We’re going to take a break from weight loss, weight gain, and narcissism.
I want to tell you about one of mine and Randy’s arguments. It’s one of my favorite stories.
First of all, Randy and I have driven into New York City three times. All three times, we were fighting with each other. The first one was bad enough, but not horrible, and the third was a stage just above bickering, so that’s not so bad. That middle time, though? That was quite a fight.
We were going to New York for a long weekend with some friends. It was my birthday weekend and that’s what I wanted to do, shop in NYC. We were going with friends who had lived in New York for years, so we’d have expert tour guides. We drove in separate cars because our friends smoke and no way could Randy take an 8 hour drive in a smoke filled car.
The second thing that went wrong, and this was a biggie, is that instead of having our own set of directions, we were following our friends. We didn’t have a navigator and smart phones were still a few years a way at this point. Our friends took a wrong exit and headed for New Jersey, they called us and told us to keep going into the city and they’d talk us through to the hotel.
Then we lost the signal.
I was driving, in the snow, into New York city without a SINGLE fucking clue where to go. Randy doesn’t handle that type of stress well, so he managed to throw a little napalm into the fire.
We were in Chinatown. Let me explain how much we were out of our element. We come from a place where there IS no Chinatown. There is no Little Italy. At one time, we had a very ethnic area, but in the 1940s it was very out of fashion to be German, so all the street names were changed and any reference to Germany was scrubbed away. We just have trees and numbers now.
I found myself driving in a inch of snow down narrow streets where whole ducks were hanging in the windows. And there were bicycles! In the snow! Narrowly missing me!
There wasn’t any screaming at this point. The tension was bubbling though. I could feel him working up to a full body freak out and I was still waffling between trying to calm him down or freaking out myself. We pulled up along side of a cop at a light. He was to the right of me, so I told Randy to roll his window down and I asked the cop how to get to 38th and Lexington.
He told me to turn LEFT on The Bowery and follow it all the way down to 38th Street. He said to make SURE we didn’t go over the Manhattan bridge, that the turn was before the bridge.
He meant RIGHT on The Bowery. It’s one way. You couldn’t turn left. I had no choice but to go straight; over the Manhattan bridge. At this point, Randy’s tension had gone over the edge.
Randy, looking a bit red around the edges: “You have to DOWNSHIFT, every time you put on the brakes, you’re sliding. DOWNSHIFT at the light”.
Me, trying to stay calm: “I’m in first gear. The light is red. I have to stop. What gear do you fucking suggest I downshift to”?
Randy, getting that white rim around his lips: “He said not to go over this bridge. You’re going over the fucking bridge”!
Me, feeling a little sweaty: “Where the fuck else do you expect me to go? We’ll go over the bridge and turn around then go down the Bowery. Shut up”.
At this point, we were going down the other side of the bridge and the car went into a slide. It didn’t turn completely sideways, but it was close.
Randy, at his most rational: “This is a STUPID trip. I didn’t want to come here in the first place. This is a terrible city. I hate this trip. We’re never going to find our hotel. This is impossible”.
Me, pulling over to the sidewalk somewhere in Brooklyn: “YOU ARE RIGHT! We’re never going to find our hotel. No one in the history of EVER has found their hotel in New York city. So…why don’t we get out of this car, lay down in the snow and FUCKING DIE because that is our only choice at this time”.
Me: “I’m going to drive back over the Manhattan bridge. The car is more than likely going to slide. I’m also going to be sliding at stop lights. There is snow on the ground and I can’t help it. SO DON’T SAY ANYTHING”.
Keep in mind, this is a toned down version of the story. I’m sure there were a LOT more things said.
As soon as we slid over the bridge, I saw a gas station. I was SAVED. All gas station people know the directions to ALL THE PLACES. I spoke with a man who had a very pronounced African accent. I had a little difficulty understanding him because of the accent and because he was laughing as he tried to give me directions. Apparently, I was somewhat animated when I asked for directions after explaining our plight.
I got back in the car and we took off again. We were at that stage where we weren’t talking yet.
When Randy realized that I knew where I was going, he thought it was a GOOD idea to start apologizing.
Randy, looking less red around the edges: “I’m really sorry”.
Me, glowing like a fucking stop light: “FUCK YOU. I can’t believe you acted that way. I was trying to drive in these conditions..fucking LOST in New York city and YOU thought it was a good idea to fucking YELL AT ME”?
Randy: “I’m an asshole”.
Me: “YOU ARE A GIGANTIC ASSHOLE. I don’t forgive you. stop talking”.
At this point, I was like a big tea kettle. The stress had reached the boiling point. I was driving in the snow, in New York City, still kinda lost and sobbing like a baby.
We made it to the hotel. Our friends were waiting for us in the lobby. “Oh, GOOD! You made it. Look, why don’t you put your things in your room and meet us in our room, we’re in room…”
I interrupted him. “We’re going to need a little time, Tim. It was a long drive and I need at LEAST 30 minutes to yell at my husband before we’ll be ready to do ANYTHING”.
Randy confirmed that he indeed was going to be yelled at for a while and we’d buzz their room when were ready to go.
When we got up to the room, we were both so relieved that we were there that the fight had gone out of us. Well, me. The fight had gone out of him at around 21st Street.
The rest of the trip is a blur. We both got the flu so we spent three days trudging around New York in a fever haze. I’m pretty sure we had fun, though.
If nothing else, I’ve enjoyed telling people this fight story over the past 8 years.
I adore my husband. I’m looking forward to our next trip to NYC…whenever that may be.
I think we’ll fly in, though.
Okay..like I said..no weight loss here..no weight gain issues..no narcissism…just a little bit of rage for your enjoyment.