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Freud’s Chevy


When my husband Dirtman and I entered the second year of running our own business, it became apparent we were going to have to overturn a decision we made back when gas prices edged over two dollars a gallon (you remember – the good ol’ days?).
We had to buy an SUV.
Well, okay, so I was the one with the anti-SUV manifesto. Dirtman had long ago joined his fellow Americans in their automotive (and Freudian) philosophy that bigger is better.
In all fairness, he’d tolerated his old pickup much longer than was necessary in deference to my SUV boycott. Most of his work is done on undeveloped land where tow trucks won’t go and he has to carry delicate, bulky equipment with him. Even his pickup had a tendency to get stuck, not to mention that the equipment was exposed to the weather.
So when a shiny new Suburban in Virginia Tech maroon popped up in front of our local Chevrolet dealership, Dirtman was besotted. No longer could he hear my challenges that guys who buy big SUVs are compensating for what they lack elsewhere. He didn’t care that I called him “one of the sheep.” He didn’t even care that for me, at five feet tall, getting into the vehicle resembled climbing the face of El Capitan.

We’re talking a huge Chevy Suburban where the third bank seat in the back doesn’t even occupy the same zip code as the driver. You don’t park this sucker, you bring it in for a landing.
Now since I do all the driving for the family, you will rarely see us tooling around town in what resembles the Queen Mary. The fact is, you don’t “tool” in an SUV; you lumber.
Naturally the thing came loaded with features. We’ve owned it for two years and Dirtman will still fumble across a button he has not yet pushed and it will make something move that he didn’t know was movable. This delights him no end and he will lapse into raptures about the wonders of this automotive miracle.
I don’t drive the Suburban much, but I detect something more malevolent in its tyranny of stingily revealing itself a little at a time. When I attempt to adjust the seat to my five-foot stature, it constantly returns to accommodate Dirtman’s six-foot-one. I push the “Driver 2” button and she . . .er . . . it . . .jams me up against the steering wheel. I shoot a daggered glance at Dirtman. Just who is Driver 2? He shrugs.
Then there are the mirrors, which automatically move to Dirtman’s benefit, adjusting when he backs up. I, however, can barely reach the rearview mirror. When I attempt to back up, the little bitch swings her side mirrors down to the ground then shrieks like a big baby that I’m about to hurt her . . . uh . . . it comes with an impact alarm.
“Take it easy on my vehicle,” Dirtman scolds.
“I can’t see out because she’s…it’s…so fat…er…big,” I snarl.
My Subaru Outback, however, is a sensible, modest car. It does everything I need it to without being obvious or pretentious. Although marketed as an SUV, it’s only because of its dependability in all weather and road conditions.
Dirtman can’t understand how I can be happy with something so small. I point out to him that the Outback is very accommodating to my needs. Besides, I tell him, I don’t need to be driving around in some boy toy to feel validated. The Outback is all the ma . . . car . . . I need.
The next time Dirtman attacks my Outback I’m showing him the Visa bill. The Suburban has quite a guzzling problem.
The big tramp . . . camp-er.

Share  Posted by Jeanne Jackson at 2:46 PM | Permalink

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