The Not So EZ Pass

Marriage is a funny thing.  Newlyweds seem to start off as two individuals learning how to live together and then over the years you find yourself merging like a bad traffic jam, sharing the same thoughts and quirks. Sometimes you don’t even realize that what you are doing is different or strange until an outsider lets you know.  Let me give you an example.  Years ago in our life before kids, my husband and I lived in a town house.  The most exciting thing about that town house was the fireplace.  We absolutely loved that fireplace!   We were young and we really couldn’t afford to buy tons of firewood to burn so we improvised.  We would go to the local grocery store and stock up on fire starting logs and burn them sparingly.  We would burn them one at a time never adding real wood to the mix.  When the starter log burned out, then the fire was over.  It was cheap, easy to clean and lasted just about the right amount of time.  It never occurred to us that our little habit was strange until one night our friends came over for dinner and laughed at our pitiful example of ambiance.  It was an embarrassing eye opener but I know we aren’t alone.  Couples all over America fall victim to weird habits of cohabitation.


Recently, Ming (the hubs) and I went for a little weekend getaway to Maine and we witnessed our friends Scott and Aviva displaying one of these weird quirks first hand.

For those of you already familiar with EZ Pass; please forgive me for a moment while I explain it to the rest of the group.  EZ Pass is a small device that drivers mount on their dashboard.

ez passIt’s about the size of a deck of playing cards and it’s designed to make life easier for drivers who use toll roads.  It is very simple to set up and automatically deducts money from your online bank account as you pass through a toll booth.

ez pass works

It saves time.  You don’t ever need to look for spare change while driving or bring your vehicle to a complete stop.  IF…you use it correctly.

Now where was I?  Oh yes…

Ming and I were in the backseat of Scott’s car.  Scott was driving and his wife, Aviva, was riding shotgun.  We were heading north through Maine when it happened.   There, on the horizon, was the first toll booth.   Tension picked up in the car as we got closer and closer to the toll booth.  Aviva made eye contact with Scott and you could tell by the look in her eye that it was game on!  She quickly opened the glove compartment and began fumbling through its entire contents.  Things were flying left and right as she searched for something specific.

Scott kept his eye on the road and carefully picked a lane.

“You got it Aviva?”

“Yes.  It’s ready to go.” she was a little short of breath at this point.

Ming and I watched in awe from the backseat.  We couldn’t figure out what these two were doing.

Then Aviva, now sweating, quickly unwrapped the EZ pass out of the original foil wrapper and held it up to the windshield.  She looked uncomfortable stretching in her seatbelt as she leaned all the way forward.  As we entered the toll lane Scott slowed the car to almost a complete stop and assisted his wife.  Together they held the EZ pass towards the sky as if it were a chalice of wine during a holy communion.

Please accept my EZ Pass!  Please accept it!  Please!

Please accept my EZ Pass! Please accept it! Please!

They waited patiently praying that all would go well.  Finally, the toll light turned green and they had confirmation that their EZ pass worked.  Success!  They gazed at each other the way couples do after a good therapy session.  They were on the same page, working together as a team.

“What the hell was that?” Ming whispered in my ear.

I shrugged my shoulders confused and in disbelieve.  “I donno.” I answered.

I asked Scott and Aviva the plaguing question, “Was that the first time you ever used your EZ pass?”

“Oh no!” they answered in unison.

This confused us “No?? Um what?” We laughed a nervous laugh trying to make sense of the scene we just witnessed.

Ming couldn’t keep quiet “Why do you keep the EZ pass in the original wrapper inside your glove compartment?  Please tell me the rationale behind that one.”

I thought this was a fair question and we listened intently.

“We don’t use it that much.” Aviva responded.

“Then why did you buy it?” asked Ming

“Because we used to need it quite often.” she answered with confidence.

Scott added his opinion as if it would clear things up “It never works right. We have to keep it in that wrapper so it doesn’t demagnetize.”

“Umm…demagnetize???  Like a hotel key?  What are you talking about?” I added.

“Yes”  Scott answered with confidence.  “And we leave it in the glove compartment so the GPS can’t find us.”

Ming busted out laughing.  He couldn’t take it anymore.  “Oh my God!  You’re an idiot!”

Scott looked out the window pondering what he had just said out loud. He now wondered if he really was an idiot. The thought of spending the rest of the weekend with Ming suddenly felt like a chore.  He knew this was going to be a long day.

Ming continued to belittle Scott, “If you go to the trouble to register an EZ pass and to have it in your car, doesn’t it make sense to put it on your dashboard so that it’s easy?”

Without any hesitation at all and with great passion they both answered in unison as if his suggestion was a ridiculous one.

I chimed in “So, you two think it’s a horrible idea to mount your EZ pass on your dashboard?”

Scott defended himself. “Absolutely! I’m not mounting that on my dashboard permanently.”

Ming and I couldn’t stop laughing.  We couldn’t figure out why they were so against mounting the device.  It made no sense.

“Yes.  Why would one EVER mount something on their dashboard permanently?  Oh, the horror!”  I was laughing so hard at this point I was cracking myself up. “It’s not like it’s your high school graduation tassel.”

Scott continued to drive and ignore our bantering.

I continued “Ya know what Scott?  We should call your EZ pass the not so EZ pass’!”

Ming recapped their thoughts out loud for all of us. “So instead of mounting it on your dashboard like the rest of the world.  You find it easier to keep it inside the wrapper, inside your glove compartment and hold it up to the windshield every time you go through a toll booth.  Is that correct?”

“Yes!” they confirmed.


Well alrighty then….

Do you and your spouse have any bizarre quirks?  Please share!