I Will NOT be Deflated

Dara LevanBlogLeave a Comment

Do you ever wonder if seemingly insignificant moments mirror our current mood? As many of you know, this past week has been heartbreaking, depleting, devastating, shocking and more. I do not want to focus on those emotions today. I am trying, along with my incredible family, to begin the healing process.

I have experienced such concrete representations of what transpires in life. And this weekend, I realized it is time to share that with you.

Last night, my husband as usual was checking the tire pressure. Thank goodness our hang-ups are balanced and diverse! I could care less about having a perpetually full tank or perfectly inflated tires. And as it has happened before, one of the readings on the dashboard blinked persistently.

My cautious, caring husband made clandestine attempts as he glanced at the warning signal every five minutes. I adjusted the screen as we headed west so the radio stations appeared instead. This became rather comical, and I giggled as we pulled into the parking spot at our destination.

This morning my husband, unbeknownst to me, pulled the car out of the garage. For the first time ever, the tire was unquestionably flat. I thought he was being melodramatic when he said, “Please come outside!” So I took my time sauntering out toward our driveway.

Oh geez he was absolutely correct. The front left normally rotund, black rubber undeniably gloated as it spread its stubborn self. Dang it!!! You’ve got to be kidding! Just last month I replaced the back tire due to a tiny nail.

I took our other car to drive Zoe to tennis. We called AAA, and someone thankfully arrived in a decent amount of time. I came back home as the spare tire was being installed.

This nail must be the parent of the baby nail from last month. Holy moly it was humongous!!! And we are not doing, for once, any construction in or around our home. How are the metal intruders invading my innocent tires? What’s the story?

I muttered all of this under my breath. It’s just a tire, which is no big deal. I’m grateful that material items have never been important to me. However, I was perplexed and a bit frustrated.

And then the AAA man spoke clearly and directly to my husband, although I stood right by the door. “If SHE gets worried just tell HER the warning light will still come on.” OH please do not reduce me to a pronoun. I blurted out, “Um you totally have the wrong impression. This stuff doesn’t bother me.”

He did not stop. He AGAIN looked at my husband and then said, “If she gets hysterical about it, it’s not a big deal and she can drive on the spare.”

Ohhhhhh mister now my blood was boiling. HYSTERICAL? REALLY? I wasn’t as neutral this time—my mouth shifted into another polite but assertive gear. “Hi! Thanks again for coming out here! It’s all good—HE (pointing to my befuddled husband) is the one who panics about tires! Not. Me.”

Before I continue, let me be clear: I am a level-headed, generally calm, grounded woman. I would normally roll my eyes and preach about sexism after the man left. And certainly this would be a teachable moment for my kids. Oh, speaking of which, Alec was outside during this interaction.

The machismo man left, a bit too late as far as I am concerned. I told Alec how agitated and condescending that felt to me. He smirked and said, “Really, mom? We couldn’t tell.” I continued my mild rant when Zoe came downstairs.

And my friends, that is precisely when it hit me. My heart has felt heavy, somber, and deflated since my sister-in-law left us. The tire felt like a metaphor for my emotional state.

My atypically intense reaction I now sense was a full-throttle release of months of repressed emotion mixed with speaking up for all women. The Brett Kavanaugh hearings haven’t helped. I was angry. I was offended. I wasn’t having it.

The tire will be plugged; the hole in my heart is attempting to mend. I cannot patch or fix grief—it is a painfully slow process. But there is no way a man, or anyone, will deflate me. My husband thinks I’m “overrreacting,” and he may be right.

However, it felt at this time and this day that I needed to speak up. So I did. Listen to the gentle (and sometimes bold) nudges from your soul. It is  always the right time to do what’s right for you.

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