The children's Dad came to pick them up for visitation this weekend, as usual. But two hours in advance, he texted me, saying he'd be a half-hour late. OK, whatever. Then, while he was in the driveway, his tire was suddenly flat. Like, totally flat. Much to my frustration, he didn't seem in the least bit surprised.....which made me suspect he knew the tire had a problem. Then (confirming my suspicions) he pulled out an air pump that he'd been keeping in the passenger seat; apparently nursing the tire along regularly. The best part? Even the air pump was partially broken. Apparently, he'd been nursing THAT along for a while as well. In the end, we had to drive him to Wal-Mart, where he bought an aerosol can of "Fix-A-Flat" (or whatever it's called.) It looks like a can of Reddi Wip--but for your tire. Amazingly, this worked! The tire held enough air for him to drive on it, even though the tire was showing visible wear from riding so low on the rim regularly. Afterward, when I asked him when he would get the tire replaced, he looked at me, perplexed,
"But it's fixed now," he said blankly.
He drove away with my babies, and I ran into the house and tore all my hair out one strand at a time. After that, I realized the episode hit a nerve. He treated that tire exactly the same way that he always did our marriage. With the tire, he had known for a long time that it had a slow leak. He occasionally put enough air into it to keep going. When it suddenly deflated, he was shocked, and treated it like a surprise emergency, which then justified inconveniencing everyone around him. I don't think it ever crossed his mind to actually fix the problem, and if anyone did suggest it to him, he just blew it off. Our marriage was the same: a slow leak that he never thought to fix with anything other than just enough air to keep going, or an occasional blast of "Fix-A-Marriage."
This makes me want to come up with some sort of witty remark to the effect that I guess I rank right up there with an old tire.....but nothing's coming to me at the moment except a desire to go eat some Reddi Wip straight from the can.