The Difference Between Love and Like
I took two of my sons to Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ when they were 10 and 12. Jackson is a 3 hour drive from my house; it is a rural area. I was driving our new Cadillac Escalade, which had a GPS monitor. It was my first experience in a car with a GPS. The Escalade was 2 weeks old. The boys and I left the amusement park at 9:30 p.m.; it was dark. I needed to get onto the parkway, driving on the local highway. I had set the GPS for “home”, but was looking on the right for the green sign for the parkway entrance that I knew would be coming up. I’m usually very good at multi-tasking; it is an acquired skill of motherhood. I darted my eyes continually….to the GPS, to the side of the road for the sign, to the traffic in front of me….it was nerve racking. The trees were overgrown and all signage on the side of the road was barely visible.
Of course. I was darting those eyes of mine, and BOOM! I hit the car in front of me. I did not realize that he had come to a dead stop. I wasn’t driving fast since I was trolling looking for the darn sign.
POPPPPPPPPP! The airbags explode out in the front seat; my older son is in the front passenger seat. The car smells like it’s on fire. There is a foggy smoke in the car from the airbags. I immediately ask the boys if they are ok. Yes, yes….Mom? Are you ok? What happened? I hit the car in front of me….stay here, leave your seat belt on and I’ll be right back. I get out and run to the car I hit. “Omg, I’m so so so very sorry, are you ok?” …..and the I see…there is an infant in a child seat in the back. Oh fuck fuck fuck.
Oh my lord. Oh oh oh. “Oh dear lord, is the baby ok? Oh no! It’s my fault, I was looking for the parkway entrance, I’m driving an unfamiliar vehicle…I’ll call a police officer…should I call an ambulance? Oh my God, I’m so deeply sorry.” It was a young couple…the man was driving and the woman was in the back with the infant. He said, “relax, we are all fine, but it is a good idea to call the police to get a report.” I walk back to my car and as I pass, I see our two cars. I hit an older Honda Civic. He has absolutely ZERO DAMAGE! My Escalade? Damn piece of shit fiberglass. FRONT OF THE CAR IS COMPLETELY CRUNCHED UP LIKE AN ACCORDIAN. I get in the car with my sons. They are ok. Mom, what are we going to do? Its ok boys, I’m going to take care of everything. The ONSTAR is calling me inside the car. Hello? Hello? Mrs. Treubig? We see you’ve had an accident; we are sending help now (holy moly, thank you!). I thank the operator profusely. I open the car windows to alleviate the smoke but we keep our seatbelts on…I’ve read stories where a parked car, waiting for police, has been slammed….I’m trying to be smart….a bit after the fact. Oh I’m so grateful that my sons are not upset. Thank you God.
The police arrive. One officer speaks with me; one speaks with the other driver. We provide all details. Ready for this…..the other driver’s car is completely COMPLETELY FINE! The officer tells him, we have all the necessary details sir, you may leave. And he does. Again, I am thanking God in my head that the child is unhurt. Oh thank you , thank you, thank you.
The police were very kind. However, my car is completely not drivable and must be towed away.
I call my husband. He is sleeping. I AM NOT KIDDING! I tell him, honey, I had a car accident a few miles from Great Adventure and the air bags went off, etc. His exact first words “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?” ….. not, are you okay, are the kids okay? NOPE! And, as we talked about the events, he never ONCE asked about our physical or emotional state. I told him, I can’t drive home. The police gave me the name of a tow service; I’ll have it towed back to our repair guy. My husband says nothing.
Babe? Babe….how are we going to get home? “Well, you figure it out”, he says. So, the police wait for the tow service to take my car; I call a car service and wait 45 minutes on the side of the rural road with my young boys for a car. We sit like zombies in the car ride home. I get home….that motherfucker husband is sleeping. Nice, huh?
The cost to fix the Escalade, which was $55,000 two weeks ago to purchase, is $10,000
I never said anything about this SHIT behavior. But I forget nothing.
I had the Escalade repaired; Chris griped about it for a while, and I said nothing.
I often refer to Chris and I as “The Bickersons”….we bicker, bicker, bicker. We also have great, engaging conversations about topical events. He is extremely intelligent, which is a primary reason that I married him; beauty fades, stupid is forever. But he is moody and high-maintenance.
A few years passed and we had a huge fight. I insisted he come with me to see my therapist, or that we go together to some therapist. Chris does not believe in therapy but he acquiesced.
Susan, my therapist, asked Chris….do you love Kathleen? Chris answered, I love her as much as I can love anything….
So, I answered….Yes, I do NOT FORGET! I said, let me explain LOVE! Love is when your wife is stranded at 10:30 pm in a rural area with two children after a serious car accident and you get your ass out of bed and go and get her; love is when your wife calls to tell you she’s been in a car accident, your first question is “are you okay”, love is that you are awake when your wife returns home from the car accident with the children to offer some comfort.
The therapist looked at Chris. She asked, is that true? Is that what happened? He shot me a look. Yes, he said.
So, I said, that is the difference between LOVE AND LIKE ASSHOLE! I guess you simply like having me around when you feel like it but you certainly don’t love me. Susan said nothing. Chris said, I don’t want to talk about it.
We left the therapist’s office. We never talked about it again. He knows how I feel. He knows what he did makes him a shit. But it’s too late. The horse is out of the barn and the farm is sold.