I have been thinking about the car situation a lot these past few days. Mostly because I have been called many ugly names by his family members for turning down ‘such a generous gift’. He ran to his Mommy and tattled on me again. Then my cell started ringing. His Mom, his sisters and one of his nieces have called to chew me out. I finally turned off my phone.
I have been told that I am unworthy to be the wife of such a generous man. How I am spoiled and ungrateful. Then the youngest of his nieces brought up the 4-Runner and actually defended me. I was surprised that anyone on his side of the family would strike a black mark next to the name of the only son. He is perfect in their eyes. He can do no wrong. She has been watching closer than I thought.
I asked her not to take sides. Her family is like a pack of hungry hyenas. If she defends me too fiercely, they will tear her apart. She will become the new target. I don’t want that. They are not my family. I don’t have to put up with them but she does. I live 800 miles away from them. I can just reject the calls. She lives less than a block from several of them. She can’t shut them out as easily.
It was 1998. I was pregnant with our youngest daughter. Mister asked me if I could have any car I wanted, what would it be? Back then I had no idea what narcissism or sociopathy were. I didn’t know he was cheating. I just thought I needed to work harder to keep my marriage in a happy place. I didn’t even realize that I was walking on eggshells back then. I bought into his family’s view of him. He could do no wrong. I polished the pedestal that he sat upon and I did it happily because it made him happy. It was the ‘build your husband up’ mantra that his Mother repeated constantly. I wanted to build him up. I wanted him happy. I was naïve and devoted to being naïve.
I told him that I wanted one of the 1997 Toyota 4-Runners. I liked the way they looked. I liked that they were 4-wheel drive. They had plenty of room for what was about to be three children plus a cargo bay for groceries.
He asked me to be more specific. So I said, Black with the light tan leather interior and moon roof. I thought those trucks were so pretty!
Two weeks later, he pulls up in a black, 1997 Toyota 4-Runner with a light tan leather interior and moon roof. He had a six inch lift kit installed and big, knobby tires. Ridiculously big tires.
He asked me to go for a ride with him. I was so excited!
During the ride, I thanked him for buying me exactly what I wanted! I just couldn’t believe it! He said, “This isn’t yours. It’s mine. You’re not driving this.”
I didn’t say another word. I felt like he ran me over with that truck. To this day, he has never told me why he did that. All he has said is that he just felt like it.
He didn’t take care of that truck. He didn’t keep up on any of the maintenance. He drove it into the ground. Three years later, he came home with the first phallus. It had a ten inch lift kit and massive tires. It got 7 miles to the gallon. I didn’t even know he had bought it until he drove home in it and needed me to go back to the dealership with him to pick up the 4-Runner.
He handed me the keys and said, “Now you can have it.” I was mad! By then, that truck rattled and the brakes squealed. I told him I would drive it home but it would stay parked until he either sold it or fixed it. I wasn’t putting my babies in that truck. Period.
He decided to fix it since it was paid off and he didn’t want to buy me something else. It took $3500.00 to make that truck safe to drive and even then, because he refused to put normal sized tires on it, it had to be taken in every few months to have the undercarriage tightened back up. Those monster tires were too big for the truck to handle and rattled everything loose. I could hear the hum of the tires over the stereo at full blast. They were just too big for the truck. She was a beauty until he turned her into a beast.
I kept the 4-Runner until I had my very first accident. In 2006, two doe ran out in front of me. That was the end of the 4-Runner.
Since then, I have always had the vehicle that was falling apart while he drives $40,000 trucks. One after another after another. He’s never happy with them and gets a new one soon after he’s bored with the last one. He always lifts them high and puts insanely expensive, massively huge tires on them. Then he spends vast amounts of money putting doodads and gizmos on them until he covets a new truck that he just has to have.
So you see, as far as cars are concerned, this isn’t my first rodeo with him. I know that he would have dangled that car like a carrot to force me to do whatever he wanted or he would take that car away.
Now he is telling his family that our marriage is going south because he just can’t make me happy. Nothing he does is right and I am just an ungrateful bitch. I know that is a smear campaign. I don’t care. I don’t like those people anyway. I am happy that his youngest niece sees through it. I just hope she’s cautious about what she says around them.
I don’t have technical jargon for the stunt he pulled with the 4-Runner. Meanness. Cruelty. Jackassery. I don’t know if I’ll ever figure it out. I won’t accept a car from him no matter what his family has to say about it. Fool me once.