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my ring under the light and watched it sparkle.
Newly-married life was as bright as my new diamond . . .
except for one nagging shadow of doubt. The Porsche
factor, I called it secretly. Yes, my new husband
actually owned one of those sleek, red cars that
belonged in a James Bond movie.
The Porsche was a
constant reminder of the different worlds we came from.
His family belonged to a country club, donated
generously to charities and took exotic vacations. My
family struggled to make ends meet. We shopped at thrift
stores, cut coupons and took public
Rich people seem to care
so much about stuff, I thought. After the honeymoon
was really over, would my husband love me more than his
stuff? If only there was some way to be sure.
his first morning back to work, he handed me his keys.
“I’ll take the bus,” he said. “You drive the
I fingered the worn leather key ring. “Are
you sure?” I asked. I’d never driven the Porsche,
although he’d been offering it ever since my ancient car
died a month before the wedding.
“Sure,” he said,
“but . . . be careful.”
I felt a twinge of
irritation even though I knew he couldn’t keep himself
from adding the warning. I said a prayer as I started
the engine. After all, this was no ordinary
My father-in-law had driven it home for the
first time almost fifteen years ago. Under his care, the
car gleamed like a jewel and purred like a well-fed
tiger. The boy who grew up to be my husband spent hours
beside his dad, handing over a needed tool, studying the
correct way to wax and learning the well-crafted
intricacies of a Porsche engine. Sometimes he’d even
sneak out to the garage in the middle of the night and
climb carefully into the driver’s seat. Without actually
touching anything, he’d pretend he was driving fast
along the curves of an empty road.
One day, his
dad took him aside. “Son, if you save the money by the
time you turn sixteen, your mother and I will sell you
The amount he named was far less than
what the Porsche was worth, but it was a big amount for
a boy to earn and save. My husband found a job cleaning
the garage in an apartment complex, emptying garbage
cans, sweeping and mopping. He worked after school and
on weekends and saved every penny he earned. On his
sixteenth birthday, he proudly handed his dad a check
and took the Porsche out for a drive.
There was a
mystical male bond between my husband, his dad and that
car. Even now, when we drove the shiny Porsche into the
driveway of my in-laws’ house, his dad came out to check
“Good job, son. The car looks
With all that history in mind, I drove
slowly at first, like I was handling a piece of heirloom
china. I pulled to a stop at the first hint of a yellow
light and clung to the right lane on the freeway. As the
car picked up speed, my confidence grew. I rolled down
the window, turned up the radio and nosed into the fast
After doing some shopping, I couldn’t wait
to drive home. I walked eagerly to where I’d parked the
car in the crowded lot—and stopped. The Porsche had
moved a good three feet forward in the parking
Somebody must have hit it from
I stood for a moment, trying to gather my
courage to inspect the damage. The back end wasn’t bad;
the bumper seemed to have absorbed most of the shock.
But when I saw the crumpled fender and the dent on the
hood, my heart sank. A sign that read “ten-minute
parking only” leaned over it like a warrior gloating
over a fallen enemy.
Oh no! I thought.
I’d left the gearshift in “neutral” instead of “park,”
and the car had lurched forward when it had been
I drove home slowly, fighting my tears. For
the first time since our wedding, I didn’t want to see
my husband. He found me hiding under the
“What’s wrong, honey? Are you
“The car,” I said, my voice muffled.
“Something bad happened. I left it in neutral and
somebody crashed into it while it was parked and they
didn’t leave a note.”
I waited while he went down
to the parking garage to inspect the damage. When he
returned, the sadness in his eyes made me hide my face
in the pillow.
“It’s okay, honey,” he said.
“Don’t worry about it.”
But we both knew that
this was no ordinary car. To make things worse, we were
scheduled to drive that very night to his parents’
“Do you want me to tell them you’re not
feeling well?” he asked.
“No,” I answered grimly.
For better or worse I’d promised just a couple of weeks
earlier. And this was definitely the worst day so
As we drove to my in-laws’ house, I felt a
rush of hatred for the Porsche. Why was this material
object such a treasure, anyway? It was a pile of metal
welded together with some wiring inside, destined for
rust and decay.
When we pulled into the driveway,
I shrank in my seat. My in-laws were coming out of the
front door, both of them beaming as usual.
father-in-law began walking around the Porsche with an
appraising glance. When he reached the front of the car,
I caught my breath.
“Oh no!” he shouted. “What
Feeling like a criminal about to be
sentenced, I waited for my husband’s answer.
had a little accident,” he said.
As the two of
them began to discuss repairs, I wondered if I’d heard
wrong. Had he really said, “we”? I was responsible for
the first damage ever done to this family treasure.
Surely he’d explain to his dad that there was no we
about it at all. Before I could speak up, my
mother-in-law pulled me into the house.
going to tell them the truth,” I told him, when the two
of us had a moment alone later. “It’s not right for you
to take the blame.”
“Who cares who did it?” he
answered. “It’s just a car.”
I felt like shouting
for joy, but I hugged him instead. I was still
determined to tell his parents the truth, but that
didn’t matter now. The secret shadow of my last doubt
was gone. Without the Porsche factor, our life together
sparkled even more brilliantly than the diamond on my
(c) 2000 from Chicken Soup for the
Do you have a favorite link you would like to
share? Email Us and let us know.
lawyer-preacher leading a prayer before the service,
made rountine opening remarks. As he started on a
special plea, he began, "Your Honor," instead of "Dear
I was trying
to make a point that lack of communication is the major
cause of divorce, but somehow things got mixed up and I
said ‘marriage’ was the main cause of
"A hill set on a city cannot be
"as Jonah was in the welly of the
"they offered unto him gifts, gold, and Frankenstien."
Confirmation service, referring to the new converts, the
pastor asked the 5 new "convicts" to come to the front
of the church. He never knew what he said, but several
people had to leave the building because they were
laughing so hard.
As I awoke
during a sermon the pastor said, "Where the scriptures
speak, we speak. Where the scriptures are silent, we
studying the intricate dress of the priests in the Old
Testament, the preacher came to the part that describes
how the priests put bells on the bottom of their robes.
He asked, "Why do you suppose the priests had to
tinkle." After a second of silence, the class broke up
large russet potatoes -- (2 1/4 pounds)
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano -- crushed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground
red pepper -- (cayenne)
Prepare barbecue grill.
preheat oven to 425ºF.
To prepare potatoes scrub under running water
with stiff vegetable brush; rinse. Dry Well. (Do not
peel.) Cut potatoes in half lengthwise with a chef's
knife; then cut each half lengthwise into 4 wedges.
Place potatoes in large bowl. Add oil and garlic; toss
to coat well. Combine salt, paprika, thyme, oregano,
black pepper and ground red pepper. Sprinkle over
potatoes. Toss to coat well.
Place potato wedges in single layer in shallow
roasting pan. (Reserve remaining oil mixture left in
bowl.) Bake 20 minutes. Take potato wedges out of
Place potato wedges on their sides on grid. Grill
potato wedges, on covered grill, over medium coals 15 to
20 minutes or until potatoes are browned and fork
tender, brushing with reserved oil mixture halfway
through grilling time and turning once with
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