On Sunday we bought ourselves a little trailer. Putting all the garden rubbish into the back of the car to take to the recycling center/dump was slowly driving my husband insane. I think it dates back to when DB was younger and his dad did the same because he was too cheap to buy a trailer, instead he'd make 20 trips to the dump in an afternoon. The young DB would spend all day very carefully loading and unloading trash from the car, because his dad didn't want the interior of the car to get messed up. "Why don't we have a trailer?" I can imagine him asking in a high squeaky voice (my husband does not have a high squeaky voice now, but he looks like the kind of kid that probably did). "Be careful, now! We don't need to have a trailer, son. You are putting that in the wrong way! The car is plenty big enough. Watch out you are going to scratch the upholstery!" his father would reply. Now, watching my husband first lay out a cardboard base and then carefully pack boxes and bags of weeds and leaves into the car, you can see he's reliving prior traumas.
There is a sort of logic in using the car rather than buying a trailer. Trailers are not exactly cheap. Used trailers are available, but for some reason, most Danes selling them think that they don't depreciate in value. "For Sale - 1 trailer, 20 years old, 1 m x 2 m x 1/2 m (3 feet x 6 feet x 1.5 feet), some rust on the axel, undercarriage, wheel wells, wheels, and hitch. Wooden slats need replacing. But it still works, I just used it to take a full load to the dump on Saturday. 3,000 DKK/$600." Meanwhile the same trailer brand new is 5,000 DKK/$1000. (By the way, all price conversions are approximations. The dollar to kroner value fluctuates and since this isn't baking I don't need to be precise.)
But months of determined searching finally paid off. DB found a used trailer that was in fair condition for 600 DKK/$120, at a used trailer/caravan dealer he's familiar with. There we discovered that another new used trailer in better condition had just come in and the guy was willing to sell it to us for 700 DKK/$140. So we now have a trailer.
We also have a caravan and a huge family car.
"Oh my god," said my husband a few months ago when the trailer subject was first raised. "We've become Danes!"
Never mind that he actually is Danish, the last thing my husband wants to be is like every other Dane, driving the Volvo with the trailer full of garden clippings to the dump and then washing the caravan in the driveway.
"Don't be silly, baby," I said, likewise bristling at the accusation, "we've become my parents!"
My parents used to drive a minivan (now it's an extended cab truck, but it still seats 5 comfortably), have a HUGE trailer that my dad takes to the dump every 6 months (no trash pick up in the country, you shlep your own trash to the dump), and a tent trailer that we've used for family vacations for years.
"Yup, you're right," he paused. "Thank God!"
I'm not sure how many men thank their lucky stars they've become their in-laws. I can't imagine it's a large number.
On the way home Sunday night, my husband continued to muse on our encroaching ordinariness.
"Our kid is going to think we are so boring. We drive a Volvo, take the garden trash to the dump..."
"Sit and watch Barnaby (Midsomer Murders) on Saturday nights," I added.
"Yeah," he cried, "and only 5 years ago I was still going to clubs!"
"Five years ago? Heck, 8 months ago I was swinging around tent poles while ridiculously drunk, in the desert, in the middle of nowhere, with a bunch of fellow drunk archaeologists," I had to point out. "Besides, our child is also going to think it's completely normal for mom and dad to speak two completely different languages and eat lots of curry and garlic and jalapeños and for mom to every now and then go off into the desert, get really dirty, drink lots of beer, and find old stuff people threw away. Don't worry, our child's version of normal is not really going to be all that normal." I felt better, reiterating that we are still not normal.
He thought for a moment, "so wait, who was actually there to see you swinging around that pole?"