The Driving Force

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We all know that I love Lovie. And how could I not? There’s just something about her. Anyone who knows Lovie would agree that she possesses an indescribable sweetness, channeled by a heart that is both pure and true. Seldom does a bad thought ever cross her mind. She’s a positive force who is filled with such earnest and good intentions that people can actually sense it. Animals, too. Birds stop chirping and squirrels take a break from their nuts just to catch a glimpse of my beautiful wife whenever she happens upon them.

Knoxville, we have a problem.

But such inter-species tranquility does not mean that my wife is without flaw. One of them? She’s among the worst drivers in the history of organized driving. Honestly? It’s astonishing. And the fact that she drives a big-ass Denali loaded with the tumultuous trio and an eight-year-old doesn’t exactly help. For not only is she driving a vehicle that rivals a Sherman Tank in bulk, but she’s also doing so while handing out passies to toddlers, helping Pookie with her homework, and rocking the occasional call on her cell–all over the deafening din emitted by that red, furry anti-Christ, Elmo, along with his gang of equally annoying and off-key-singing buddies.

If only Lovie’s enormous vehicle had an outer body constructed of nerf, and the driver/passenger seats were enclosed by a NASCAR-designed roll cage, maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t worry each and every time she hits the road. But I do worry, and so should you. So allow me to impart the following advice to those who share our local roads.

If you see Lovie barreling down the street, you must remember two things. First, it’s usually parking lots which trip her up, so you’re probably okay. But second, remain calm, and, as if Lovie were a firetruck, slow down and pull over as far as you can to the right until Lovie has lumbered on by. Then and only then should you continue along your merry way.

But if you’re in a parking lot, God help you. For like a drunk cat with no whiskers, little Lovie, in her colossal car, has no dependable spacial-sensing mechanism–her mere judgment, woefully inadequate. As such, she is not afraid to feel her way through a tight spot with a bump here or a nudge there. While not exactly life-threatening, Lovie’s parking lot shenanigans are the stuff of legend, most of said shenanigans exacting a toll just below our deductible, ultimately rendering our insurance impotent and our wallets a few-hundred dollars lighter.

But she is getting better. In fact, it’s been quite a while since her last parking-lot escapade. Until the other day, that is, when she came home with a little token of appreciation she had received from a fellow motorist.

“Can you believe this woman?” Lovie asked indignantly while showing me the note.

Um, what rhymes with “guess?”

I’m in a tough spot, here. Common sense (along with past empirical evidence) strongly suggests that Lovie parked poorly. But chivalry demands that I defend her honor.

SO, Ms. Note Writer–in the unlikely event you are reading this modest effort, please know that I am none too pleased with the sarcastic and ugly message that you left Lovie. Number one, who has the time to write such nasty remarks in the middle of a busy day? Next time you’re out, may I suggest you swing by Walmart and pick up a life? OH, and you might wanna fill that prescription for the anti-passive-aggressive meds your head doctor has undoubtedly provided you.

And number two, what we’ve got here in Lovie is really nothing more than a garden-variety shitty driver. Was she a little close to you? I’m quite certain she was. Was it difficult to get your kids in? Undoubtedly. But is that any reason to lose your marbles? Might I suggest, instead, that next time you be more prepared? A giant tub of Vaseline and an extra-large shoe horn would have made your child-loading riddle much easier to solve.

Sincerely,

The Man Who Still Loves Lovie.

PS–perhaps you’ll take solace in knowing that your communiqué has made our Wall of Shame alongside another embarassing piece of documentation.

Wall of Shame: JCO 1, Lovie 1

There. That should do it.

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About john cave osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as DisneyBaby, Babble, YahooShine, TLC and the Huffington Post. He was also referenced by Jezebel one time, but he’s pretty sure they were making fun of him. He and his wife, Caroline, live with their five children and spastic dog in Knoxville, TN. Nothing annoys him more than joke-heavy bios written in the third person, with the possible exception of Corey Feldman.

  • http://thecheekofgod.wordpress.com tysdaddy

    I wonder . . . was there a gaggle of kids hanging out around your car when Lovie got back? I mean . . . if the poor lady couldn’t get them in, she must have just left them there, right? And what, pray tell, were the kids doing while that poor lady took the time to craft such a clever note? Were they running around in traffic? Kicking your tires? Better check that . . .

    😉

    Some people . . .

  • http://thecheekofgod.wordpress.com tysdaddy

    I wonder . . . was there a gaggle of kids hanging out around your car when Lovie got back? I mean . . . if the poor lady couldn’t get them in, she must have just left them there, right? And what, pray tell, were the kids doing while that poor lady took the time to craft such a clever note? Were they running around in traffic? Kicking your tires? Better check that . . .

    😉

    Some people . . .

  • http://www.tempestbeauty.com Mandy

    Oh dear… Oh Lovie. You are doomed by your ovaries. :/

    My dear, sweet, loving father taught me from the cradle that women were terrible drivers, often using my mother as an example. I lived up to his expectations.

    Upon driving my first car home from the lot, I was so impressed with myself I attempted to back the car into the parking spot. I promptly removed the driver’s side mirror from the car. I have never again since tried to reverse my car into ANY position.

    However, I’m not entirely parking lot challenged. I have yet to receive any windshield hate-mail.

    Love the Wall of Shame, btw. Keep at it Lovie, you’ll get it eventually! :)

  • http://www.tempestbeauty.com Mandy

    Oh dear… Oh Lovie. You are doomed by your ovaries. :/

    My dear, sweet, loving father taught me from the cradle that women were terrible drivers, often using my mother as an example. I lived up to his expectations.

    Upon driving my first car home from the lot, I was so impressed with myself I attempted to back the car into the parking spot. I promptly removed the driver’s side mirror from the car. I have never again since tried to reverse my car into ANY position.

    However, I’m not entirely parking lot challenged. I have yet to receive any windshield hate-mail.

    Love the Wall of Shame, btw. Keep at it Lovie, you’ll get it eventually! :)

  • http://www.fabricmarketknoxville.com/blog Laura Higdon

    That’s okay, Lovie. Parking lots tripped me up when I drove a tank too. My altercations were minor and in Walmart’s parking lot. I once backed the tank out of the parking space and into a lady who thought her 25 year old mini-truck might blow up b/c the dent I made was a few inches from her gas tank opening. I’m sure she didn’t have her truck repaired with the $500 check she received from my insurance company.

    Carry on, Osbornes! Y’all are doing just fine.

  • http://www.fabricmarketknoxville.com/blog Laura Higdon

    That’s okay, Lovie. Parking lots tripped me up when I drove a tank too. My altercations were minor and in Walmart’s parking lot. I once backed the tank out of the parking space and into a lady who thought her 25 year old mini-truck might blow up b/c the dent I made was a few inches from her gas tank opening. I’m sure she didn’t have her truck repaired with the $500 check she received from my insurance company.

    Carry on, Osbornes! Y’all are doing just fine.

  • http://www.holymolytoledos.blogspot.com Susy

    Oh my!! I seem to think I’m a great driver, w/ the exception of RANDOM trees I back into or dolfin mailboxes that stick out way too much in to the street. But Lovie should keep TRUCKING – nevermind those people that share the roads w/ her. She’s doing fine!! And p.s. I tagged you in my blog, but I’m just realizing how that it’s a chick on the picture.. no offense. 😉

  • http://www.holymolytoledos.blogspot.com Susy

    Oh my!! I seem to think I’m a great driver, w/ the exception of RANDOM trees I back into or dolfin mailboxes that stick out way too much in to the street. But Lovie should keep TRUCKING – nevermind those people that share the roads w/ her. She’s doing fine!! And p.s. I tagged you in my blog, but I’m just realizing how that it’s a chick on the picture.. no offense. 😉

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    If I was down your way I might confess to having written that note. Of course the penmanship and lack of salty and colorful language is proof that I did not.

    But I must confess that upon occasion I have left a note or two for other drivers. In some cases I have composed an outstanding letter of complaint in which I made it clear just how wrong they were.

    Of course since the penmanship was so poor they didn’t read a work of art but saw something instead that made as much sense as &#@^%T# the car should RW^@$^@%3 ….

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    If I was down your way I might confess to having written that note. Of course the penmanship and lack of salty and colorful language is proof that I did not.

    But I must confess that upon occasion I have left a note or two for other drivers. In some cases I have composed an outstanding letter of complaint in which I made it clear just how wrong they were.

    Of course since the penmanship was so poor they didn’t read a work of art but saw something instead that made as much sense as &#@^%T# the car should RW^@$^@%3 ….

  • http://www.havingtwinsnow.com joel

    hahaha. women, cant insure em. can’t lock em in the basement. can’t physically reprimand them. can’t throw lunch meat at them. can’t stand on their toes and call it a MANicure. can’t ridicule their cooking even though its delicious but when you tried to make the same thing it came out crappy. can’t, well… i think you know where im going with this.

    women.

    and i like the shotgun on your shirt.

    polo horses, penguins and crests are dumb compared to a nice pump action shotty on the manbreast

  • http://www.havingtwinsnow.com joel

    hahaha. women, cant insure em. can’t lock em in the basement. can’t physically reprimand them. can’t throw lunch meat at them. can’t stand on their toes and call it a MANicure. can’t ridicule their cooking even though its delicious but when you tried to make the same thing it came out crappy. can’t, well… i think you know where im going with this.

    women.

    and i like the shotgun on your shirt.

    polo horses, penguins and crests are dumb compared to a nice pump action shotty on the manbreast

  • http://sahdpdx.wordpress.com gylcol

    Way to step up and do the right thing defending this clear case of harassment that in no way is tied to any real life evidence to the contrary ;). your a good man

  • http://sahdpdx.wordpress.com gylcol

    Way to step up and do the right thing defending this clear case of harassment that in no way is tied to any real life evidence to the contrary ;). your a good man

  • Nicki

    My notes generally appear on those “mid-life crisis” cars – the bright candy a$$, I mean apple, red sports cars that someone thinks should be parked in four spots and at least another four left empty so no dings become it. I like to push my cart over close and leave it there some days when I am truly feeling evil! 😉

  • Nicki

    My notes generally appear on those “mid-life crisis” cars – the bright candy a$$, I mean apple, red sports cars that someone thinks should be parked in four spots and at least another four left empty so no dings become it. I like to push my cart over close and leave it there some days when I am truly feeling evil! 😉

  • Deborah

    Ed loved the blog about Lovie and I know it was because he just kept thinking – my wife too!!!

    What good daddies you all were for enduring the pre-school camp out. At least you’ll always have a story to tell and something to laugh about — not that you need either :)

  • Deborah

    Ed loved the blog about Lovie and I know it was because he just kept thinking – my wife too!!!

    What good daddies you all were for enduring the pre-school camp out. At least you’ll always have a story to tell and something to laugh about — not that you need either :)

  • http://clarkkentslunchbox.blogspot.com/ Clark Kent’s Lunchbox

    You are a brave man. I thought many times of writing a post about one of my wife’s enduring quirks, but held off after she threatened to expose a few of mine. She is persuasive when she wants to be.

    Funny story & the family gallery, I predict, will fill up quite quickly.

  • http://clarkkentslunchbox.blogspot.com/ Clark Kent’s Lunchbox

    You are a brave man. I thought many times of writing a post about one of my wife’s enduring quirks, but held off after she threatened to expose a few of mine. She is persuasive when she wants to be.

    Funny story & the family gallery, I predict, will fill up quite quickly.

  • http://www.almightydad.com Keith Wilcox

    I’ve left notes like that on other people’s cars because it really is inconsiderate to park badly. If it’s a bad job then it can be easily corrected by looking before walking away from the car. If it’s something that happens often enough then I’d probably make a habit of checking to make sure I’m not giving anybody else a hard time because of my parking. I’ve made mistakes before without noticing, sure. But when I know I park badly I always pull out again and make it right.

    So, at the risk of going against the flow here, I’d have to say I don’t blame the note poster at all. She probably really did have a hard time getting into her car with her kids. Why should anybody tell her to suck it up? She has as much a right to a good shopping experience as Lovie.

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com johncaveosborne

      @keith thanks for stopping by! all very tongue and cheek, my friend. i don’t blame the note-writer. there was a very legit gripe, as evidenced by my preposterous suggestion of carrying Vaseline and an extra large shoe horn to assist in the future.

      that said, such a note is not my style. but i gather from jack’s comment that it might be his. which is cool. jack’s one of my favorite bloggers. he’s a great guy and though i’ve never met him IRL, i consider him a friend. i’m good with him, or you, or anyone else feeling compelled to leave such a note. just like i’m good with poking a little fun at it.

      where you lose me is in your last sentence. this has far less to do with being inconsiderate than it does with being a less-than-great driver.

      • http://www.almightydad.com Keith Wilcox

        I hear ya, John. I was just saying that we all have things we sorta suck at and those things require special effort to overcome. My last sentence was trying to convey that by having a difficult time getting into her car the other driver’s shopping experience was not optimal. She felt slighted because of a poor parking job that, while not intentional, infringed on her right to an equal amount of space to park and equal enjoyment of her environment. This is the same argument the airlines use to bar overweight people from flights. Big people, like big cars, don’t mean to spill into the next space, and they aren’t bad people, but they do take up more than their share of their surrounding and impinge on the rights of others. I sympathize with the difficulty in parking a big-ass car (I have one too) but perhaps that handicap requires an extra effort that say the driver of a Honda Accord with three screaming kids wouldn’t have to endure.

      • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

        I appreciate the kind words. It is true, I am a grumpy old man so I have been known to leave a note now and then. Although truth be told it takes a lot these days to get me to do it.

        Usually it requires some sort of confirmation that they could have parked otherwise and didn’t. Nicki’s comment addressed one such example.

  • http://www.almightydad.com Keith Wilcox

    I’ve left notes like that on other people’s cars because it really is inconsiderate to park badly. If it’s a bad job then it can be easily corrected by looking before walking away from the car. If it’s something that happens often enough then I’d probably make a habit of checking to make sure I’m not giving anybody else a hard time because of my parking. I’ve made mistakes before without noticing, sure. But when I know I park badly I always pull out again and make it right.

    So, at the risk of going against the flow here, I’d have to say I don’t blame the note poster at all. She probably really did have a hard time getting into her car with her kids. Why should anybody tell her to suck it up? She has as much a right to a good shopping experience as Lovie.

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com johncaveosborne

      @keith thanks for stopping by! all very tongue and cheek, my friend. i don’t blame the note-writer. there was a very legit gripe, as evidenced by my preposterous suggestion of carrying Vaseline and an extra large shoe horn to assist in the future.

      that said, such a note is not my style. but i gather from jack’s comment that it might be his. which is cool. jack’s one of my favorite bloggers. he’s a great guy and though i’ve never met him IRL, i consider him a friend. i’m good with him, or you, or anyone else feeling compelled to leave such a note. just like i’m good with poking a little fun at it.

      where you lose me is in your last sentence. this has far less to do with being inconsiderate than it does with being a less-than-great driver.

      • http://www.almightydad.com Keith Wilcox

        I hear ya, John. I was just saying that we all have things we sorta suck at and those things require special effort to overcome. My last sentence was trying to convey that by having a difficult time getting into her car the other driver’s shopping experience was not optimal. She felt slighted because of a poor parking job that, while not intentional, infringed on her right to an equal amount of space to park and equal enjoyment of her environment. This is the same argument the airlines use to bar overweight people from flights. Big people, like big cars, don’t mean to spill into the next space, and they aren’t bad people, but they do take up more than their share of their surrounding and impinge on the rights of others. I sympathize with the difficulty in parking a big-ass car (I have one too) but perhaps that handicap requires an extra effort that say the driver of a Honda Accord with three screaming kids wouldn’t have to endure.

      • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

        I appreciate the kind words. It is true, I am a grumpy old man so I have been known to leave a note now and then. Although truth be told it takes a lot these days to get me to do it.

        Usually it requires some sort of confirmation that they could have parked otherwise and didn’t. Nicki’s comment addressed one such example.

  • http://www.knoxvillerapp.com Catherine

    I’m with @Keith on this one. I think it’s incredibly sweet to defend your wife, but it IS inconsiderate. It’s not that she CAN’T park, it’s that she doesn’t want to take the time to do it right. That’s the difference. If we were talking about something difficult or required skill, like calculus or hiking the Appalachian Trail, I’d give her a pass, but either she needs to lose the tank or take a couple of extra seconds to straighten out. YMMV, though, you need to keep the peace, I’m sure. As they say, if mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy!

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com johncaveosborne

      hi catherine. thanks for your remarks! i wanted to respond to one part of your comment.

      “If we were talking about something difficult or required skill…”

      um, have you ever tried to park a big-ass car in a tiny space with three screaming two year olds? b/c that, to me, is something that’s difficult and requires skill.

  • http://www.knoxvillerapp.com Catherine

    I’m with @Keith on this one. I think it’s incredibly sweet to defend your wife, but it IS inconsiderate. It’s not that she CAN’T park, it’s that she doesn’t want to take the time to do it right. That’s the difference. If we were talking about something difficult or required skill, like calculus or hiking the Appalachian Trail, I’d give her a pass, but either she needs to lose the tank or take a couple of extra seconds to straighten out. YMMV, though, you need to keep the peace, I’m sure. As they say, if mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy!

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com johncaveosborne

      hi catherine. thanks for your remarks! i wanted to respond to one part of your comment.

      “If we were talking about something difficult or required skill…”

      um, have you ever tried to park a big-ass car in a tiny space with three screaming two year olds? b/c that, to me, is something that’s difficult and requires skill.

  • http://richmondzoo.blogspot.com Captain Dumbass

    Just trying to imagine my wife driving a Denali. And shuddering.

  • http://richmondzoo.blogspot.com Captain Dumbass

    Just trying to imagine my wife driving a Denali. And shuddering.

  • http://surprisedmom.blogspot.com SurprisedMom

    You are a wonderful husband for sticking up for your wife, no matter what you think of her driving or parking. And I had to look up Denali cars. Wow! Those are some huge cars!

  • http://surprisedmom.blogspot.com SurprisedMom

    You are a wonderful husband for sticking up for your wife, no matter what you think of her driving or parking. And I had to look up Denali cars. Wow! Those are some huge cars!

  • http://bwakeling.wordpress.com bwakeling

    “For like a drunk cat with no whiskers, little Lovie, in her colossal car, has no dependable spacial-sensing mechanism–her mere judgment, woefully inadequate.”

    Classic!! Love your blog!! Good to see another daddy blogger around!

  • http://bwakeling.wordpress.com bwakeling

    “For like a drunk cat with no whiskers, little Lovie, in her colossal car, has no dependable spacial-sensing mechanism–her mere judgment, woefully inadequate.”

    Classic!! Love your blog!! Good to see another daddy blogger around!

  • http://liayf.blogspot.com Seattledad (Luke, I am Your Fa

    Oh man, I bet you are getting the icy shoulder! Some of us prefer the white knuckles to the public pronouncements. lol.

    If you need a couch for a couple of night, my cats will share.

    Funny stuff.

  • http://liayf.blogspot.com Seattledad (Luke, I am Your Father)

    Oh man, I bet you are getting the icy shoulder! Some of us prefer the white knuckles to the public pronouncements. lol.

    If you need a couch for a couple of night, my cats will share.

    Funny stuff.

  • http://www.realmendriveminivans.com PJ Mullen

    I don’t leave notes, I key cars :)

    The only people who can’t park that grind my gears are people that should know better. Like Miata drivers. I once saw a Miata taking up one and a half spaces. Seriously? That would fit in the back of my minivan. I nearly rammed it out of spite.

    I always tell my wife that one day I’m going to plunk down $500 for a ’68 Caprice do just that.

  • http://www.realmendriveminivans.com PJ Mullen

    I don’t leave notes, I key cars :)

    The only people who can’t park that grind my gears are people that should know better. Like Miata drivers. I once saw a Miata taking up one and a half spaces. Seriously? That would fit in the back of my minivan. I nearly rammed it out of spite.

    I always tell my wife that one day I’m going to plunk down $500 for a ’68 Caprice do just that.

  • http://worldofweasels.blogspot.com WeaselMomma

    I love it. Proud Moments in Marriage.
    I wonder what the purpose of the note was supposed to be.

  • http://worldofweasels.blogspot.com WeaselMomma

    I love it. Proud Moments in Marriage.
    I wonder what the purpose of the note was supposed to be.

  • Frank

    I have to say, that it is ME who is at fault when I am driving my wife’s Sequoia. Every time I park, I look like one of those drivers who wants to take up two spaces on purpose. (Like it was an ’84 Trans Am-with the Recardo seat package)..But in your sweet wife’s defense, those suckers are hard to park..They could have had a stand in role in the movie “Convoy.”

  • Frank

    I have to say, that it is ME who is at fault when I am driving my wife’s Sequoia. Every time I park, I look like one of those drivers who wants to take up two spaces on purpose. (Like it was an ’84 Trans Am-with the Recardo seat package)..But in your sweet wife’s defense, those suckers are hard to park..They could have had a stand in role in the movie “Convoy.”

  • http://putonweight.me/ Franklyn Moranda

    great post thanks a ton

  • http://putonweight.me/ Franklyn Moranda

    great post thanks a ton