Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Captive Bonding

I held him captive for almost a week before he managed to rid himself of me. I had my way with him and for that time, there wasn’t much he was able to do about it. I even thought we were growing closer.

It all started when the husband brought home a new engine for his ’69 Camaro. The engine sat in the garage on an engine stand. Sometimes it was suspended from some sort of mini-crane contraption. Apparently, it is very time consuming to put a new engine in a car. Apparently, it is very complicated. So the garage is where the husband began spending all of his time.

Without me.

I complained using my best insecure, clingy wife impression.

He shrugged without feeling and said, “You’re welcome to join me in the garage.”

So, despite the cold and despite the funny smells, I grabbed a sweatshirt and wandered out to the garage. I sat down on the wooden step.

He tinkered.

I talked.

It didn’t take me long to realize my new power. He wasn’t going anywhere. He was my captive audience. It was my dream.

So talk I did. I told him all about my day. I told him about the neighbors. I told him about the neighbors’ day. I over analyzed the cats and under analyzed the teenager and the boy. I told him what appetizer I was bringing to the party. I talked about my new shoes and Guns and Roses and organic lawn fertilizer and the Middle East and potato salad recipes.

And because he grunted back at mostly appropriate times I knew he was listening. We were bonding. I was overjoyed. I knew we were growing closer to each other.

Soon though, he started to talk while he tinkered. He didn’t take long to realize his new power. He knew I wanted to be with him and that I wasn’t going anywhere. I was his captive audience. It was his gearhead dream.

So talk he did. He told me about rocker arms. He told me about flex plates. He told me about push rods and lifters. He overanalyzed things like gaskets and seals and timing. He under analyzed the many pretty colors I thought he should paint the car. He told me what horsepower he’d be bringing to the track. He talked about tenths of seconds and blowers and valve stem length and bolt patterns and fuel mixture recipes.

And because I grunted back at mostly appropriate times he thought I was listening. He thought we were bonding. And he was overjoyed because the whole time he was getting closer...to finishing the car.

He held me captive for quite some time. He had his gearhead way with me and there wasn’t much I could do about it.

I escaped my captivity when I went in the house to make dinner.

And of course, I also had to research paint jobs for a ’69 Camaro.

The next time I found myself sitting on that wooden step I told the husband all about pearls and metallics. I told him about ghost flames and fade aways. I told him about Chameleons and overlays and airbrushing. I overanalyzed the differences between black, galaxy grey, platinum, charcoal and titanium. He grunted back at mostly appropriate times.

And I just knew we were bonding.

Check This Out!

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid is a well reviewed book full of quietly approaching tensions and questions that arise somewhat unexpectedly. A young Pakistani man educated in America and living the American dream finds his life suddenly overturned in the wake of September 11. I found it to be an uneasy, smart book that might just have raised more questions than it answered.

And finally, after mucho peer suggestion, I have read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I had been putting off reading this book for quite some time. I read very little fiction and had no desire to read a book about elephants or the circus or the early 20th century time period. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I could NOT put it down. I neglected the family for this book. I can’t believe I waited so long to read it. Major book withdrawal afterwards….sigh.


Anonymous said...

Read this to the boy last night and we both got a good laugh out of it. :) I know you don't talk about the neighbors in the blog... but now you get to talk about them in the garage.

Anonymous said...

My husband thinks we should bond over Warcraft. NOT!

Anonymous said...

So what do you like to put in your potato salad recipe????

Melissa said...

One fun tip: start by marinating your just cooked potatoes in pickle juice.

Anonymous said...

Forget the potato salad...what kind of gearing does he have in that Camaro....?