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The Backseat Driver

Well, it’s finally happened.

I’ve heard of the odd but true situation where dog owners and their dogs begin to look like each other. Watch the opening scenes of “101 Dalmatians” to see my research.

I know about the weird syndrome that occurs when a couple has been together so many years that she will sneeze and he will blow his nose.

But when I suddenly discovered one day that Hubby and I were holding a synchronized swimming performance in the car, I almost drove onto the sidewalk.

I am usually the family driver. You’ll see why in a moment.

Naturally, I look both ways before entering an intersection.

In tandem, so does Hubby; in the same sequence at the same speed.

“A car’s coming,” he’ll point out helpfully.

“Watch the bike,” he’ll mention, just in case.

We put our seat belts on, flip the sun visors down, and put on sunglasses simultaneously.

And the two-driver car pulls out onto the road.

“You want to be in the far left lane through this stretch of road,” he begins, “it moves faster at this time of day.”

Hubby is a backseat everything.

He drives me crazy even when we aren’t in the car.

His mind is a constant whirl of analytical hypothesis.

He will not hike with you and be admiring the wildflowers. He will be summing up the degrees of the slope we’re walking. He isn’t getting the groceries. He is comparison shopping between name brands and store brands and calculating the cost per ounce.

If you present him with a question, he will not give you an answer. He will ask you twenty questions in order to fully understand your original question before he takes a week to plot out a trajectory for his conclusions.

What if he worked for the Pope?

“Uh, Pontiff? I know you’re The Man and all, but you want to rethink that latest statement. Maybe for a decade or so.”

“Excuse me Mr. President? You absolutely do not want to push that button. We need to think through all of the ramifications and extrapolate probable results of this action over the next 50 years. Yes, I know Russia already pushed their button, but we just can’t be so hasty.”

“Little Timmy, are you sure you need the bathroom? How long ago did you use it? What have you been drinking since then? How much? The nearest bathrooms are ten, twenty, and fifty miles down the road. How long do you think you could hold it?”

When I drive, I am getting from Point A to Point B.

When Hubby drives, he has entered a video game.

He is constantly re-calculating the location of every other car on the road, their speeds, and the attitudes of the drivers.

God forbid anyone makes eye contact. It’s seen as a direct challenge and the game is on.

He is loudly backseat driving for them as well, although they don’t often know it.

If no one presents a driving game for Hubby, we are treated to a running commentary similar to tuning into an AM radio station. “News and weather together” every fifteen minutes.

“Boy, looks like it’s gonna be a hot day today. Look. The car already shows it’s 89 degrees out. I wonder if it will cool off closer to the coast? But I think we’ll get a santa ana before the end of the week. It’s just gonna get really hot. I’m guessing high 90s.”

On the up side, we always see the cops before they see us.

On the down low…we should probably just get swim caps and goggles if we want to pull this show off right.

Mine come with ear plugs.

Published inMarriage

One Comment

  1. Kiki Dulaney Kiki Dulaney

    This made me laugh because my husband does the same thing….however, I’m not nearly as nice when he does it as you appear to be. My common comment is, “Look, I’ve been driving for over 40 years and never had an accident. I think I know how to drive by now.” Thanks for my early morning smile 🙂

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