This conversation is pretty much verbatim how I abused my poor husband when we met friends for a late dinner out of town. I was tired and he wasn’t getting me back to the motel quick enough. We had our little dog in the car with us. I’ve written it like a movie script – it’s pretty easy to figure out who’s talking (I’m the spiteful nag).

You missed the exit.

No, I think it’s this next one.

Then why are you in the left lane?

I’m pretty sure it’s an intersection and I have to turn left.

When there’s a sign that says it’s an exit, it usually means it will be a right turn. Shouldn’t you get over?

(He whips the car into the right lane just in time to make the exit. She looks at the Map app on her iPhone.)

Okay my phone says to take a right at the end of the exit ramp.

I’m going left.

Can we just follow the phone? At least it will get us there. It’s late and the dog needs to pee. Can’t you hear her whimpering?

(Turns right at the bottom of the exit without stopping at the stop sign)

Now take another right. Right here. Keep going straight for .9 miles to Butler Market Road.

(He accelerates with a Hemi-type engine roar)

Why have you got this pedal-to-the-medal thing going on?

I’m just trying to get you back to the motel.

No, you’ve been doing this for the last couple of months. You speed up and try to pass someone and then you miss the exit, like we just did.

I knew which exit to take.

Well obviously not, because you went right past it. Get ready to turn right in .4 miles. .3 miles. .2 miles. Get ready to turn RIGHT HERE!

(He puts the pedal to the medal and whips the car to the right.)

I’ll drop you and the dog off at the room then I’m going to get some M & M’s.

There’s a vending machine right down from the room.

Where?

I don’t know exactly where, I just saw the sign when I was walking the dog around the motel. The machine isn’t out front here. Why are you driving so slow? Just go to the room and let us out, then you’ll see it. 

(He presses on the accelerator in the motel parking lot even though there’s an immediate sharp turn coming.)

You’ll see the sign, it’s right down there.

(He slowly gets out of the car and limps off in search of the vending machine. She remembers he’s got a doctor’s appointment in a couple of days with a hip surgeon and feels guilty. She waits for the dog to pee but it won’t go. She sees her husband as he limps back, empty handed.)

Did you find the vending machine?

Yes.

No M & M’s?

No.

(He goes in the room while the dog continues to walk around, sniffing every tree and blade of grass without actually peeing. She finally gives up after 10 minutes, opens the door to the room and finds him already in bed reading a book.)

Aren’t you going to get your M & M’s?

No.

I’ll go get them for you.

No I don’t want any.

Where are the keys?

No, don’t go. You’ll get the wrong kind and not enough.

I’ll be right back. Keep an eye on the dog. She never did pee.

(She leaves and drives a few blocks until she finds a Mini Mart and buys two small bags of M & M’s, then drives back to the room).

Here’s your M & M’s. (She sets the bags on the nightstand beside him). That’s why you missed the exit, isn’t it? You did it on purpose so you could get off the freeway and find a 7 Eleven.

(He ignores her but opens one of the bags of M & M’s and pours some into his hand. They don’t speak again, staying on their own sides of the bed until she feels so guilty she can’t sleep and starts cuddling him, which leads to…well, you know).

I’m sorry I was so cranky.

You weren’t cranky. (He’s happy how things have turned out)

I was cranky and I’m sorry.

I was cranky too.

You’re a good man.

You’re a good woman.

Nah, I’m not very good at all, but you are a good man.

(He pats her on the arm. They both eventually go to sleep, him first, her lying awake hoping to make amends in the future and be a better person, but pretty sure she won’t be able to, though she is going to try.)

THE END