The Impending Trials Of Being A One Car Family

A Batmobile replica on display at Six Flags Great America, in front of Batman: The Ride. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We sold the Batmobile this week.

Parking in Gotham was just getting too hard, even though the old man did shed some unwanted Christmas kilos walking from whichever parking spot he could find in the next suburb.

So we have become a ‘one car family’. Which almost sounds as though we’ve suddenly become all environmentally kosher or Gillardesque and might be actively seeking to reduce our carbon footprint.

I’m afraid not.

It all started with the GROSS MISREPRESENTATION of the real estate agency who marketed our new rental property as having a double garage.

A ‘double’ garage for a Smart car or Mini, perhaps.

Or maybe they expected us to suspend one car from the rafters and breathe in really deeply whilst parking the other. We still wouldn’t have been able to open the doors, of course.

Yet our local council still rejected our application for a parking permit, which would have enabled us to PARK IN OUR STREET, (you can see how well I’ve accepted their decision and am not bitter at all). They then helpfully advised us to exchange our current cars for two Minis.

Serious f*cking compassion for the high rates we pay.

When you can’t beat the system, something inevitably has to give and so the old man has made the decision to cycle to work instead (*laughs hysterically*).

We give it a week.

Luckily he has a few other transport options at his disposal. As there is no doubt in my mind that the bike will be advertised on Gumtree by this time next week, I have supportively checked out both the ferry and train timetables. You do get choices in terms of transport closer to the city when you pay an exorbitantly ridiculous rent. He could even walk if he knew how to walk, (rather than that annoyingly slow shuffle he calls ‘walking’).

However, there are obvious pitfalls to us becoming a ‘one car family.’ Mainly because neither of us is very good at sharing.

The problem with him selling the Batmobile (aside from spoiling the fun Nerd Child and I used to have speeding around the city pretending to be Serena and Lily from Gossip Girl), is that we now have to rely on my old banger. The old man has always rather disingenuously referred to my car as ‘the pit’. If I had a dollar for every time he’s angrily glanced around at the chaos in my car, tutted in that disappointed way and said, ‘you haven’t really looked after your car, have you Lou?’ I’d have enough money to leave him by now.

(As a side note, can someone tell me exactly when our partners morph into our f*cking fathers?’)

I’m not proud of the state of my car, but unlike the Batmobile, my car serves as a multi-tasking family car which not only ferries teenagers, pets, furniture and garden clippings, but also handily doubles up as a rubbish bin when not in the vicinity of an alternative waste solution.

It is not a museum.

It is a compact car/trailer hybrid, that spends half its life trekking to the aforementioned waste disposal site to take all our f*cking leaves away (Marriage And The Secret To A Good Rake), and it does an admirable job and therefore should be appreciated, not criticised for it’s personal hygiene issues.

The old man’s car had remained in the same virginal state as the day he drove it off the dealer forecourt (promptly losing 20% of its value, two years ago). The words ‘pristine’ and ‘precious’ spring to mind, with its shiny black paintwork, ‘bone’ coloured interiors and seats that could be adjusted electronically. (The ADHDer particularly enjoyed adjusting those seats when the old man was driving).

No one was allowed in that car without a special pass or full body search. Including me.

I can’t remember a single family outing in that car when the old man didn’t lose his temper over the kids daring to breath on the leather interiors, touching the backs of the seats with their shoes or the dog catapulting herself out of the boot and clinging on to the seat backs with her claws as she fell to the floor. I remember borrowing it once and allowing the kids to eat Maccas in the back – the old man couldn’t even look at me for a week.

So sharing MY car should add an interesting dimension to our relationship. We will need some rules, like NOT GETTING ANAL OVER UNIMPORTANT THINGS, not SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF, LIVING a little.

We have already created a booking system where I have been forced to introduce a ‘sexual favours’ column just to get access to my car. And as we will be spending more time together in the car now, there will be the increased opportunity for back seat driving, (which is up there with ‘spending too much money’ in terms of potential for creating marital friction).

The old man drives like…. well, an old man. When we first arrived in Australia he stupidly accumulated ten points driving like some middle-aged hoon, which forced him to rethink his driving skills for fear of either a) losing his license, or worse b) having to mix with the proletariat on the bus.

Having driven executive cars for a long time, he also can’t park to save his life. He has become completely reliant upon the Batmobile’s new-fangled reverse camera. When he drives my car I have to get out of the car to navigate him into a spot – like middle-aged people do.

Interestingly, the only damage I have on my car currently was from the time that he reversed down a sloping drive in the dark, taking out a friend’s mailbox.

Sharing one car now could turn out to be almost as exhilarating as sharing one bed.

#carbonfootprint #car #onecarfamily #middleage #driving #environment #Familycar #Batmobile

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