Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Great Race

Occasionally Michelle and I will have to take two cars as we run errands or head out for the day, usually because of some unusual circumstance. Sometimes its Sunday morning at church when I have a meeting somewhere right after service, sometimes its out on errands because I need to swing by Home Depot and she has something earth-shatteringly important to get at Kohls after we see a movie.

Tonight, it was really unusual. Our van has taken ill. The transmission is bad, and a $3000+ repair bill awaits us at the end of the week. We headed out for softball games tonight all in one car (the 6 DigitalRich crew members), and planned on hooking up with my parents at the second game. They each drove their car to the game, and then gave one of them to Michelle to use for the week.

As we departed the last of two games around 9PM, Michelle was directly in front of me, and we kept it that way until we got to downtown Franklin. From there several routes are possible to reach our home, and often when these situations present themselves Michelle and I know exactly what to do. We race.

She takes one route; I take another, and most of the time I win. And I did again tonight. Sort of.

Michelle, pure and white as the wind-driven snow, always accuses me of secretly speeding when we are out of site of each other. She claims to always drive the speed limit. I believed her until tonight. Tonight I made a point of driving reasonably close to the limit. As I made my way through the side streets I hit each light just right, came to two stop signs with no other traffic, and made record time through town. I knew without a doubt I would win the great race.

As we made it through town and had to stop at the last light between us and home, Michelle was nowhere in site, and unless she took an obscure route, had to end up coming up behind me at some point. As we sat at the light and the cross traffic was moving through the intersection I felt the familiar warmth of assured victory flowing through my veins. The light turned yellow for cross-traffic, and readied to turn green for me. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a speed demon probably hitting just shy of 50MPH on the 30MPH street. As the car blew through the intersection, the light facing it turned red and mine turned green. I recognized the car- it was my dad’s Ford F150 being driven by my wife Michelle. She had beaten me. And she was speeding like a mad woman.

I turned through the intersection and took my humble second place position behind her for the remaining 8 miles of rural road before we got home. R, my 5 year old, was coming up with all sorts of solutions to help us still beat her. She wanted me to pass her over a double-yellow line. Then she suggested tearing through the grass in our yard when we got to our driveway (its 500 feet long). I told the girls it was over. We lost.

As we turned into our driveway behind Michelle a grinchy idea came to me. We circled around the front of the house and around the back to our garages in single-file, Michelle in the lead. When Michelle hit her garage door opener (she had taken it out of her van when we dropped it off at the shop), I hit mine too. And then I hit her button on my controller as well. Her door stopped halfway as mine opened all the way up. It took her too long to figure out what was happening. She thought something was wrong with the door, and sat 2 feet in front of it as I pulled in. It is well understood in our family that to win, you must pull INTO the garage all the way and turn the car off.

Victory is sweet.

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Liza on Maui said...

My husband and I many times drive separate cars. And I can relate a lot to this post :)

Michelle, I am rooting for you!

Unknown said...

Rich- you so did not beat me. you cheated! and I wasn't going 50 in a 30. i just sped up to make the light like you always do. i learn from the best! better luck next time honey:] Michelle