Jewish World Review August 12, 2003 / 15 Menachem-Av, 5763

Lori Borgman

Lori Borgman
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Got Mom? | It's hard to say what would make a woman madder: being left by her husband at a car dealership or being left by her husband at a car dealership when she's wearing her $16.95 Kathie Lee shift and black house slippers with little faux pearls.

My mother says the answer is B.

Mom and Dad had gone to the car dealership to pick up a car that had been in for repairs. Mom didn't plan on getting out of the car as she was wearing her Kathie Lee special she'd recently picked up during a Wal-Mart run for toothpaste, shampoo and paper towels. She and Dad would be going out for dinner later, so she planned on lounging until then.

Halfway to the dealership, Dad announces he wants the mechanic to test drive the vehicle they're in and listen for a knocking sound. Mom is not pleased, but Mom is flexible. She waits in the showroom while Dad and the mechanic take the vehicle for a spin.

Dad returns from the test drive and Mom and Dad head to the parking lot, each intending to drive a vehicle home. Mom gets to her car, rummages through her purse and realizes Dad has her keys. Dad gets to his car, slips in behind the wheel, slides the seat up (mechanics have such long legs these days) and barrels for home whistling a happy tune.

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Mom says she finds it odd that when Dad drove the car to the dealership, he had followed her all the way. Now that the car was running fine, Dad didn't seem that interested in following her home. Mom questions if perhaps Dad was more concerned about the car than her. Even after 53 years a woman wonders.

Mom returns to the showroom floor, phones home and leaves a message for Dad. She passes some time chit chatting with salesmen, but still no sign of Dad.

Mom begins perusing cars. After all, what's a woman to do, abandoned in her slouching shift, little black scuffs, and the object of snickering? She begins dealing with a salesman on a red Ford Mustang. Moon roof, 6-CD changer, all leather interior.

Eventually, Mom whittles the salesman down from $22,000 to $19,500 (rebate not included). Still no sign of Dad. Mom calls home and leaves a second message.

Dad drove directly home, but did not go directly inside. He decided to water the lawn. Thoroughly. Then the bedding plants. Then the hanging baskets. A neighbor was outside, so they stopped to chat.

Considerable time had passed (Mom now had the salesman down to $18,000), when Dad finally meandered inside the house and noticed the blinking light on the answering machine.

When asked if he wondered why Mom hadn't come home, Dad said he figured she stopped off at the grocery or to do some shopping. She was shopping all right. Back at the dealership, Mom had moved on from the red Mustang to a giant black Ford Expedition.

By the time Dad returned to the dealership, the entire sales staff, every mechanic, even the guy who ran the parts department, was in the showroom watching to see what would happen. "You're in for it now!"

someone called to him. "Wouldn't want to be in your shoes!" shouted another. Maybe it was the aura of the Kathie Lee shift with the double-ruffled hemline, but there were no fireworks. Mom just said, "After 53 years, I knew he'd come back."

When they got home, however, Mom did let Dad make his own lunch.

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JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids. To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.

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© 2001, Lori Borgman