King of the Cul-de-sac

by Shari on July 30, 2012

Culdesac

ME: "I'm going to write a story about you called 'King of the Cul-de-sac'."

HIM: "Go right ahead. You'll get a lot of hits. There are lots of people like me."

ME: "I really don't think that's true."

This conversation took place while my husband and I were traversing possibly the 5,000th cul-de-sac in our twelve years of marriage.

Cul-de-sacs exert an irresistible pull on my man. If we happen to be invited to a home on a dead end street, or have some business on an avenue with that little loop-de-loop at the end, he will pass our intended destination, drive all the way to the end of the block, drive around the cul-de-sac, and then drive back to where we were supposed to be in the first place.

And so I ask you: Are there a lot of people like him?

I really need to know. Because maybe I'm the freak. Maybe there are Cul-de-sac Clubs, full of people who take pride in hours of extra driving time accumulated thru their passion for no-thru streets.

I first noticed my husband's peccadillo on our maiden voyage to his parents' condo in Florida. He was fairly bouncing in the driver's seat, so excited to get there, pointed out the location, "There's their place!"–

And then drove right past it.

Down to the end of the street, around the cul-de-sac, and then back to their building.

I said nothing, because, after all, it was the first time. I didn't know that this was to be the pattern of our lives forevermore, an endless succession of circling around the butt-end of dead-end streets, no matter if it was going to make us late, no matter if I had to pee so badly that my lady bits were clenched in a perpetual Kegel, no matter how I begged and pleaded, "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THAT'S THE DRIVEWAY RIGHT THERE! JUST TURN IN!"

Before you think that my husband suffers from a particularly specialized form of OCD, I must tell you that this oddity fits perfectly with the rest of his personality.

Dude is all about value.

The reason he must drive the cul-de-sac is… it exists to be driven. It is the only way to get the full value out of a street with a loop at the end.

You think I'm kidding.

I'm not.

Because that's a quote. From the King himself.

Yesterday, as my dear man dragged our children all over the town where he grew up, regaling them with "Hey! This is where the video store used to be!" and "Guys, look! For a few months when I was 11, I had a locker for my skis in that building!", I knew that he was trying to get the full value out of not only having spawn who are required to listen and nod, but every scrap and tittle of his own childhood. And The Pistol and Letter Boy know their father, so they tried to give him his money's worth of "Wow"'s and "Huh!"'s and "Really?"'s.

Until they ran out of emotional cash.

When Dad said, "Ready to see where we had our condo from '85 to '86?"

And the Pistol replied, in the most sincerely anguished voice I have ever heard, "No! No more! I… can't… take… it…anymore…!"

And Mom dissolved into a fit of helpless laughter until she cried. With real tears.

Because, finally, I had gotten the full value out of something.

All those hours of pain in childbirth were suddenly redeemed  by having witnesses of and participants in my torment.

My man was right. It feels soooo good to get your money's worth.

 

 

 

 

 

photo credit: Vox Efx via photo pin cc

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

tracey July 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm

That is definitely a unique trait. But strangely endearing. I think…

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Tara July 30, 2012 at 6:21 pm

I’m so thankful that there’s not ONE cul-de-sac to be found in your town!
There’s value..and then there’s time wasted. I’m sure there’s some sort of fancy equation there to make it shine in favor of the road less traveled. But damn that’s some funny stuff!

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dusty earth mother July 30, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Sometimes it’s wildly endearing, Tracey. And sometimes I want to jump in front of the moving car.
And Tara, you don’t know how happy I am that Hoboken is full of thru streets.

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Ann July 30, 2012 at 7:22 pm

The full value angle cracked me up. My husband has only two speeds when driving:
Where I want to go (speeding)
Where you want to go and I don’t, especially your parents’ house (15 mph)

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Missy July 30, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Loved “until they run out of emotional cash”! Sounds like a pectacular description of your poor dear children trying oh so hard to be kind.

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AnneFlournoy July 30, 2012 at 8:13 pm

“No! No more! I… can’t… take… it…anymore…!”
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ;ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hilarious.

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K A B L O O E Y July 30, 2012 at 8:21 pm

He broke The Pistol? It’s so sweet that they tried to humor him for so long, though. As far as the cul de sac (hehehe – she said “sack”) goes, I can’t say I’ve ever heard that rationale before, but I’ve driven around a few instead of doing 3 point turns when I accidentally bypassed a house. That’s not the same as squeezing out every drop of dead end juice, though. It does sound like something a character in a Wes Anderson movie might do, though.

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dusty earth mother July 31, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Yes. He broke the Pistol. Which, as you can well imagine, takes some doing.

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Teems July 31, 2012 at 4:54 pm

haha funny just last weekend my husband drove around the cul-de-sac three times for fun.

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Anna Lefler August 1, 2012 at 7:56 am

Okay, this is hilarious. I love it.
I’ll miss seeing you this weekend – have fun!
XOXO
A.

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Nancy Franson August 4, 2012 at 7:00 am

Congratulations on being named one of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year. Loved hearing you read your piece yesterday–reminded me to stop back here and add your feed to my reader.
You cracked me up.
You have an amazing gift. So glad you’re using it here.

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James Christian Jr August 9, 2012 at 10:19 pm

It was a lovely funny read… UNTIL THE LADYBITS PART!!!
EW! EW! EW!! EW!!!EW! EW! EW!! EW!!!EW! EW! EW!! EW!!!EW! EW! EW!! EW!!!EW! EW! EW!! EW!!!EW! EW! EW!! EW!!!EW! EW! EW!! EW!!!EW! EW! EW!! EW!!!

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