Broken things

I am a breaker of things. I don’t mean to be. I just am. Fabric tears. Metal dents. Handles fall off. This is why we can’t have nice things.

I say I’m thrifty because I love to save money. If truth be told, I think I’m thrifty for an equally practical reason. I like to buy things gently used so I don’t have to go through the five stages of grief when I inevitably scratch, dent or otherwise muck things up.

We all play to our strengths. It’s what I do.

Lost

In truth I value relationships and feelings above things. This manifests itself in a sort of thrifty princess condition whereby I am consumed with saving money and keeping things nice, because money does not grow on trees people!

At the same time, I am careless and kind of dim-witted when it comes to maintaining things. I get the gist of it alright. I am very careful to have the oil changed every 3,000 miles, even when people tell me it’s not really necessary. Then on the way home from my oil change, I will run through a half dozen pot holes and fail to adequately slow down when crossing railroad tracks.

I just have no earthly idea why my vehicles are always out of alignment and usually need new struts?

What is a strut exactly? How can I know how not to break them when I’m not entirely certain what one is?

This summer I was driving on a local highway when a piece of wood, metal or something in the construction debris vein appeared in the road in front of me. I hit it and blew a tire all to shreds. Mr. Wonderful asked why I didn’t consider maybe swerving around it. My answer: I was afraid if I swerved I might cause a collision.

In my mind it was far preferable, I guess, to drive directly over the danger. As I said it I realized it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I once backed a van into a cement retaining wall, so he really hasn’t come to rely on me to make a lot of sense, however.

This is fortunate, because he is rarely disappointed. It should be apparent that taking kid-glove care of things is not my wheelhouse.

Diverse taste

Mr. Wonderful likes to tease me, mercilessly, about the fact that I have worn the buttons off the radio in every car I have ever owned. I like to change the station frequently. As in every 30 seconds or so. How is a diverse musical taste a bad thing?

I bet I changed the radio more on my first run to the grocery store than Mr. wonderful did in all the years he drove the car prior. If the dealership had set the station on straight up static when they sold him the car, that’s where the station would stay. Forever.

Meanwhile I’m halfway through a three-minute song and the commitment becomes too much. I need change. Now! This is why all the radio buttons in my vehicles inevitably wear thin. You can’t expect a person to listen all the way to the end of Boogie Shoes, now can you?

You know that interminably long, extended, live music version of Free Bird? Because I like to poke at things, and have absolutely no patience at all, I’ve never actually heard how that one ends. Who has that kind of time?

New

Since a deer decided to attack my car, I’ve been driving a rental car. The rental is beautiful. It’s low and fast and handles like a dream. Naturally, I hate it. It’s not mine so I feel I have to take better care of it than I normally take care of things. This means I can’t relax and get really comfortable.

No muddy floor mats, no “hey let’s all get whipped mocha lattes and splash chips and coffee around on the seats.”

I can’t even allow the kids to have a good old fashioned Goldfish cracker fight in the backseat. What? Does that only happen on my watch?

Let me state again for the record: this is why we can’t have anything nice. We’re jackals.

Book smart

I am often referred to as “book smart.” That sounds like a compliment but really, it isn’t. It means I know things that one can learn via reading and education — but that have no practical skills that are readily applicable to problem solving and daily life.

Also, that without proper supervision I might die. If that sounds vaguely histrionic it’s because it probably is, but I can assure you that at the very least, I will probably break something.

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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