Learning self-reliance causes considerable consternation

Learning self-reliance causes considerable consternation By: Paula Damon
MyStoryYourStory â�?�?First, get the tire gauge,â�? my husband instructed. Reluctantly, I found the tire gauge. I was about to learn how to put air in my car tires. Ever since I owned my first car, I have avoided this moment. Pouting a bit, I approached Brian, clutching the silver tire gauge and wishing I could go on through the rest of my life relying on him to do this for me. For some time now, fatigue and anxiousness had been closing in on him. Not only does he keep my carâ�?�?s tires afloat, he changes the oil, tunes up the engine and repairs the rust. Having car tire pressure on a â�?�?Honey, doâ�? list was working just fine for me â�?�? but not for him. â�?�?Ok, letâ�?�?s start with the rear tire,â�? he rather robotically began to rattle off instructions. I dragged the air hose to the rear tire on the passengerâ�?�?s side. â�?�?Unscrew the cap. The one thing you do not want to do is lose the cap in the wheel well. Make sure you place the cap on the ground in such a way that it doesnâ�?�?t roll away.â�? Okay, okay, I thought. Already, the lesson was way too long and we had only begun. â�?�?Inside the tire stem, thereâ�?�?s a pin. Set the gauge square on the stem and press down.â�? I stooped to reach the stem, pressed down on it with gauge and a mini ruler popped out. Brian stood back in a hands-off position with his arms folded in front of him and an air of satisfaction and relief about him. â�?�?It reads 28,â�? I reported. â�?�?You need 32. Put more in.â�? Still slightly overwhelmed by having to do this all by myself, I felt stressed from being on bended knee. With surprising ease-of-use, I pressed down and felt air filling the tire. In that solitary moment, I started to realize that maybe, just maybe I really could do this all by myself. â�?�?Okay, put the tire gauge back on and see how much air you have.â�? Fumbling with the gauge, I placed it squarely on the tire nozzle â�?�? 34. â�?�?Thatâ�?�?s too much. Now, you have to let some out.â�? â�?�?Well, how do I do that?â�? â�?�?See that raised nub on the back side of the tire gauge?â�? I looked long and hard for what I thought a nub might look like, since I didnâ�?�?t know what a nub was in the first place. I examined the gauge right side up, upside down, sideways, frontward and backward. Then, Brian finally pointed to the nub. â�?�?See it?â�? â�?�?Oh, I see.â�? I pressed it down on the stem, making the tire hiss-s-s-s-s-s-s. â�?�?Thatâ�?�?s enough,â�? he stopped short. â�?�?Now, measure again.â�? With aching knees, back and arms, I repeated this process until I had 32 pounds of air pressure in that tire. One down, three to go. A deep silent whine rose up inside of me. I still wanted my other life back â�?�? the one where Brian does this for me. Although, when I had pumped air in the fourth and last tire without any help from him, something else came over me. I vaulted from my stooping position with an air of independence under my wings. Maybe now I could learn how to change the oil, tune the engine, and repair the rust. A resident of Southeast South Dakota for more than 30 years, Paula Damon is a popular columnist, keynote speaker and freelance writer. Her columns have won first-place in Iowa Press Women and National Federation of Press Women competitions. Damonâ�?�?s columns took second place statewide in the South Dakota Press Women 2007 Competition. For more information, e-mail paulada mon@iw.net. 2008�?© Paula Damon

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>