Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Bike Story

I do love my husband. That's obvious, seeing as how I packed all my stuff up in a box and moved to France with the cat to be with him, right? It's been one year since he first started talking about wanting a bike here. Back in the States, we used to go for bike rides on a local on a 20-year-old bike I'd had forever, and him on a bike that he bought for $20 from a student who was moving back to Romania. You can imagine the looks we got, especially as my "Old Nell" was in better shape than his pile of junk. His bike would make this horrible squealing sound like a dying goose every time he braked and pedaled. I hated it. We were not cool people.

So, we decided that with the wedding money we would go ahead and buy a couple of inexpensive bikes for the both of us. We're both kind of cheap, so there was never a bike that either of us really went crazy over. Still, in general, I'm the one who has to force him to spend money on something he wants. He won't buy things for himself, so I probably should have just made him get one. We'd checked the local flea markets, and we just hadn't found the $20 French equivalent here. That is until today, when S. came to meet me after my class. "Guess what?! There's a perfectly good bike in the garbage room! I'm going to get it and fix it up!"

We had kind of a funny conversation. Me: Well, that's good. If it gets ripped off, I guess it won't be that big of a deal. Him: Oh, I'd still be upset if that happened. Me: But you won't have lost any money. Him: But then I'd have to buy another one. Me: (snort) YOU? Buy a bike? That's a good one.

So, after lunch I went down with him to look at the bike. There were two wheels and a frame, and although the bike had seen its better days, it seemed to function.

Him: Well, the seat isn't that comfortable, but it's in good condition. Look! Me: Hmmmmm. It's a rather bright shade of scarlet and it says "Lady Mag" on the side. Looks like a woman's bike to me. Him: I don't care! I'm still going to ride it. Me: You go right ahead, because I'm sure not going to put my bony butt on that thing.

We decided to temporarily put it in the shed until he decided what he was going to do, and as we were wheeling it out we saw the only one of our neighbors that we're somewhat familiar with. Turns out it's her bike and she doesn't want it anymore, and that it works but it's been sitting out on the balcony and hasn't really been used. She gave it to us with her blessing.

S. took down his tool box and has been working on the thing. He just went out to buy WD-40 and is all excited, except now I think he's having second thoughts about the purply woman-ness and is dropping hints for this to become my bike.

Me: Oh, no. That is YOUR bike! Him: But now I can go out and buy a used bike! Me: The good news is you've already got a bike. You've got the Scarlet Pimpernel. And the better news is that now I can take the money we've saved on your bike and get me one with a really nice seat!

The funniest part of the whole thing is when he came into the living room and said, "Should we keep the water bottle?" Me: NO! Him: Not even if we wash it out? Me: I know our neighbor is a nice lady and that we should save the environment, but there is NO WAY I'm going to drink out of a funky ass waterbottle that has been sitting out on her balcony for God knows how long. Not after bleach, not after alcohol, not after anything. We are not that poor that we can't go out and buy our own water bottle. Him: You're so picky.


Anonymous said...

Tell S that we have an eight horse power motor to put on the bike if the hills get to steep. Sure got a good chuckle out of this one. Keep up the good writing and enjoy the bike.

Angela in Europe said...

Oh god, NO NO NO to drinking from a bottle that could be 5 years old and not one you have owned for the entire 5 years!

Pardon My French said...

Yeah, my husband likes to rile me up! He was just kidding, of course, but it was funny just the same.

Doc said...

You know, the sad thing is my husband would drink from the bottle and be very upset with me for even thinking of tossing it out... He's just weird.
Do you have an EmmaĆ¼s in the area? Could be a good way to find a good bike cheap.

Angela in Europe said...

Carrefour is cheap too. I got my at Decathelon (sp?) and paid way too much for it. By the way, I wanted to ask you where you live. I live in Cergy and I hate it with a passion. It is right next to Pontoise which is beautiful!

Pardon My French said...

Thanks for the advice! I don't know what Emmaus is, but I'll ask the hub. He was leaning towards the Carrefour brand; that's actually what his 'new' bike is!