8 years ago today my husband did something that led me to share some valuable advice for husbands which I shared through a blog post I’d written eight years ago titled “NEVER let your wife’s car run out of gas!”:
I was leaving the house early the other morning in the middle of that terrible snowstorm. The roads were horrendous and it was freezing outside. I had an appointment clear on the other side of town, and then I had to head to the opposite side of town for a second meeting, and then back to my office for a third meeting. As I started on the freeway to meeting #1 I called my husband to tell him that the yellow gas light had just come on in my car, letting me know it was close to empty. Of course, my husband had driven my car last and he had left me with an empty tank (which of course is listed at the top of the husband mistakes never to make list!) . He answered the phone and said, “Huh, I didn’t know it was low on gas when I drove it last, but I am SURE you will have plenty of gas to make it to your meetings and back as it can go for a really long time on empty.” “Are you positive?”, I asked. “You will be fine”, he answered.
Trusting my dear, sweet, reliable husband (who is nicknamed MacGyver for his mad skillz of being able to get out of any mess using duct tape and paper clips), I didn’t worry and continued on to my meeting #1. I got through that meeting and rushed right to meeting #2’s location, all the while drinking a mega big gulp of diet coke (…don’t judge me…). At this point I was dying to find a restroom for a potty stop, but I was already late so a bathroom break was going to have to wait. But by the time meeting #2 ended I was already late for meeting #3 back at my office so my potty stop would have to wait til I was back at my office.
I jump in my car and get on the freeway headed for my office. That’s when my car started making funny sounds….oh, no…keep in mind the roads were terrible and traffic was a nightmare so things were already stressful without my car making crazy noises. I got off the exit and the car began to sputter. “You have got to be kidding me!” I thought. That’s right…you guessed it…my car died right there and I barely was able to pull over to the shoulder of the road as it came to a complete stop. Cars had to swerve not to hit my car as it sputtered to a stop. Had it happened just moments before when I was still on the freeway I might have died – which of course means “My husband is in SO MUCH TROUBLE right now!!!”
Frustrated beyond measure with a bladder about to burst I call my husband to tell him I’ve just ran out of gas. He responded in a very casual, relaxed tone of voice “Oh…huh….how far did you make it?” Keep in mind this was after leaving his wives car on empty and then reassured her it would make it where she needed to go just fine….needless to say, I hung up on him.
So here I was with a car out of gas, desperately needing a bathroom, and scrambling to figure out how to turn on the car’s hazard lights (…once again, don’t judge me – I’d never actually needed to use the hazard lights before and who reads a manual with little print and no pictures??). I had no choice left but to call my office and have someone go get a gas can from the nearest station to fill up and bring out to me.
As I’m attempting to get the gas from that red plastic jug into my gas tank on the side of the road in the snow my cell phone rings…it’s my husband Rollin. “Hey, babe, do you want me to come and take your car to get gas?”
ARGGGHHHHH!!! Let’s just say it took far more than duct tape and paper clips for him to get out of that mess. #mamagotanewpairofshoes
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )