREET.

Gigi said...

I took a year of Spanish and flunked it. Funnily enough, the same teacher taught English - which I aced. Luckily, I transferred to another school that did NOT require a foreign language to graduate. Here's the thing though, these schools that require a foreign language really should be pulling from middle & grade schools that are teaching the language. Prior to 9th grade, I had absolutely no exposure to Spanish.

Ernie said...

Kari - Unless you aspire to be a world traveler, what was the point of taking french? Myself included here. Use.Less.

I am tempted here to respond to your challenge. I promise you, Coach would NEVER. Knowing me just talking about her in a code name (that is honestly not all the creative) makes him nervous. Even though, IT'S ALL TRUE.

Ernie said...

Gigi - you raise a good point. Tank is doing American Sign Language as his foreign language. I think it is about time they started to offer ASL as a foreign language. I think he would make an excelled high school teacher, or special ed teacher and sign language could come in handy. He is not on board with being a teacher, YET. Time will tell.

Busy Bee Suz said...

The vehicle debacle never ceases to amaze me. Surely, when the kiddos were small you never dreamed this would be an issue. I'm SO thankful you were able to get Dad's car back to his driveway where it is safe and sound. :)

I took 2 years of Spanish and I only know enough to get me around a bar or to a bathroom. I took one year of French and totally hated it; what's the point? I'm never going to live in France. HA!

Ernie said...

Suz - yes, apparently my Dad is only happy when his car is within his reach - even if he isn't driving it.

I am missing the foreign language chip, but my years of Sesame Street have probably taught me more Spanish than the 1 year I was forced to take in college. I assume I would survive with just hand motions in a country where I could not do much with their native language because knowing the stigma placed on American tourists in France, I probably don't want to walk around pointing at everything and calling it merde.