The lovely and long-suffering Miss Brenda and I celebrated the accumulation of 32 years of marital (ahem) bliss this past week. I often marvel that she put up with even 32 days of my shenanigans. I definitely got the better end of this partnership agreement!
For anniversary presents this year I got a tractor and a workshop, and Miss Brenda got a new car. While getting a new car is a significant emotional event for most everyone, in Miss Brenda's case it is both a rare treat and traumatic experience. She believes that when you buy a car, it becomes a member of the family; and, that such a purchase is a long-term commitment.
This tendency first manifested itself fully when we finally traded in her much used and teenage boy abused van on a new SUV for which our boys had lobbied hard and long ("Dad, when you see a family go by in a van, you say to yourself 'they're going somewhere'''--"when you see a family go by in an SUV, you say to yourself 'they're going somewhere and they are going to have fun when they get there!'"). Miss Brenda's van had carried kids and kit to untold sports practices and events, suffered the indignity of being the vehicle in which two teenagers learned to drive (with scars to testify), and bore all of this with grace and the good manners to not break down on long road trips between duty stations. For nearly ten years Miss Brenda's van endured and earned membership (if only in Miss Brenda's mind) in our clan. While I was in the salesman's office signing paperwork on the new vehicle, I looked out the window and burst out laughing.
Out in the parking lot Miss Brenda was hugging the van goodbye. I kid thee not.
Her current seven year old four-wheeled child is still with us despite having been replaced in Miss Brenda's half of the garage by a brand spanking new model. Miss Brenda wants to make sure it gets to a good family.