Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mistaking a Mercedes for a Toyota

In the midst of a crazy week, humor reappeared unexpectedly, providing a few laughs for unsuspecting bystanders. Last Monday while running errands in the city, I almost ran off with the wrong husband. The sidewalk was extremely narrow, and when a car pulled up close beside me, somehow I got it in my scattered brain that my dh* [see "Jamie Jo Speak" in sidebar] had arrived to pick me up.

It's a good thing the door was locked. A man in another car further up the road, who turned out to be dh, was honking to divert my attention just as I was leaning down to see why on earth my husband-who-wasn't-my-husband was refusing to unlock the passenger door. A handsome middle-aged man shrugged and smiled apologetically, instantly shaking me from my daze.

On Thursday, dh and I were telling a friend about my many episodes of not being very observant when it comes to cars, how in high school I offended a rich boy by mistaking his Mercedes for a Toyota, and how not so many years ago I drove my mom's new car to the grocery store without noticing the color or make of the car in the dark garage before leaving, only to panic in the parking lot after shopping when I realized I no clue which car was "mine."

The very next day after recounting these embarrassing stories, Friday night, I was helping the same friend with a Mother's Day outreach to pregnant moms at a Christian birth center. She lent me keys so I could get supplies from her car. Going to the street, I went straight to the car with the Texas license plate (something I do notice!), and was frustrated that the key did not fit in the lock. Figuring I only had the ignition key, I squinted (minus reading glasses) to locate the unlock icon on the key ring (a handy trick I learned when I lost my mom's car). Even that didn't work.

As I stood there obviously perplexed, an amused spectator kindly pointed out that each time I pressed the unlock button, another car—a red car nothing remotely like the one I was attempting to open—would flash its headlights. Oops. What are the odds of having two cars parked on the same street in Oaxaca with Texas plates? The man, however, looked at me like I was nuts. Who in the world doesn't notice the difference between a red and a.... I still couldn't tell you the color of the first car. It was some strikingly non-red color like blue or silver or gray.

A while back we were discussing the question "How do you keep from losing you?" We were referring to the person we used to be before going to the field. Incidents like these prove that maybe I haven't lost "me" as much as I thought. I've grown and changed through the trials and challenges life has supplied, and hopefully the essence of who I am is more Christ-like than before, but deep down I am still the same space cadet* I was as a teen. Like certain pesky sins, some traits plague us throughout our life, no matter where we live.

IRL* Then again, maybe it's a wonder I haven't lost myself; I lose enough other things!
*What we used to call scatterbrains before they invented ADD.


  1. Thanks, Jamie Jo, for a hilarious post. This is just the laugh I needed right now. I'm also a space cadet. When I was a teenager my dad would say, "It's a good thing your head is tied to your body or you'd lose it."

    But almost running off with the wrong husband beats it all!

  2. Did you ever hear Florence Littauer tell the story of not being able to find her car in the parking garage. She had a whole team of people helping her by the end and finally her husband came and she was looking for the wrong car. She's hilarious to listen to also so it was quite a good laugh!

  3. Glad you got a laugh out of it, OliveTree. Sometimes I see glimpses of having outgrown these spacey tendencies, but last week I relapsed big time.

  4. Dear Jamie Jo,

    Hi, it's Sarah from The Yellow Dress. I was about to tell you how concerned for you I was till I remembered that I used to be a wreckless key loser. I would even leave them in my apartment door & as someone would come over, they'd bring them in for me...ahem. And while I'm really good about keeping my keys & cell phone in hand/on location with me now, I've become exponentially worse at mislocating other things, specifically, bobbie pins. And you know I've got to have a few hundred. I can never find them when I need them, so I go bust out new ones from the almost-secret-from-myself-stash I have. I don't know where they go. So, anyways, I say, no worries. You keep on with that new husband tactic of yours/meeting new people strategy. I think it's working. ;)

    Peace in the Middle East & Abroad,

  5. So funny, Jamie Jo! Thanks for keeping it real!

  6. smiled as I read. ...just a good 'ol toothy smile.

  7. Methinks blogger is a bit messed up. Yesterday there were a couple of comments, but mine wouldn't work. Now even those two comments are missing. Sorry about that. Thanks for reading.

    I really thought I already answered yours, too, Sarah. Whatever. All the remarks must be floating around in cyberland.

  8. lol, lol, lol,

    I love the way you write! I can relate to you. I am equally clueless when it comes to cars! I haven't been online in a while. Nice to "break the fast" by reading your blog!

  9. I'm familiar with Blog fests, but not a blog fast. Welcome back. One thing about being a writer-in-training is that I tell myself I have to read a certain number of blogs - for professional development! Nothing like making yourself do what you love to do anyway. :)

  10. Professional development, hmmmm I may just borrow that 'excuse' :-) Actually I was not only on a 'blog fast' I was on an "internet fast". It was unintentional but life simply got in the way.

  11. Don't you just hate that - when real life gets in the way of internet life? It happens.


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