Living in the country has an interesting effect on people. Every trip into town becomes a three to four hour event in which you must stuff as many errands as possible. Going into town for just one store? Pah! Amateurs!
Any trip Marc and I take into town involves a Tractor Supply run, along with maybe a John Deere or Napa stop, and then a pick up at Goodyear. Oh and then church or visiting friends (aka the purpose for our trip in the first place). I am not a logistics gal, and usually all the errand running wears me out, and has an 85% chance of making me "grumps".
So when I got a part-time job in town, this opened up an entire new world for the farm! Someone new to pick things up!
So when the honeymoon stage began to wear off, I started getting asked to run farm-related errands on my way to or from work. Now don't hear me wrong, I love helping Marc out with his work. I'm meant to be his helpmeet. If that means running errands, by golly, I'm gunna do it... but not without a little complaining. And I have good reason (maybe) for my complaining; let me give you a scenario:
A couple weeks ago, Marc asked me to take an old battery into Insterstate Battery and ask for a replacement. I rolled my eyes but said "Okay".
Before I continue I feel the need to explain my eye-rolling. Last time I had to pick something up for the farm, I went into a store that smelled like oil, metal, and guy and was asked a barrage of questions to which I didn't know what to say to most. Then there's the matter of "what account to put the order on" and "blah blah blah"... Suffice it to say, I felt a little stupid after leaving and did not relish the idea of going back.
NOW that you have some back-story, you can see where my trepidation and sassiness came from.
So there I was. At Interstate Battery at 8:36 AM on a cold Friday morning in January. But this time I was prepared. I'd grilled Marc the night before so I knew I wouldn't say the wrong thing or ask for the wrong battery. My mission was simple:
1. Carry the old battery in (with my gloves on)
2. Set it on the cart inside the door
3. Tell the man at the desk I needed a brand new battery exactly like the one I brought in.
Oh and I didn't need a warranty on it...
And I was to pay with the purple credit card.
I put my gloves on. Part of step one: complete. Feeling pretty good, I popped my trunk and walked around my Honda to get the old battery. This is where the plan fell apart. At step one. I looked down in horror to see that there was no handle on the battery! So, okay, this was not part of the plan. I thought there was going to be a handle for me to carry the battery with one hand! ... But I straightened and thought to myself, "I'm a scrappy, farm wife now!" I could handle this. So I picked up the battery with two gloved hands, round-house-kicked my foot up to close my trunk, and walked towards the door. Crisis. Averted.
Until I got to the door. With both hands on the battery, there was not an effective way for me to open the glass door that read "Pull." I thought about using my foot again... but decided that might be awkward for anyone who might be on the other side of the door. So I set the battery against my stomach, and tried to hold it between my stomach and the window so I had a free hand to reach for the handle.
This little Improv Show began to go awry right away. The battery was too heavy for my tummy-vise, and immediately started to fall. Right as it started to fall, a man on the other side of the door saw my performance and attempted to open the door to "help". Well as his hand came out of the door to reach for the battery, my hand pushed firmly against the other side of the door. (I wasn't trying to stifle his chivalrous act, but the battery against my stomach and the window put me in an awkward position and I needed to steady myself.) This effectively smooshed his hand between the door jam. Meanwhile, I crumple over to try and keep the battery from falling onto the concrete.
I'm not quite sure how that all worked out, but somehow I regained control of the battery, the man got his hand free, and he held the door open for me. As soon as I got inside, though, he grabbed the battery from me and asked a rhetorical, "This need recharged?"
As he walked away all I had time for was a "Huh, oh... yeah?"
So far this was going stellar.
Once he finally came back to the front, I was able to say "My husband actually just wants a new one." To which I got a confused look and a "Are you sure? It looks like a young battery. I couldn't tell if I could recharge it though..."
I shrugged and said, "I'm not sure. But my husband said to just get a new one exactly like it without a warranty." I smiled sweetly, secretly proud I'd remembered Marc's exact phrasing.
He looked disgruntled. But I was positive that was what I was supposed to say. "Oh, and he wants me to pay with this purple card!" I blurted out as he headed for the computer. Nice. Give the man all the details.
"You know," he said as he was printing the invoice, "next time you come in (Ha! I thought. I hope not) come get one of us to bring the battery in for you. You could get acid on your clothes, and that can disintegrate them."
"Oh, okay." I said as I tried to casually look at my shirt to make sure I still had a shirt. "MARC!" I thought, "You didn't tell me this mission was DANGEROUS!" Clothes are vital.
So I signed the invoice and let him carry the new battery behind me to my car. (Which for a moment I thought I had locked my keys in.. but that story is for another time...)
I'm hopeful that the more I run these kinds of errands, the better I'll get at knowing the answers... or the better I'll get at faking knowing the answers.
*Note: the guys very rarely send me to town for errands. I'm being overly-dramatic. They're very kind with combining trips and running their own errands usually... Hence all the errand running when I'm with Marc. ;)