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Monday, June 12, 2017

One Hubcap

I grabbed my car keys and say goodbye to my family, just as my mother came into the doorway calling out "You have to take your brother with you."

I protested on my way to my car "Why? I'm sure he has better things to do then hang out with me and my Boyfriend?" The word "boyfriend." always made her eyes widen in true fear. I knew what I was doing at the age of 20, I knew that with my mom I had to say it bluntly, boldly so she could process it and change her ways of trying to control me. I did this with everything about my life that I knew she would feel upset about. I wanted to always stay an honest person no matter how hard she made it for me. So
I simply said it, I simply took ownership of it with no fear.

Derek jumped into my car after Mom had hunted him down quickly as I didn't wait around starting up my new car while kissing goodbye my baby brothers, the house was noisy and busy so as Derek came running to be with me I said sarcastically to him "Oh yes, run run for Mom will want a full report, so keep your eyes and ears open....Oh my god! Debby has a boyfriend!" I mocked the whole situation with a dramatic gasp for air.
He looked disheveled and deeply annoyed that our mom has demanded him to go out with me as I carelessly waved her on like it was no big deal to be dating, if our mother had her way we would never date OR we would stay there with her over dinner in what she said was God's true system called "Courting properly. Never alone to sin or get into some kind of trouble."
Derek buckled up beside me as I drove out into the country roads heading into the next town where my boyfriend Tony lived. As the radio blared on my Cher songs, he rolled his eyes saying in such a "know-it-all" teenage boy way, "This is all YOUR fault here, telling everyone you have a boyfriend without EVEN asking them what they thought!?!?! You are starting to act like Dana now." I snapped back quickly "Oh hell no, I am not trying cause ANY drama! I am a grown woman who knows her own life goals and adventures ahead. I would proudly tell a complete stranger what I am "up to" these days with no shame!"
Derek sighed helplessly, "I didn't have time to shower or get ready to leave the house!?!" I chuckle and nod proudly "No, shit. I didn't invite you so I can see why ya didn't plan to hang out with me and Tony today...." 
He burst out angerily "I am not sure you know what a big deal ALL of this is!?!?!? were suppose to be doing the whole courtship thing, Mom said that you agreed to not to date so this now makes you look sneaky!?!?!"
 I snapped back at him "I never agreed to her, I just let her talk on and on about it, until I suddenly realized THIS is my future here not hers! AND I like dating, it's peaceful to have one to one conversations without a million and one questions, without all the distractions around a dinner table with everyone, I get to spend time with MY boyfriend to see if I even want to invite him out for a family dinner or not. SO it doesn't matter how Mom and Dad feel about this because it's MY future not theirs."
    Derek shrugged from the passenger seat "I am just saying this is why mom sends me out with you every time, because she thinks you are up to no good. How do we even know we can trust this guy???" 
I chuckled at how honest Derek was being, he was sharing what him and Mom talk about when I am not around. 
I admired him for that because for all the years in the past...our sister Dana and I always knew he was Mom's favorite spy. We knew how the game was played.
So as I drove on out to Tony's house that Saturday afternoon I realized that I liked knowing what was really going all on around me with my family.
I thoughtfully shared back to Derek who sat frustrated and worried "Look, I am a smart person when it comes to judging the kind of people I want to hang out with. AND when it comes to knowing what is right or wrong for me I am smart about that too. I don't shy away from saying exactly what I think, SO if I can't trust my boyfriend then I will kick him to the curb without a second thought. I didn't just go out one day because I was bored and randomly decide to have a boyfriend, I knew it would upset EVERYONE (except Grandma Norma she just loves him) I knew it would make everyone uncomfortable for awhile when I decided to make it public that Tony and I are now really dating. He knows what all my rules are, he knows what I believe in, and what I have planned for my life. He is very respectful in still wanting to be around me even though I am not compromising in an way of who I am. Just give him a chance at the next family'll see he is very smart and very sweet. AND keep in mind that I wouldn't be with him if he wasn't good like that." Derek sighed and tilted his head "But Mom thinks you should court someone from OUR church instead. There are a lot of new single men there, it's safer. " I laughed fully and winked back at my brother "Oh dear God, I know that she says that, but I have spend some time around those guys, I didn't feel all that safe at times and I sure as hell am not going to marry someone just because we went to the same church! I know Mom has all her own ideas of who I was going to be when I grew up....she told me all about the other day actually, and I realized while listening to her that I am the only one who knows what is best for myself." Derek added quickly "and God, God knows what is best for you too." I smiled and sighed realizing Derek was still holding on so tightly to the way our family once was, back when we were just kids.
I decided to enjoy the whole day with my brother Derek shadowing behind me every where, I drove on out towards town thinking about how my new boyfriend Tony was going to be able to handle this sudden change of my mom sending Derek along with us to the movies.
I smiled to myself thinking "This could be interesting to watch how he treats my family."
       The conversations between Tony and Derek were instantly a long diatribe of what they each knew about a certain topic. 
I sat back as we headed back out to the movies, I drank my ice coffee while also listening to the radio, laughing at them or chiming into their long discussions/debates. Those 2 guys were not stopping any time soon in such conversations.
While Tony was a good sport with having Derek around that day, and Derek was clearly on a mission to find fault with Tony. He was looking for ANYTHING that was compromising in this new guy in our lives. 
          I patted Tony's arm saying "Derek isn't in charge here." whenever we sat alone for a moment, Tony snorted back "Well he sure as hell is acting like the boss of you." I grinned in understanding and winked back at Tony "Welcome to my family, this is just how it is." He shook his head in confusion to my calm confident self.
              As we drove back to Tony's home that night after the movie, Tony drove my car with Derek in the backseat watching Tony's every move very carefully, I simply delighted in the summer smells, the heated discussions the 3 of us had had through out the outing and my sharp sense of real adventures ahead in our young lives. 

I liked that we 3 were all together in my car under the night's sky.

         Tony suddenly challenged us "Does your Mom not realize you are almost 21 years old? Does she NOT know how ridiculous she is being? What does she think that you are still in high school?Do you not realize she is manipulating you???" I laughed out loud "Of course I know, I know all the games my mother plays. Why do you think it's so important to me in NOT playing games? and I would NEVER dream of dating in high school, Good god! what would be the point? I would of been way to young for marriage!" Tony looked to the side as he drove on, he looked at me as if I were from another planet!
While Derek sat in the backseat listening and watching. He was nodding his approval to me for handling my self as Tony seemed to grow more annoyed by the whole event of the day in suddenly having my brother with us.
 As he tried to understand us better, as he tired to figure out what kind of parents we had. He felt like he was being "tested" against his will, he drove on through town suddenly showing off a bit, suddenly acting like he didn't have to "prove himself." because he already knew that he was "cool." then just as he jerked the car around he miss judged the curb of the sidewalk next to the road and my hubcap went flying off into the country side of darkness. 
I burst out laughing at the humor I saw in slow motion like cartoon drawing as a piece of my car just flew away! 
Tony was clearly embarrassed and Derek flew off the handle, I waved Derek out of the car with me after he said to Tony "What were you THINKING!?!?!" Tony sat there helplessly surprised by how fast my car could suddenly move.
I was stilling giggling as I said to Tony "We'll be right back, no worries! we just go get the hubcap out there!"
Derek went off to me "How could let HIM drive your car!?!?! How could put us all in such DANGER on the road!?!?!? He's CRAZY, he's reckless, he should NOT be driving YOUR car! and I really don't think he's all that smart." 
I burst out laughing again as Derek and I walked through the dark wide open field where we last saw that hubcap spin off into the darkness, with only the summer moon above I could see my brother's face of fury and alarm.
I walked beside him realizing he didn't see the humor in any of this! not like I did, so I replied back quickly "Oh no, Tony is very smart.....he is mostly book smart though, I have noticed that social smarts is a stronger trait in me. I am always learning something new from him though. We have such a great debates, we have so much in common, really we do!" Derek walked around looking for my lost hubcap saying "You shouldn't let him drive your car, look what just happened!" I smiled and nodded knowingly explaining "He was just showing off for a moment and I have already told him not do that, I hate being around people who show off. So he is worried right now about all of this, just look back at his face and see that he does feel bad to loose my hubcap out here!" Derek paused for a moment after all his venting, I smiled proudly at my concerned brother as we trucked through the tall weeds in the darkness, Derek exclaimed as we had not yet found my missing hubcap "This is impossible to find out here and it's dangerous!" I nodded as I said "Well make sure when you give Mom a full report about tonight that you tell her how I said I would NOT be clear out here all by myself, it's only because YOU are with me that I am even trying to find it....and try not to bitch Tony out anymore, okay?' Derek burst out in protest "What are you talking about? I don't report back to Mom!?!?!?" I tossed my head back at him replying "HA! whatever dude." He was fuming once again with his hands on his hips standing strong and in front of me as he exclaimed "I don't spy for Mom! and if I did it's ONLY because she cares about you and needs to know is happening right now in your life.....and I don't "bitch" people out I "chew" them out especially when they are in the wrong!" I shrugged walking pass Derek back towards the headlights of my car, I realized this was an important moment in our lives, a defining of who we were now as adulthood had arrived. I turned back to Derek who was reluctantly following me "I don't care if you report me back to Mom and Dad, say whatever you need to say to them. For I know who I am, I know what I stand for and what I want my life to look like as I move forward. So don't worry about me, for I will NEVER be in an abusive relationship not even after I get married! and I will NEVER EVER find myself unwantingly pregnant! Perhaps even more important for you to know is that if I discover down the road that Tony is horrible to our kids if we start up a family then I will do anything and everything to protect those kids above ALL else....I am not afraid of "come what may." I know who I am and how I will react to craziest scenario in the future, so don't worry about me, I am a strong smart person." Derek walked beside me looking all around at the darkness of the wide open field listening carefully to me as I jumped back into the car where Tony waited and worried. I smiled cheerfully "Well, looks like we couldn't find it out there at all." Derek slid into the back seat leaning right in between Tony and I adding "And so now my sister has to drive a car with one hubcap missing!?!?! What do YOU have to say for yourself?" Tony looked so alarmed then rather annoyed as he said very straight forward right into the rear view mirror back at Derek "I am going to go home and order her a replacement from online." Derek folded his arms and sat back impressed by Tony's direct look. Derek said "Good Answer." I burst out laughing again as I could see Tony steaming in the equal levels that Derek was against each other.
The tension, the quietness in the car as we 3 drove on back to Tony's home made me suddenly burst out into smiles, winks and a song....I wanted my boyfriend and my brother to relax and realize I wasn't as upset about all of this as they were. 
So under the starry summer sky, as the wind blew into the little car with a missing hubcap, I sang at the top of my lungs with my arms waving out ".....AND we can drive it Hooooooome, with ONE hubcap!....missing. Hahahahahahaha" Tony and Derek both shook their heads at me as I smiled back at them so proud of my cute cleverness! 

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