Pet peeves. Annoyances. Aggravations. We’ve all got things that really just grind our gears and I am no exception. I try my best to handle the things that get to me, but I am, after all, only human. A reader of the blog recently noticed that we always seem so cheerful and wondered if anything ever upsets us. I can assure you that Maria and I both suffer from frustrations and annoyances on a regular basis. You already know so much about Maria, it seemed like a good opportunity to share one of my least favorite, most stress-inducing activities with you: driving.
Maria learned early on in our relationship that I become a different person behind the wheel. Outside of the car, I am a very relaxed, go-with-flow kind of guy. It takes a lot to upset me and I’m able to shrug most things off. But behind the wheel, I automatically tense up. The offenses of other drivers (both real and perceived) make me angry. Jeez, even while I type this, I’m starting to get a little worked up. Seriously. It’s getting hard to type what should be a relatively light-hearted post.
This normally wouldn’t be so bad. I would be totally fine letting Maria drive, eliminating that source of stress and grumpiness from our day. Except that I do almost all the driving when we go anywhere.
“Why?!” you ask.
Well, there are two sort-of-related reasons. First, Maria is capable of getting a fair bit of work done in the car when we have to drive for more than an hour. Even when it’s a short drive, she’s busy checking her email, looking through her planner, and managing her social media accounts. And second, I get car sick, especially when reading in the car. It sucks because reading is one of my favorite things to do, but I couldn’t even do any work either. Merely reading a few text messages in a moving vehicle is enough to set my stomach over the edge. So it just makes sense for me to do the driving because it allows both of us to use our time in the car effectively.
In the past year, I have found some partial relief from stressful driving: audiobooks. I have a much longer commute these days than I did before I was married and audiobooks make my daily trips to and from work much more tolerable.
The ironic thing is that, as much as my disposition in the car can change when I’m listening to a good book, Maria rarely gets to reap the benefits of traveling with a care-free Rob behind the wheel. Instead, when we are driving together, we mostly listen to music or podcasts because I don’t want her to have to listen to a random portion of an audiobook. While podcasts and music are both very entertaining, they don’t have the same calming effect on me as a really good audiobook; which means she and I take turns being cranky in the car together.
This weekend Maria and I are heading down to Nashville for a mini-vacation and our debt-free scream on the Dave Ramsey Show. Maria has already figured out that the bulk of her time in the car will be spent creating and writing, which means she won’t be able to give a podcast or other in-car entertainment very much attention. I’ve already got my next audiobook cued and ready for the trip. Maria has her work and I have my audiobook, so we are hopeful it will be our most-relaxing road trip yet!
By the way, did you get the reference in the title? Maria and I kind of have a little bet going about how many people will pick up on it.
I’m the same way. I’m Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Drive. Super mild mannered until I’m dealing with other drivers, then so much rage. I prefer to have the wheel, though.
I just finished listening to Fear the Sky. I think you’d like it.
And, yes, I get your title. It’s the bomb.
Rob Gavin says
Jon, I am shocked, SHOCKED, that you got the title joke and made a pun about it in your comment. Haha! I figured you would get that one.
susan krevat says
I get carsick when I read, too. I didn’t get the title; I couldn’t even remember what it was after reading the story. Also, driving only makes me anxious when there’s traffic which happens too often around Boston. Have fun in Nashville!
Dr. Strangelove…brings me back tony college days. I took a film class and this was one of the required viewings! Also, I love yours and Maria’s blog. Finding a notification in my inbox that there was an addition was a pleasant surprise!