Is It Just a Car Thing or Are Men Really From Another Planet?

On Friday evening, still reeling from the extortionate price of a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc in our local Budgens (a supermarket one only goes to for wine if personal stocks have evaporated and you are late for dinner), Mr Carmichael and I headed off on a double date with friends and a takeaway curry.

Mr C was at the helm so by proxy I was too. It’s always safer if not at all relaxing. I find another pair of eyes and breaking foot imperative. My husband does not concur. In fact he gets very cross if I correct, criticise, brace myself or God forbid, gasp. It’s just something we disagree upon.

We stopped at the T junction in the centre of our village, not only because someone was on the pedestrian crossing and Mr Carmichael had seen him without prompting but because of the deafening roar coming from our right.

hands up who likes this (
hands up if you like this because I don’t (

I though of planes crashing (we’re not too far from Heathrow). I wondered if a train was about to tumble off the bridge beside us. Or maybe the Moscow meteor hadn’t all come to earth in the Russian Steppes. I jerked my head to look and almost missed a silver streak as it zoomed across our headlights. I gasped a non-confrontational and therefore permissible gasp and we turned right towards our papadums, chicken madras, sag aloo and Peshwari nan as a boy racer careered up the hill towards a 20mph zone.

Editor’s note: mrscarmichael is not in a position to confirm it was a ‘boy’ at the wheel.

Oh, please? Don’t even go there, Ed.

“I’m asking you this because I’d really like to know. I don’t want to start anything but what did you think when you saw that car?” I asked.

Mr C looked at me.

“Eyes on the road, please. No, it’s a genuine question although I do think I know the answer.”  The last portion of the sentence was sotto voce I admit.

“He’s enjoying himself.”

Author’s note: See, Ed even my man assumes a male driver.

“I think it might be a Noble but I’m not sure about the fairing. Have you heard of them? It’s an English make.”

What have I started? And notice that he hasn’t asked what I thought because of course he knows what I think.

I thought,” I said, ” I thought, what a wanker!”

“He isn’t hurting anyone. He must live round here.”

“Let’s hope not (hurting anyone) and let’s hope not (living around here). I think it’s truly embarrassing,” I replied.

“I wish we’d never sold the Porsche.”

Oh good Lord, what have I started? He’s forgotten that we were fighting each other not to drive it by the end, so hard was the ride and so difficult, nay impossible was it to fit four carseats in.

“I just don’t get racing cars on the road. If you rock up one day with a convertible Maserati I’ll let you give me a set of keys,” I said confident in the fact this will never happen.

not too scruffy (
not too scruffy (

And the girls don’t need car seats anymore. Perfect.

“Or a Bentley. What about a Bentley?”

But I know what he wants,  what he really, really wants, what he starts mumbling about every time he crosses a decade boundary.

“If I ever had the money ………..”

a red Ferrari (
a red Ferrari (

He wants this to drive to London in the rush hour, to cram golf clubs into a miniscule boot on a Summer’s eve, to transport the one remaining dog to walks on the common and to pour all his disposable income into the fuel tank.

Well, it ain’t happening, Mister. Not on my watch and not, I’m afraid, in your lifetime.

We got to our friends house without mishap. We enjoyed a very yummy curry. We did not speak about cars again that night. I drive a Fiat 500

good enough for me and the boy (mrscarmichael)
good enough for me and the boy (mrscarmichael)

and yesterday morning Mr Carmichael woke me overwhelmed with the news that on the way to get the Sunday papers he had tracked the silver streak down to a neighbouring street and that it is indeed a Noble. It was 7.30 am.

Men really are from Mars and, on occasion, I wish they’d go back for a sabbatical.


31 thoughts on “Is It Just a Car Thing or Are Men Really From Another Planet?

  1. With all due respect, and tongue firmly planted in cheek; we (men) occasionally do retreat to remote rocky worlds. Sophisticated probes will inevitably arrive, trundling around on the surface looking for a spot to drill into.

      1. Ah, you’ve found that soft sediment where indeed there may be signs of life… -chuckle-
        I was simply reacting to your wish that I go there…

  2. Yeah, I don’t get the car thing. To me, it’s the biggest positive to living in NY, I don’t have to drive, and I don’t. Some cars are nice, or sexy looking, but not worth it to me. Once upon a lifetime, I had a ’66 Mustang. My friends loved me because I was always happy to let them drive it. 😀

  3. I admit that I do enjoy ‘Top Gear’, though I would never consider buying a car that would be on the show. My car is a boring 12 year old Subaru with more than 200,000 miles. I’m hoping it makes it to 300,000.

  4. Like the sabbatical idea. I’m sometimes tempted to stuff Mr Eda in a box and mail him to Timbuktu…with insufficient postage so he’d eventually be returned. I agree with Mrs Fringe–one great advantage to living in Tokyo is one needn’t drive. The only car I ever owned was a 1974 Super Beetle.

  5. Don’t worry, we’re not all like that. A car, to me, is a mere means of transportation. I like it clean and looking good (as in: not really scratched/dented), but that’s all. After that, practicality comes before aesthetics :).

  6. It IS a man thing, tho Mr Litlove adheres to different male rules, being keen to count shekels in, but not out. The mere thought of the insurance on something like that would probably give him a stroke. Personally, I drive the ultimate granny-mobile, a Honda Jazz. My mother-in-law has very strong feelings about testosterone on the road. She told me proudly that at a dinner party, she’d said to the annoying man beside her who felt it was perfectly okay to do 40 in a 30 zone if you ‘knew what you were doing’, that he was ‘probably the sort of man who felt it was okay to steal from Marks & Spencers, too!!’. She told me, ‘he didn’t know what to say to that!’. I’ll bet he didn’t.

    On a different note entirely, I am wondering if you might like my copy of ‘Laura Lamont’s Life In Pictures’? I can’t quite decide whether it really is for you, and so sending you my copy would give you a chance to find out whilst assuaging my recommender’s guilt. What do you say?

    1. Your MIL sounds like the Norwegian cow hand. It made me laugh. And yes please
      The Lodge
      Shire Lane
      WD3 5NT

      should I give you my real name or would I enjoy getting a package addressed to Mrs Candy Carmichael too much?????

  7. ” . . . a non-confrontational and therefore permissible gasp. . .” — I am going to use this next time I am taken to task for a gasp while my husband drives. (this is why I drive us almost everywhere, as he apparently cannot distinguish) ~ Kat

    1. Yes life would be UTTERLY intolerable if permission to gasp for an unconnected to woeful driving reason was not permitted 🙂 I knew I was not alone. The daughters various beg me to drive.

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