Last month, I borrowed my ex-husband’s car to visit my son, daughter-in-law, and their little guy (read about becoming a grandmother here). As soon as I arrived at the parking garage, the attendant said, “I’m sorry, but the car’s dead.”
My ex immediately answered the phone when I called, arranged for a jump, and said, “call me along the way.”
He called me while I was driving, “everything okay? Call me when you get there.”
Pleased that he was concerned, I thought he was being dramatic. “I fine. I’m will.”
But I never got there. The car wouldn’t restart at the rest stop forty-five minutes from my destination.
My ex gave me the info I needed to get the car on the road again and where to drop it off. “Call me if you have any problems.”
My bestie, Sonia, sat on the phone with me until the car service showed up. Finally, on my way back into the city, I held my breath, clenched my butt cheeks, and drove the ninety-minute ride feeling sorry for myself. I missed feeling taken care of by my husband like he did so many years ago. I knew I didn’t want to be married to him, but then damnit, why am I crying?
I tried to comfort myself when passing through my old neighborhood. If the car breaks down here, I have half a dozen people that would rescue me, right? But what if no one is home?
I gasped with relief when I dropped the car off at the service department. I called my ex.
“Thank god you got home safely,” he said.
Later that week, I said to my therapist, “I want someone who is lovingly committed to me. Someone I can depend on.”
She tried to convince me that I have many people who love me.
“But none of them are committed to me,” I moaned.
Over the next week, the Universe stepped in like a screaming Joe Pesci in a Martin Scorsese movie.
“YOU WANT TO FEEL LOVED?” He yelled into a microphone. “I’LL SHOW YOU LOVE!”
People from near and far, recent and distant past, with no solicitation from me, popped up in texts, emails, and calls.
My maid-of-honor, Lesley, with whom I had reconnected during Covid, asked me to brainstorm on marketing a new product.
My nephew, Kevin, texted me, Thinking of you! How are you doing?
While at lunch with Lesley, my phone rang from my college friend, Shari, I hadn’t spoken to in a couple of years asking to catch-up.
Two days later, I got a text from a cousin I hadn’t seen in ten/twelve years, I’m going to be in the city next weekend. Lunch?
At dinner with my London friend, Beth, and her ex-husband, Jonathan, I told them with teary eyes the car-story.
“You can always call me,” she said sympathetically.
“Yea, but you live in London.”
“But I live nearby,” Jonathan said. “You can call me anytime, from anywhere.”
When my ex-husband called, I thought he was going to give me an update about the car.
“Hey! Your birthday is coming up in a few weeks,” he said. “How ’bout I book you a flight to visit Kelly (our daughter) in LA?” In the last several years, he hadn’t sent me more than a Peanuts Happy Birthday! gif for my birthday.
“Cool.” Then he added, “oh, and they still don’t know what’s wrong with the car.”
“DO YOU KNOW HOW FUCKIN’ BLESSED YOU ARE?!”
“Yes, Joe,” I said to the Universe. “I get it now.”
“GOOD!” He turned away, dropped the mic, then mumbled over his shoulder, “now, stop the fucking whining…”