There are days when I feel like my husband should be knighted for his awesomeness. Or maybe proclaimed to be a saint. Because most of the time he just can’t help doing the right thing without a single moment of hesitation. Saturday August 18 was one of those times.
Normally this knee-jerk reaction to him needing high fives for being a good-person-overachiever has to do more with the fact that he’s somehow managed to put up with my ass for the past thirteen or so years. But on Saturday Matt just jumped into action like there wasn’t a question about it.
Late afternoon on Friday my Mom came up and planned to spend the weekend. We hung around for a couple hours and chatted before Matt got home. While we were hanging out the movie “It Could Happen to You” came on and we ended up watching the whole thing sitting there in our bathing suits. We were getting in the pool but that movie is so dang cute neither of us wanted to stop watching.
So what does any of that have to do with Matt’s newly bestowed title? Well Nicholas Cage plays the leading man, Charlie Lang, a cop in NYC who never fails to do the right thing when it comes to being a decent human being. His wife in the flick (Rosie Perez) can’t understand how he could have promised half of their lottery winnings to some random waitress (Bridget Fonda). But Charlie doesn’t back down on his promise. He never stops being a kind, generous and wonderful person despite all the crap that gets thrown at him.
The movie came out in 1994. I promised myself after watching it that I would find a guy just like Charlie as the leading man in my own life. Maybe he screws up occasionally, maybe he isn’t perfect, but somewhere deep down in the depths of his soul he’s just a decent and kind human being.
Well by some miracle of fate, I happened to find the real life Charlie and even more odd, they’re both from New York!
On Saturday morning we all discussed taking a road trip to somewhere none of us had ever been before. With Sunset Crater chosen as our destination, we hit the open road and headed north toward Flagstaff. The place was pretty cool, lots and lots of lava flow rocks from the volcano that erupted only about 1000 years ago. But the place we really wanted to see was up the road – an 800 year old pueblo that was mostly still standing. Um, cool!
We made it there about an hour before sunset and headed up the short path to this former house on top of a rock. There were two other groups there at the same time as us (which was weird because it was in the middle of nowhere. On our way up the path the couple with the fancy-pants camera set-up made their way back to the parking lot with a scowl. I wanted to say ‘gee, sorry to interrupt your photo op in this public state park’ but kept my mouth shut. The other group was a mom and what looked to be her two teenage children.
Mom, Matt and I explored the various rooms and the last three people eventually left. We had the place to ourselves so we acted a little dorky and took a whole bunch of pictures. Like this one taken earlier:
We headed back out to see that we weren’t alone in the parking lot. The minivan with the small family was still sitting there. Which I thought was strange because they’d taken off at least fifteen minutes before we made our way back to our car. The daughter was walking towards us. All of a sudden I hear “Excuse me, can you help us with a tire? We have a flat.”
Here’s what it looks like out there:
Luckily they had a jack and a spare. But this was a minivan, not a car with a trunk or a Jeep with a tire mounted to the back. Take a wild guess where the tire was located? Give up? Yeah, it’s under the vehicle. You have to use this weird contraption that forms the shape of a T and release some cable – done from the inside the vehicle - in order to drop the thing down so you can access the donut.
Now my phone chose this exact moment to die so the most important pictures weren’t even captured. Stupid roaming killing my battery too quickly!
But here’s a free piece of advice for everyone out there – NEVER approach a writer who is currently working on a suspense novel when she and her family are in the middle of nothingness, without another soul around, the Ranger’s station approximately two miles away, and a situation that is way too obvious as a trap because she won’t actually believe all you need is help changing a tire until you’ve already driven away with a donut attached to your car.
Here’s how the situation went in my head – the teenage boy takes the contraption shaped like a T, knocks Matt over the head with it and then kidnaps Mum & me to sell us into some kind of underground slavery ring while Matt lies bleeding out at the end of a dead end street in the middle of the desert.
Yeah, I really gotta find a way to separate fantasy from reality.
Because the actual scene looked a lot more like this:
Yeah, yeah. Perhaps I’m just slightly biased as to the inherent sexiness of my husband in a crisis situation but I think all five of us who were standing there watching him jack up that minivan to replace the tire would agree that he’s pretty kick-ass.
And nary a tire iron swung at anyone’s head during the entire experience. Imagine that!
They thanked us profusely and said “can we give you anything for your trouble?” Now don’t get me wrong, I certainly wouldn’t accept a dime from someone in this situation, we were all just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, but I thought it was kind of them to offer anyway.
Matt said “all you can give me is the knowledge that you get home safely tonight.” Seriously, who’s in charge of the sword on the shoulder thing? I’ve got your candidate right here.