Originally posted Thursday March 01, 2007:
Here’s what happened to me the other day. Thought I would pass it on, in case it inspires any stories. I know I’ll be tucking it away to plot out on a rainy day.
Tuesday: I’m heading out to pick up my husband (we’d dropped his truck for maintenance). On my way, I see an old (eh, older. She must have been in her 70s) lady who has either pulled off the road on to a driveway at an acute angle, or is in trouble. I stop and verify. Turns out that her car spun out and tossed her into a snowbank. I take a look at her car. Yep, it’s definitely stuck.
She insists that we need to lift her car to get it out of the snowbank. I know this isn’t the right idea, but what the heck, it’s her car. I was just a block from my house, so I dashed back and tried to find some of my male neighbours (like an old lady and I are going to lift a car). No one’s home. I come back to see her trying to flag down cars. No one is stopping.
I say to her, “Why don’t you use my cell phone to call the tow service, let me dig at the snow.” To which she says, “It’s very hard.” Then she goes back to flagging down cars — but the ones with men in them. I got the distinct impression that she was happy to have me for company, but when it came to un-sticking her car, her attitude was “It’s a man’s job.” Now, I’m trying hard not to laugh – and not to rip the shovel out of her hands and say, “Dammit! I realize I’m a woman, but we can fix this!”
Anyway, a red car stops, and girls, I’m not kidding you, the guy that gets out is right out of a fantasy. 5’9/5’10, so well built you can see the muscles rippling under his clothing but he’s not so muscular that he looks bulky. In fact, he’s lean, trim. Dark olive skin, strong jaw line, lean face. Black hair with just a touch of grey at the temples. I’m staring at this guy like “Can I take a photo, cause you would be great in one of my books – dammit the whole scene would be great for one of my books.” Which, by the way, is why I’m passing it on. In case it inspires any ideas for you guys.
He asks if we need help, and he’s got this glorious eastern-European accent nestled in a rich, tenor voice. We answer “yes.” And then I really felt like a girl because: I was going to dig and reverse the car back on to the street. He dug at the front, drove the car up the driveway and then backed it on to the street. His way was both efficient, required the least amount of energy and I was totally cheesed that his idea beat mine (which my husband thinks is hilarious that I would compete re: ideas).
But the really funny thing is when the woman made him drive her car. He just got this look on his face like, “It’s clear. Just pull it on the driveway, lady.” (side note: she wouldn’t move out of his way. I pulled on her coat and said, “We need to get out of the way. If the car slides, it’s going to hit you.” She ignored me. I moved to a safe distance. Support is support, but if she got smacked, one of us would need to call 911).
Then when she made him back it into the street, you could tell he was regretting his decision to help her. He looked kind of twitchy when he stepped out of the vehicle and I think he was worried that she was going to make him chauffer her for the rest of the day! His body language (sharp, jerky movements to his car) said that all he wanted was to get the heck away.
But, of course, my senior lady wouldn’t let him. She starts talking to him about her shovel (yes, her shovel), then looks around the deserted street and says, “No one’s around. I’m going to give you a hug as thanks.”
Lol, you should have seen the look on his face! He was totally panicked like he thought she was going to mug him. He gave me this deer in the headlights look, stood stiffly while she hugged him, then ran from us, sobbing. I got a hug, too. And that made the entire episode totally worth it. Well, that and watching a 70-year old, well-dressed lady mouth off to the people that wouldn’t stop for her.