Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Jack Lesson

“Okay Amber. Where’s your jack?” Tom said seriously.

We were standing outside and I was peering intently into my car’s trunk. Tom has been reviewing a bunch of stuff with me before he goes to Korea.

Is it wrong that the first thing that popped into my head was Jack from Titanic? I wanted to be all, “Tom, Jack is dead. He froze to death in the water, didn’t you know?” I was tempted to say it but I didn’t think Tom would be amused. He was taking this review stuff seriously.

“My jack is….” I said, my eyes scanning the area. “Here.” I picked up a silver thing. I wanted to hold it over my head like a trophy and hum a ballad but again, Tom probably wouldn’t have liked that.

“And your spare tire?” Tom continued.

Hey. Where was my praise for finding the jack? Oh well.

“Under the flap in the trunk,” I replied triumphantly. I lifted up the flap and was hit by the smell of burning rubber, since it was so hot out. “It smells.” I pinched my nose.

“It’s rubber,” Tom said simply.

I wanted to make a joke about rubbers. Ugh, why did Tom have no sense-of-humor when he was teaching me things?

“Do you know how to change a tire?” Tom wondered.

I stroked my chin. “Isn’t that what USAA is for? We pay for roadside assistance.”

Tom frowned. “You should know how to do it. Suppose it takes hours for someone to help?”

“Isn’t that what Amanda’s husband is for?” I asked, naming my friend’s husband.

“He could be working. Then what?”

“Uhhh….”

So Tom explained it all to me, pantomiming how to change a tire. There were so many dirty jokes I could have said, especially when he was bent over pretending to pump the deflated tire in the air so it could come off. I giggled once and Tom said sharply, “Pay attention, this is important,” so I mashed my lips together.

When Tom finished with the car stuff he asked if I knew how to weed eat.

“I plan on taking scissors and cutting the grass along the house,” I said seriously.

“Weed eating is faster.”

“Our weed eater is as big as I am and it scares me. Suppose I weed eat off my foot?”

Tom sighed and rubbed his temples. He was probably thinking, “Of all the wives in the world, I got stuck with this one.”

“You’ll be fine,” Tom promised.

“But what if I lose a toe? Would you still love me without a big toe?”

Tom blinked at me. “How could you lose a toe when you’ll be wearing shoes?”

Oh, good point. When I pictured myself weed eating I was in flip flops since it’s hot and all.

“I mixed up enough stuff you’ll need for the weed eater. It’s a mixture of oil and gas. No,” Tom said, pointing at me sharply. He knows me well enough to know that I was going to make a crack at the gas comment. (“Fart!”)

“Make sure you bring your car in every 3000 miles for an oil change. I’ll randomly ask you how many miles you’re at when we Skype,” Tom said. He’s big on changing oil every 3000 miles. He doesn’t understand why all people aren’t anal about this. “And they wonder why their cars crap out on them,” Tom will gripe.

“You’re going to mention car oil when we Skype? How romantic,” I said glumly. I pictured us talking on Skype, asking how each other’s day went and then Tom going, “And what’s your oil at today?”

“I think that’s it,” Tom said. “I think I’ve gone over everything I wanted you to know.”

“Thank you,” I said and bowed. I was pretending he was that old dude in The Karate Kid teaching me everything that he knew.

“You’ll be okay, right?” Tom added. I know he’s worried about me. We’ve gone through deployments before—once he was gone for six months—but we’ve never done a year before.

“I’ll be fine,” I assured him. “Now what does the jack look like again?”

A look of panic spread over Tom’s face.

“I’m kidding,” I said quickly.

70 comments:

  1. I don't know where my jack OR spare tire are. I will die if I have to use those.

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  2. I still can't wrap my head around the idea of your husband being gone for a year. Does he get to come home at all during that time? Gah.

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  3. It's nice that Tom is concerned about you, and that he's taking time to teach you what he thinks you need to know. It's also a way for him to show that he cares. I'm sure it will be tough, at least some of the time....glad you still have your sense of humor.

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  4. I find it almost romantic that he is doing this with you - I wonder if my hubs would even care!

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  5. Last time I had a flat, without AAA, it was with a girlfriend (Both of us with college degrees), and SHE at least claimed that she knew what to do. She didn't. I didn't even pretend to fake it. I know the tools, I understand the principle - but we just couldn't get the jack in the right place. It was hysterical and embarrassing and something we really should've documented with photos. I've had AAA since.

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  6. It's so sweet that he's taking the time to show you all of this stuff! He wants you to be well taken care of while he's away. Adorable. :)

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  7. Joking around might have helped you remember the stuff he showed you, because you'll remember the jokes.

    And if not, you can refer back to this post.

    It's like the blog jokes are a string around your finger.

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  8. So cute and funny!

    And, um, I'm with you on the whole tire, jack thing--I wouldn't even know where to begin looking for them.

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  9. so true. I like to pun around too and sometimes they just don't like us doing it.

    I think all you wives and husbands that send someone off for deployment are just awesome.

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  10. When I was 16 my dad made me change a tire AND change my own oil before I could get my driver's license.
    I taught my own daughter the same things. Her husband is currently in Afghanistan for a year. Army. I have been very impressed how you young military wives learn to adapt while the husband is gone. Especially when you have young children.
    My daughter has 4 kids ages 5, 3, 2 & 10 months.

    Will be praying for you, your hubby and your two kiddos as he is deployed.

    Chris

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  11. I actually find this really sweet. Awww..

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  12. Your husband definitely cares about your well-being. I bet he's really sad about leaving you and the kids for a year.

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  13. My hubs did the same thing when he started working out of state. Cant imagine what you will endure though!

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  14. kudos to your husband for teaching you the basics before he leaves. I've dealt with many an Army wife that didn't know how to change a light bulb, and try to use the FRG as their babysitter/slave.

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  15. Oh, so sweet, he worries about you, and he's absolutely right about oil.
    Don't ask me how I know, i don't even drive ;)

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  16. Bittersweet post fo shizzle. I admire both of you for how you're each trying to cope with his deployment.

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  17. So cute! Wayne taught me last year how to change a tire. He actually made me do it! You know how hard it is to actually lift a tire and put it on? Yeesh! But still cute!

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  18. Kuddos to you for simply trying to learn all this, I assure you I would loose a toe trying to change a tire. Don't ask me how, but I promise I would find a way

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  19. Hey you know jack!

    :)

    Last time I had a flat, it was on the side of a sandy road so I had to find a board put the jack on to keep it from sinking while jacking the car up - but then - I couldn't get the lugnuts off anyway since the service garage cranked them on way too tight with an air wrench.

    Took both me and a cop leaning (standing) on a much larger wrench to get the durn things off...

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  20. okay so I guess I am now over my hissy fit that you were SO close to me while in NC and didn't even call or email me or nothing....but any how that is done and over and I can now move on :O)

    With that said, I guess most people never stop to think how many tasks a women has to do(on top of all her normal Mom stuff) while the hubs is away. Every time Chris is away something always falls apart. No, really...no joke! The dryer element goes out. I have 2 flat tires in 2 weeks, the dog gets a fish hook ALL the way through his lip, dog chokes on rib bone that get stuck in his throat (which I gave him the night before)
    .....and I am sure I could go on.
    Good luck with all your new duties and trust me the gas/oil mix for the weed eater gets me everytime!

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  21. Amber,

    You crack me up! I am glad you are back. But, I think you should try and be nicer to Tom. I'm sure it will be hard to jab him when you skype with him!

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  22. Haha... I love the way you tell stories. I wouldn't be surprised if he came home to check your oil and weed eat.

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  23. Okay ... not to freak you out or anything ... but I know someone who cut off their toe with a lawnmower ... I assume it could happen with a weed eater.

    (I used to know a guy who was a vegan who thought it was hysterical to wear a hat that said "Weed Eater" on it)

    If this was my husband, he would totally be calling me "Grasshopper".

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  24. This sounds EXACTLY like me and my husband. He does not appreciate when I crack fart jokes when he is trying to instruct me on something.... but I just can't help it. Gas is funny.

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  25. Oh man, I would have loved to hear your rubbers joke! haha

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  26. Not that Tom would want to hear this. . .but my fiance, who was a truck driver and does. . .things to cars, told me if you go over the 3,000 miles, it won't hurt the car.

    I mean, if you go 300,000, that would be a different story. But apparently they undershoot when they tell you 3,000.

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  27. I just read an article about married couples and it said the strongest marriages were the ones where both spouses could say "I can live without you.". Big kudos to you guys! Tom is a serious guy, isn't he? :) Good thing he has you. ;)

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  28. Awww. You guys had me at weed eat.

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  29. I'm scared of the weed eater too!

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  30. My dad thought it was important for girls to know how to do things like change a tire. Good thing. First marriage and we had a blow out in the middle of no-where (before cell phones) and my first husband was useless. He sat in the car with the kids while I changed the tire! Second husband was a mechanic. Unfortunately, he was also a tool.

    I can't imagine how hard it would be to have a husband you like away for a year. :(

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  31. Its so sweet that he is showing you this stuff. He really does care!

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  32. I think it's great that he's going over this stuff with you. I'm worried for whenever hubby deploys because I'm so used to calling up my dad or bro-in-law to come do/fix things that I don't know how to do. I am NOT a hands on kinda gal. Good luck!

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  33. Girl, I am right there with you! There's a reason I pay for Roadside Assistance . . . LoL!

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  34. When he asks about the mileage and oil, just smile and say "I love you too Honey." It's very loving that he's teaching you these things, all these things he would do for you if he were home.

    Mine would just give me phone numbers of people to call.

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  35. Girl, I am right there with you! There's a reason I pay for Roadside Assistance . . . LoL!

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  36. HA HA HA!

    I Just bend over my car and act like I dont know what i'm doing.. which doesnt take much acting.. and soon a guy will stop and help! :)

    Its great being a girl!

    One day my mom, two sisters and I had car trouble.. Within a twenty minute time, we had a half a dozen cars stop. Guess we have some nice asses! ;) Or minnesotans are just THAT nice!

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  37. Awww..how sweet! Me? I am all for roadside assistance too!

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  38. When Alex was deployed, he didn't bother to show me anything much. Come to think of it, I know more about stuff than he does.

    You'll be fine. And he will too. When you skype talk about other things than the oil and the car!

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  39. Awww! He's so sweet to worry about you. . . He's going to be so lonely without you to keep him laughing (and rolling his eyes)

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  40. Awww. He's a sweetie. My Dad taught my sister and I to change a tire when we got our first cars and since then, I've had just one cause to take out the jack...sadly, my car at the time was a Toyota sporty-ish car, which introduced these "locks" on the tires (to prevent theft) and I ended up having to call AMA anyway.

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  41. When my hubby was gone for a year a very nice older neighbor walked by when I was outside mowing the lawn and asked me, "If you ever need a man for anything, let me know."...I had to laugh.

    I loved this post...made my day!

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  42. I'm happy to say I do know how to use my jack AND change a spare tire...however, I have never mown the grass or used a weed eater so I guess our lawn would be a jungle if my husband had to leave for a year.

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  43. How sweet that he cares! (oh come on, I know you think so too!) I still feel anxiety when I read your posts about him leaving for a year....I can only imagine what goes on in your mind...
    At least you will have Skype..and talks of oil changes!!

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  44. I like to make jokes when my husband teaches me stuff....it goes over about as well as your scenario. :-)

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  45. You just know Tom cares about you so much, teaching you all this stuff before he leaves, but he's so SERIOUS, and you are so FUNNY. That just proves that opposites ATTRACT!!

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  46. We use AAA for tire changes. Second concept: we haven't had a flat tire in over 20 years, modern tires don't usually go bad unless they pick up a nail or something. Just be sure to have the cell phone charged and call USAA, or look helpless and some guy will stop and help.

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  47. Aww that's so sweet he wants to get you all set up like that and he is worried about you. I'm sure there's plenty a person on base to help out if you got in a pinch. Good luck!

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  48. i can't imagine being without my (horrid, awful, wonderful) husband for a whole year. good luck!

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  49. All of this really is the sweetest thing ever. What a good man. :)

    And isn't "changing your oil" also a dirty term for something or other?

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  50. Yikes. I drive a conversion van. Even if I DID know how to change the tire, I don't think there is a jack in the world that I could use to lift that baby up with!

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  51. I actually do trim my grass with scissors. I hate weed eating.

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  52. Thank you both for your sacrifice helping keep me and my family safe! You guys are true heroes!

    BTW - I don't know how to change a tire! I like your suggestions!

    http://bluecottonmemory.wordpress.com

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  53. lol you have excellent storytelling skills.

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  54. I can't even get the bolts loose by myself. I'm such a weenie!

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  55. Cute!

    I like to joke around when my husband is in serious mode. It annoys the crap out of him! heh heh

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  56. You're husband is so cute trying to teach you how to change a tire and use a weed eater...but a year...oh my. I love how you tell this story.

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  57. I learned how to change a tire earlier this year. It's really not that hard. :)

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  58. oh, how sweet! You are going to give this poor boy coronary before he leaves though.

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  59. I'm amazed and impressed that you are keeping that sense of humor intact!

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  60. You're so funny. I'd have had trouble not laughing too. It's cute that he wants to check these things though.

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  61. I'd rather just lay down in traffic than try to change a tire. He's really going to miss your sense of humor!!!

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  62. I am weepy eyed here about how much he is trying to teach you.

    what a good man.

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  63. It's how he shows love. My dad does the same thing.

    He has tried to teach me how so change my oil/change a tire so many times, and I tend to just check out and then think about bunnies.

    He doesn't appreciate it either.

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  64. I greatly admire single mother types. I have never changed a tire, used a grill, or killed a spider. It's a miracle I put gas in my car. Hey! I tagged you in a meme at my site, check it out:
    http://www.pampersandpinot.com

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  65. I think it's super sweet that Tom is trying to teach you all this stuff before he leaves. My dad went on two one year deployments and my mom survived both times. You will too! And we'll all be here rooting for you!

    Illinois to Wyoming is quite the drive, but I can change a tire if you're desperate. Lol.

    ♥Spot

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  66. Isn't Tom the sweetest? Glad he taught you those things before leaving.

    Now,shouldn't the army have lawn guys for the wives when they are deployed? Just saying!

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  67. The thoughts going through your head and your jokes are cracking me up! I would have said all the same things :-)

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