I'll be waiting for you in the car
By Ann Ipock March 17, 2010
I wonder how many men have said grudgingly through clenched teeth, “I’ll be waiting for you in the car,” to their wife/significant other, while growing impatient and weary.
I hadn’t given it much thought until a friend from church recently mentioned this.
Sam—an E.R. doctor who’s quick at decision-making, I’m sure—said he knows it’s a woman thing that we gals have trouble ending a conversation and saying goodbye.
His wife, Jane, just rolled her eyes at him. I told Sam this is the reason that many stores—the smart ones—have chairs lined up by the Exit sign.
One store that comes to mind is Hamrick’s. These folks have it all figured out! Why do you think entire busloads of folks get dropped off at the door for the super-special sales?
It’s because the women can shop ’til they drop and the men can simply—well, ur, drop—drop into a chair at the door, when they walk in.
With a book in hand, or simply a lightweight jacket to fold up into a pillow, they’re good to go (or wait, as it were).
I’ve seen it so many times I’ve come to expect it.
You can ride by there and tell if they’re busy—not so much by the cars in the parking lot but by the chairs lined up at the window.
Are they empty or full?
Let’s face it: Men are not good waiters.
They don’t understand the thrill of the hunt (shopping) or the buzz of chit-chat (women talking).
Not “out of the ‘mouths of babes’” but rather, ’mouths of the South,’ some folks call us.
Not only that, men simply cannot, will not, and do not get “family reunions.”
Why? Because the ‘goodbyes’ are killer!
About the time someone mentions “This sure has been fun,” the women begin their litany: “Call me when y’all get home.”
Another says, “Wait! You didn’t give me that recipe for the blueberry cobbler?” and still another says, “I still can’t get over how tall Junior is!”
By now, the man is sulking: He’s dropped his head and shoulders, jammed his hands in his pockets, and he’s fiddling around for the keys.
Then he searches for relief: his set of wheels. But not before saying, “I’ll be waiting for you in the car.” I know our Morris’ (my maiden name) goodbyes can take hours, literally!
Plus, we Southerners love a good, long story.
Whether it’s dinner club or a football game, when it’s over, we women just don’t want the fun to end.
I’ve been known to follow a car parked three spaces ahead of mine, waving and jumping around, saying, “Wait up! I didn’t get to say goodbye!”
I know Russell doesn’t get this.
Let’s admit it: they’re programmed differently.
Instead, what do they do? Their goodbye is simply a nod, a wave or at the most, a quick handshake. Boring!
Not too long ago Russell dropped me off to get a prescription and said, you guessed it, “I’ll be waiting for you in the car.”
He mumbled something else, but I didn’t listen. I figured he’d said, “Hurry!” (the usual) but I hoped for his sake he was reading or sleeping.
It was late at night and it took me a little longer than usual.
Okay, you got me there: I ran into an old friend who told me about the most amazing movie.
Then we discussed the chances of an Oscar win. And the next thing you knew, the manager was announcing the store closing.
Walking towards the door, I noticed it started to drizzle, so I ran out, flung open the car door and jumped in, throwing my heavy bag to the floor, with a loud “thump!”
Russell gasped, bolted upright and grabbed the steering wheel with both hands.
“What?” I said. I’m not sure who got scared the worst!
He said I scared him half-to-death; then he reminded me that he asked me to just tap on the car window before I jumped in.
I didn’t hear that part. And he knows how heavy-handed and klutzy I can be.
I guess talkers attract talkers too, but nine times out of ten it’s my women friends.
We talk about important things that men couldn’t care less about, with: Who fixes your hair? Where did you find fresh cherries this time of year? When’s the best time of day to walk on the beach (less crowds)?
We are by our very essence, gatherers and processors of information; and since we tend to make our short stories long, it can take a while to get to the point.
It is what it is.
Which leads me to this: I think that’s why God made cars.
Sure they get us from point A to point B, they haul around our stuff, they even become hobbies for car collectors, but maybe their most important role is to simply be there for men who say, “I’ll be waiting for you in the car.”