The Lemon (#348)

I wouldn’t trade my husband for anything.

I reminded myself of this last weekend when he injured his dominant hand working on the sprinklers. (That’s sprinkler injury #2, for those counting.)

But if Andy had been a car? TOTAL. LEMON. (For younger readers, “lemon” is slang for a car that is constantly breaking, usually due to shitty manufacturing.)

The Spousemobile has had five surgeries on his knees and ankles (two ruptured tendons, two torn menisci, one giant cyst removed). He’s got compressed discs in his back. He’s broken his tailbone (not his fault, the poor Spousemobile got rear-ended by a texting idiot). Andy also has infection-induced asthma; normal winter colds regularly led to bronchitis until he got his CPAP machine (because he also has sleep apnea). He’s got retinas that would like to detach and has had holes in them soldered up by lasers regularly.

Luckily—or perhaps smartly—Andy picked a sturdy wife that can soldier on through pretty much all ailments. Torn quadricep? Watch me scoot around on the floor to clean! 6 months of nausea while pregnant? Let me just take some puke bags with the poop bags when I walk the dogs. Flattened by a dog while walking my dogs? I’ll leave a trail of blood, but I’ll get us all home. Familial vasovagal response that makes me pass out when I donate blood or see someone injured? Don’t worry, I’ve gotten very good at either not passing out or figuring out how to do it with minimal fuss/ bother. (The secret is to make a lot of jokes and talk to nurses to keep your blood pressure up. If that doesn’t work? Lie down ASAP. No matter how dirty, the floor is your friend.)

A man with tools and a bathroom sink
Andy being handy

Despite his issues, there’s no way I’m trading in the Spousemobile. Like most men, Andy tends to automatically put his own needs ahead of his pets and spawn, but when I lose my shit calmly explain that ideally one prioritizes one’s child over reading a newspaper, Andy makes adjustments. He works at a job he doesn’t love in order to keep us fed and medically insured. He cooks 30-50% of the time (he cooked more before child and injuries). He’s handy around the house (despite the demon sprinklers).

He wrestles with Baby D and even grudgingly coached youth sports.

A man and a boy with matching ice packs
Of course, wrestling with Baby D sometimes means ice packs for all.

Meanwhile, no small number of my Gen X mom friends have traded in their undented Chevy Novas (all white models). Some have decided there’s no point in having an extra car that just sits in the driveway with XM Sports Radio blaring while they are madly driving to work, school, the store, practices, the doctor, and the vet. Younger women, seeing all the trade-ins (and crashes) are opting to avoid the marital car altogether. Those that do get married are opting against having children.

I don’t care what the Boomers say: the Millennials are all right.

And Gen Z? They believe in voting, unions, universal healthcare, addressing climate change, and better public transportation.

May they never know what a vehicular lemon is.

Published by

Autumn Ashbough

WF writing about the humorous perils of life with Chinese-American significant other.

11 thoughts on “The Lemon (#348)”

  1. Yeah, he’s a keeper. My husband too although a day doesn’t go buy without bandaids, antibiotics and all that goes with it. I would tell my young self to buy stock in bandaid companies!

      1. My husband has bad knees and a bad back. Our kids jokingly gave him a walker for his birthday a few years ago. It’s hanging on the wall in the basement, just in case.

  2. I just visited with my neighbour where we compared notes on our aches & pains. Only problem is that she’s 20 years old than me…

    I also have crutches and canes and, once I have the knee replacement op, I’ll be adding a walker to the collection. I’m beyond feeling my age, I’m feeling positively decrepit. Andy has empathy, but I’ll keep my sympathy for you!

  3. I must admit, I haven’t heard of the term lemon! But wow, Andy has been through a lot! despite that he’s definitely a keeper. Not only is he calm, handy, and good with baby but he’s a fantastic cook!

    If I had to label my husband I would call him a sturdy Honda accord lol. He’s not the flashiest but he’s extremely reliable. No bmw for me thanks

    1. Lemon is old school. I think it’s from the 70s, when American cars were really sucking and Japanese cars had begun to take over the market. Because they were reliable. Like your husband!

      He asked me what kind of car I was. I told him I wasn’t a car. I was a s sturdy draft horse that never misses a day of work.

  4. For many years our youngest son suffered a vasovagal response that caused him to faint from any sharp pain. Like you, he learned to deal with it. I’ve seen him gritting his teeth while grinding out “I don’t want to faint!” just before passing out. He went somewhere with a group of friends and bashed his knee while getting in the car. He managed to tell them “I’m going to pass out; I’ll be right back.” He came to to find his friends starting at him with shocked expressions. Fortunately, he outgrew it over several years.

    1. I’ve given a lot of similar warnings: “I just need to lie on the floor for a second,” “hey, if I pass out, make sure you get all the blood and then put some cold towels on my head and neck, I’ll be fine.”

      It’s great that your son outgrew it!

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