Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hello, My Name is Joe.....

....I have a wife, three kids, and I work in a button factory. One day my boss came to me and said, "Joe, are you busy?", I said "No." He said, "Push this button with you right hand" (repeat) "Push this button with your left hand!" (repeat) "Push this button with you right foot!" And so the ditty goes until all your hands, feet, and head are constantly moving! It's very similar to the "Father Abraham song. Then it concludes with the boss asking one more time if he is busy and Joe yells out an emphatic, "Yes!" If you were part of a youth group in the 80's or early 90's you probably have participated in this game.

So you are wondering, "Justine, what is your point?" Here is my point: This song/game comes to mind every time I start driving our manual transmission vehicle! It's ridiculous!

I know, I know, some of you are thinking to yourselves how wonderful a standard is if you are on rocky terrain or driving on some form of uncharted territory. But am I doing that? No. I just want to get out once in a while and go to the store buy a few groceries. I have no intentions of busting out in a four wheel drive! (I have no idea if that made sense I am basically just pulling out vocabulary that I have heard regarding driving!) LOL

Anyway, I remember when I used to sit in the driver's seat, press the brake, put it into gear and go...ahhhhh, those were the days! What do I do now? I have to think about every single step I take. What gear is it in? Am I pressing hard enough on the clutch? Am I giving it enough gas while I release the clutch? Am I pressing the clutch when I break? Am I on a hill? What do I need to do now? Am I in the right gear? Why won't this gear shift go where I want it to? And so on, you get the picture! Both legs and both hands are needed and I end up feeling like one big back spasm as I try to do this and maneuver through an ocean of vehicles, most of which are motorcycles that are turning with me, in front of me, and beside me at any given moment! Sheesh, it's enough to make this girl yell, "Yes!"

(Well, that lost some of the drama in trying to fit it in with my earlier story about Joe, but suffice it to say that I want to yell, "STOP!")

And mind you I have not even done all of this with other people in the car, especially those of the shorter variety that follow me everywhere I go! (Although one of those is already taller than me, you get the picture!) :) On top of all this I have one big fear....

The parking garage. (I tremor even now as I type this!) :)

Or most parking lots here in general. Do you know why? Because everywhere you park, you have to back in! Back in? Yes, back in, and if you try to just pull into the spot, one of the gazillion parking attendants will force you to "mundur".....yep, that's the world for "back in". That's the word that strikes fear in my heart. Have they seen me back in in a standard? Don't they want to live? Yikes, just writing this make me feel like I need to go in search of Calgon, which would be in vain because I would have to drive the standard, back in to my parking spot, and then the store wouldn't carry it anyway! What's a girl to do?

Don't get me wrong, I am incredibly thankful that our company has provided a vehicle for our use, there are others here who are not so fortunate. However, I just have to go on record and say (and I realize this statement can be polarizing because manual transmissions have die hard fans) that I cannot ever imagine choosing a standard over an automatic.....ever. Unless of course I lived in the Yukon or out in the jungle. (Where Barry sometimes has to go, but that ruins my whole theory so ignore that and just think of my plight!) Did I mention I have no power steering either? Yes, this is one big ball of fun, driving a standard, no power steering, driving on the "wrong" side of the road and shifting with my left hand.'s like a carnival ride!

Well, enough about me and my current crisis. On a positive note, Barry came home yesterday! Yay!! Out of the past 25 days he has spent 17 of those in the hospital here and in Singapore. He has received a total of 34 shots in his stomach. Needless to say he was ready to come home. For those of you not on FB, they kept him in the hospital in Singapore for 9 days, until they got his blood adjusted to the right level. His blood clot should be absorbed into his body eventually. He still has leg pain which they said could last for 3 months to a year or two. And while he has been dying to go back to Singapore since he lived there 22 years ago, this was not necessarily how he wanted to do it! The CEO has been so good to us and he has received such good care which has made all the difference. Just being able to communicate how you feel, and to be able to completely understand what the Dr. is saying made a huge difference. He said while he was in the hospital here in Folgers that he would get nauseous just trying to focus and understand what they were saying. Poor guy, he has been through a lot. We can never say thank you enough for those of you who lifted him up, it has made all the difference, and we are really grateful! Our whole family was encouraged by your notes, messages, emails, and skype calls.

The kids and I did well being on our own. That is not to say that it has been without its bumps, but overall we managed and are all still breathing! :) Thanks to Sara, Steve and Joy, I have been able to go where I needed to and get groceries, get the kids out to play at the mall, and have some interaction with adults! I started to teach myself to drive, changed the propane tank by myself (those of you who know about my dealings with electricity, don't cringe, it all turned out okay!) and handled all of the household affairs and paid all of the monthly bills. (You have to pay in person here.)

So I welcomed my husband home with a huge hug and a kiss! I told him how much I loved him and appreciated all that he does for us and how very thankful I am that this did not turn anymore serious and that we love him more than ever. I told him that he is a treasured gift from the CEO and I am proud to be his wife, then with a grin ever so sweet I turned the car keys over to him and said that while I appreciate the oppurtunity to learn to drive, I will only be driving when it is absolutely necessary! LOL

1 comment:

Dara Steward said...

I just wanted to say I really love reading your blog! You have such a sweet sense of humor and grace in dealing with frustrating situations. Thank you for sharing these glimpses into your everyday lives. I ask that I would be able to cope with the daily challenges with such grace.