When we left the Mexican restaurant on my lunch date with my wife and my daughter yesterday afternoon, there was three or four inches of snow on the ground with more falling. I walked to the car and started it. My intent was to drive to the front door of the dining establishment so that the ladies wouldn’t have to trudge through the snow to get in. As luck would have it, a slick pavement coupled with a slight incline to the parking stall (Leavenworth, Kansas, is hilly!) proved to be just enough to cause the car to slide forward rather than roll backwards. None of my cold weather driving skills helped, and I soon found the Boss and our daughter standing at the side of the car. The Boss loaded the girl into the rear seat before the following conversation took place:
“I’ll push,” the Boss said.
“No you won’t,” I replied.
“I’ve got boots on, you don’t,” she said. “I’ll push you out.” This is the practical, Minnesota, tomboy, airline ramper that I fell in love with and married. You can take the girl off of the blue collar ramp, but you cannot take the blue collar off of the girl, no matter how much she protests otherwise.
“OH, NO YOU WON’T!” I told her. “I will not sit in a car while my wife pushes me out of a parking stall.”
Folks, a man doesn’t sit in a car and allow a woman to push him out of a snow bank. It just doesn’t happen. Not if I want to retain a shred of self-respect. I don’t care if my back felt then like it does now. I’d still get out and push.
I opened the door and stepped out of the car. She sat down, put the car in reverse, and after two attempts and two mighty pushes the car was on the street, ready for the ride home.
Five minutes later I was convinced that my lower back was still on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant.
That’s where my family doctor and good narcotics enter this story.
I’ve spent the past twenty four hours wincing around the house bent over like an osteoporotic hunchback looking for the next bell to ring. I could be the cover model on the next issue of Kyphosis Quarterly. Of course, the Boss has been teasing me. “You should have just let me push. I had the boots.” Both my doctor and his nurse replied the same way when I asked them if a man should allow his wife to push their car out of a snow bank while the man drove.
Chivalry isn’t dead.
But my back is.