Fiona McCade: The Boy Wonder is driving me crazy
You know how Batman and Robin always seem to be a really strong team; like they’re true soul-mates and brothers-in-arms? Well, have you ever wondered if there might be a point of conflict between the Caped Crusaders? That, perhaps, when the two of them come home to the Batcave, after a hard day saving Gotham City, Robin might have to be restrained from attacking Batman with a bat-tazer over a certain sensitive issue?
The bone of contention I’m talking about is the Batmobile. Batman always drives the Batmobile, but Robin can drive too, so why does the lad never get the chance to sit behind the wheel?
I’ll tell you why; because it’s Batman’s car, and he’s quite right to prevent the cocky, inexperienced Boy Wonder from ruining his suspension, destroying his no-claims bonus and sending his motor insurance premiums sky high.
I’m with Batman on this one, because although I’ve always been the sole driver in my household, I’m suddenly being expected to move over to the passenger side, and I don’t like it.
I passed my driving test at 18, so I’ve been driving more than half my life. It’s second-nature to me now. I could handle the Batmobile, no problem; in fact – whisper it – I think of all my cars as Batmobiles. But now, there’s a new kid on the block and he thinks he can drive my car.
My husband is 45 years old and he’s just passed his driving test. At first I thought, yey! Finally, he can share the driving load. If I’m ever too tired, or ill, he can take over. It’ll be a liberation! And to be honest, I’ve been nagging him to get his licence ever since we met, partly because it’s a very useful life-skill and partly because I’m sick of always being the Designated Driver.
So, after more than a decade of pressure, he finally gave in, took lessons and passed first time. But am I happy? Am I heck.
He wants to sit where I sit, but that’s MY seat. I’m Batman and it’s my Batmobile. He has invaded my domain.
My husband is excited to be officially on the road and he’s even decided he likes driving. His enthusiasm has taken me completely by surprise. I reckoned he’d pass, then happily go back to sitting in the passenger seat until called upon to deputise. How wrong I was and I certainly didn’t consider the effect it would have our relationship.
All partnerships need to have balance and understanding in order to work. When Batman and Robin are in the Batmobile together, Batman drives, Robin doesn’t. It’s the way things are. Did Morse let Lewis drive the Jag? Never once. Did Starsky ever chuck Hutch the keys to the Torino and say: “Go on, you drive”? No, no, no, because it would be against nature.
This change has challenged one of the longest-established internal dynamics of my marriage. Over the years, certain things have become my responsibility, others belong to my husband. Because he couldn’t, and had no interest – and I could and did – the driving was always my territory. I chose, drove, insured and maintained our cars. Perhaps that was a bit unusual, given that it’s traditionally male territory, but it worked for us. And now it doesn’t.
Now the Boy Wonder wants to drive, but when Batman sits in the passenger seat, it doesn’t feel right. He’s constantly slamming on an imaginary brake. Batman also really resents it when the Boy Racer changes all his settings: the mirrors, the seat inclination, the music and – worst of all – even starts criticising Batman’s driving. Batman quietly wishes he’d bought Robin a Reliant.
I just can’t get used to this, and neither can the wee one, who saw his father get behind the wheel for the first time and screamed: “Mummy! Mummy! Stop Daddy! He’s in the wrong seat!” Too right he is, my son, but short of inventing my own bat-tazer, I can’t stop him. Obviously, I’ll have to get used to it eventually, but until then, I can honestly and accurately say that my husband is driving me mad.
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Monday 20 May 2013
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