My husband made me cry today.
Yeah, I know. He didn’t really “make me” cry. I have the choice in how I respond, blah, blah, blah.
Because the way I see it today is that his actions could have led to no other response.
Let me explain and let’s see if you agree.
Today was Lisa Arends’ terrible, horrible, no good very bad day.
It started on my early morning commute to work. I was a couple miles from the house this morning when my “check engine” light came on and the car started feeling funny. I immediately pulled into a parking lot and shut off the engine even as I dialed my husband on my cell.
I’ve been playing a bit of Russian Roulette with this car for the past few years. I bought it new 15 years ago. Yeah, 15. When I bought it, I wasn’t even married the first time yet. Hell, I was barely of legal drinking age. For the most part, it has been dependable, but it’s of an age where a fatal incident may come at any time.
But I’m not ready yet. I’m still about 9 months away from cleaning up the rest of the financial mess that my lovely ex left for me and, until that is done, I don’t have the extra cash on hand for a car payment. Plus, I also still have his parting gift of bad credit to deal with. So, needless to say, that glaring red light on my dash this morning felt like the eye of Smaug before I was to be stricken from this earth.
I felt horrible waking up my husband, still recovering from surgery, but I had to get to work to handle the yearbook distribution. Without a grumble, he picked me up, ferried me to school, contacted his mechanic friend and waiting with my car until AAA showed up with a tow truck.
But I wasn’t crying yet.
The yearbooks went okay. Everything else? Not so much.
The graphing calculators, instrumental for the today’s lesson, must have been visited by some vampire version of the Energizer Bunny last night, as all of their batteries decided to drain en masse. And the school’s stock of AAA (not the auto company!) batteries in the last week of school? Let’s just say weak.
I managed to beg, borrow and steal enough batteries to cobble together the lesson. So far, so….okay. But then one of the critical websites disappeared. Not okay. I scrambled to find a work around while my kids (did I mention last week of school) got ever nuttier. The day was capped off by one of my students telling me he hated me and hated my class. If you’ve ever thought being around middle schoolers all day is sunshine and roses, you may need to take a Saturday trip to mall. And then try to make the random teenagers do math.
A coworker was driving me home where I was supposed to go with my husband to pick up the car. On the way, I received a text, “Will you grab my wallet out of the driver’s side door of my car on your way in?”
“Sure,” I responded.
Minutes later, I struggled to locate his wallet with my purse strangling me and my suitcase-sized lunch bag (no joke) bumping into my car behind me.
I’m embarrassed to admit it took me a few moments (a few meaning several here) to notice that my car was in the garage. I blame emotional exhaustion.
I bolted upstairs.
“What, why, how…?”
“I took care of it.”
He then referenced an old conversation. He used to ride motorcycles back when we met. He sold his bike when he decided it was too risky. Ever since, he’s been talking about getting a Corvette in its place at some point in the near future. I expressed some reservations, mainly arising from my own fears. I worried that if a Corvette was in the picture and my car suffered a premature death, that I would be in a bind. He assured me during that conversation that he had my back.
“Do you remember when we talked about the Corvette and I said I had your back with your car?”
“Today I showed it.”
The stress of dealing with it.
The uncertainty of work while being carless.
Taken care of.
See. How could I not cry?
In most ways, I trust him easily now. But when it comes to money and my basic needs (like a car), it’s harder for me to be dependent on someone else.
I depended before, and I was horribly burned.
But that was then, and this is now.
And after today, when he says, “I’ve got your back,” I’ll trust him to catch me if I fall.
Just as the tears are falling now.
And, yeah, he IS a keeper!