Thursday, May 06, 2010


The other day, Mr. McP sent a mass email to all his teachers letting them know he had been sick, and asking for makeup work. The letter, which contained no gross spelling or grammar errors was nonetheless written by a fifth grader and read like it was written by a fifth grader. But here's the thing: all his teachers assumed the letter had been written by me, despite the fact that Mr. McP used his personal email account with his own name as the email address. They all replied to "Mrs. Crabstick." I'm not sure which is best: to respond to the teachers' emails and casually let them know that it was Mr. McP who had written them, or just let them think I have the writing style of a ten year old. I'm leaning toward doing nothing. The school year is almost over anyway.

In a similar vein, I caught Mr. McP teaching himself to forge my initials, so that he could sign off his weekly practice sessions in his orchestra practice record. I signed the form for him, but he was dissatisfied with my messy handwriting and erased all my initials and substituted them with his forged version. It was just one year ago that he called me, tearful, when I was at school, because I'd forgotten to sign his math test and I had to beg him to just forge my name, that it would be OK, that his teacher wouldn't know the difference, that, Christ, I was authorizing him to sign my name for me.

Last summer, Jon sold my old Volvo wagon without consulting me. We had taken it off the road but I'd had plans to fix it up for Mad Scientist and Drama Queen. Two random guys who were walking by offered cash on the spot and said they'd come back later to collect the car. The whole transaction occurred while I was in the shower. I was a little nonplussed, mainly because Jon had sold the car for about 1/8 of what it was worth and it was my car, after all. My. Fucking. Car. Later, one evening when he'd been drinking, he allowed a neighbor to freely help himself to parts from the car he had just sold to someone else—my car, if I may remind you—and the value of these parts was far more than what he'd accepted for the entire car which no longer belonged to us, anyway. I was more than nonplussed, I was pissed. Two months later, the guys who had bought the car came by to collect it. I was glad they didn't seem to notice the missing rear seat, which is probably worth $300, and the missing glove compartment, and the missing struts that held up the tailgate, which were new, by the way since I'd had them replaced shortly before abandoning the Volvo for my new car. I signed over the title, and Jon told the guys to please take it to the DMV and get the car titled in their own names. The only advantage in selling the car was to not have to pay personal property tax on it anymore, and to allow the unfettered growth of our brush pile. I was ready to forget the whole incident until yesterday when I got a bill from the City of Charlottesville for personal property tax for that G.D. car. The amount of the tax is about 2/3 of the amount Jon sold the car for. I was no longer nonplussed or pissed, I was a full-on raging harridan. Jon simply couldn't see what the problem was. "Just call the DMV." he said. "I'm sure this happens all the time." What is more infuriating than calm reasonableness in the face of fury? Whether or not this happens all the time isn't the point. The point was that why should I have to spend the day on hold and then deal with the DMV. Who "just" calls the DMV? I couldn't even remember the name of the guy who'd bought the car. It was something like Ron Jackson or Don Johnson or John Wilson. It occurred to me that "he sold my car without my consent" could be refigured as, "He stole my car," and while I wouldn't actually press charges against my husband for theft, the thought of doing just that was a satisfying daydream for about ten minutes.

Jon, in order to make restitution, called the DMV for me. They needed to speak to me personally, but at least he was the one who had to wait on hold for half an hour. The DMV was surprisingly obliging. I guess this sort of thing does happen all the time. Within two hours, we had an official "sale date" and then Jon called the City of Charlottesville and they are sending me a form to sign in which I swear on my mother's grave and the health of my children that I did, in fact, sell the car and am not trying to weasel my way out of paying property tax.


  1. Did you have your 10yo sign the DMV form for you?

  2. Many adults probably do have the writing style of a 10 year old, including perhaps some of the teachers.

  3. Oh man, that is too much identity theft! Or is it "authorization theft?"

  4. All of that, and you only indulged the having him arrested fantasy for 10 minutes? You are a very forgiving woman.

    I would e-mail the teachers back, but would pretend to be my kid so they wouldn't think I was the kind of woman who was overly concerned about what others thought of me and couldn't just let small misunderstandings go.

  5. I'm still nonplussed about the car.

  6. I come from the land of taxation, but I do not believe we pay prop taxes on vehicles. Whew. Although I'm sure we make up for it elsewhere, and then some.