door miles back, she knocks my hair dryer loose from the top of the mountain of
belongings that represent my life. It drops onto the floor, scaring my dog, Rage. I hug
him and apologize for the disturbance, for the ride, for everything.
“And that tow hitch we put on the car yesterday will really be useful,” she goes
on. “We should’ve done that for you years ago. Maybe you should leave the U-Haul
attached to the back too. With your track record of failed relationships, it’s a gift that’ll
keep on giving.”
“Didn’t they used to say that about herpes?” my dad inquires.
“I think it was genital warts,” Mom answers.
“Seriously, enough with the STDs,” I interject. “I can’t take the jokes right now.”
Usually, a little dark comedy is the way our family deals with most uncomfortable
situations, but I’m just not ready for that kind of humor. I need at least another hundred
miles between my husband and me. Right now, all I’m able to think of is getting back to
In fact, the very car in which we are driving was purchased out of an attempt to
poke fun at my once perpetual single lifestyle. My parents gave up on me getting married
years ago, so they graciously handed over the money they were saving for my future
wedding to help pay for a new car. When I drove off the lot, with a smile on my face and
inhaled the blissful new car smell, my mom squashed my happy moment by asking if this
was the kind of car spinsters drive these days. “You have your very own hagmobile,” she
joked. Hilarious? Not entirely. Because it was kind of true. At the age of thirty-three, I
may have proved her wrong by getting married way past what she perceived to be my
“prime,” but now I wonder which is worse . . . being a spinster or a divorcee?
The whole marriage was a bad idea in the first place, but desperation causes a
woman to do such horrible things. I barely made it through the organ screeching “Here
Comes the Bride” without pivoting halfway down the aisle and sprinting out the chapel
door. You would think that would have been a glaring sign not to go through with it, but
I forged ahead anyway with a bouquet in my hand and hope in my heart. Sadly, that hope
was only strong enough to last through the wedding reception. The day didn’t end like I
anticipated with a playful run past elated relatives as I dodged the rice being thrown my
way for good luck. Instead, I was dodging my new marriage.