Trois Rivieres, Quebec
2013 is MacGyver’s Championship Year.
He will forever remember it as the year that we “renewed our vows,” he says. When your husband tells his mother, your mother-in-law, that you are the best wife EVER, he believes it.
I know because I am the best wife EVER!
Hiding in the tractor, despite the brilliant sunshine in Port Huron, Michigan, because it was windy and cold, the trucking gods delivered an unparalleled gift to MacGyver.
“I didn’t plan this,” he said sheepishly looking up from the computer. “Really. Yes, it was a goal, but I didn’t plan this.”
In a development, usually the preserve of the uber wealthy, but made possible by our trucking lifestyle, out of the blue, we had the opportunity to do something he wanted to do and get paid for it. The Load Board provided a conestoga, team load, 32 miles away — and we are the proud new parents of a conestoga trailer — to Red Oak, Texas, a mere 232 miles north of Austin.
And what made that load to the People’s Republic Of Austin even more special than its $2.74 ALL miles to the truck covering that deadhead, was that we would arrive in time, in Austin, for the weekend of the second running of the American Grand Prix. Yes, a Formula One race.
As our dear friends, you know that MacGyver is an avid Formula One fan. This year, his 50th birthday year, he celebrated with a day at FerrariWorld and a closeup and personal visit to the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, followed by the Canadian Grand Prix in June in Montreal, Quebec with our friends Salena and Truckin Ed. They are now MacGyver’s second favorite people after this wife, because they wangled him an invitation to a private condo to see the running of the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where our load out was the camera that fell during the race.
Between March and November it is all Formula One. To me, the F1 Hostage Wife, it is torture. The daily, slow drip of information. Day-in-day-out. I can’t get away with nodding distractedly, I am quizzed to ensure I can hold my own in conversation, that I can offer an opinion, that I don’t embarrass him at F1 outings.
In fact, so versed am I in all things Formula One, that sitting 100 feet from Turn One at the Austin track, even though at that moment I could not see the track or the cars making the turn, I knew that Red Bull’s Mark Webber had overtaken Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, roaring into third place.
How did I know? Because I heard it. Because the Red Bull cars make a unique downshifting sound prior to accelerating. Sebastian Vettel, this year’s four time world champion can shift so quickly and effectively that the end result is his car gets more traction on the corner in a manoeuvre that sounds oddly like a big truck’s unmuffled engine retarder. None of the other Formula One cars make this sound. All of the other cars accelerate after the corner, every one of them, the Ferrari, the McLaren, the Mercedes, the Lotus and the Renault. The drivers all shift and accelerate after the corner.
So, since the load fluttered into our lap, there was no doubt that MacGyver would be at the race. It was not worth the energy to moan that we had spent an enormous amount of money on our rolling tarp system that spending another $359 was just too much for me to bear. And remembering that in July, for no good reason, when I was lusting after a pair of kitten-heel, pointy-toe, black patent, Stuart Weitzman pumps, MacGyver said, sure, without whining. So I didn’t whine either.
But horrors. He wanted me to attend with him. Say what?
It is not often that a wife gets to give her a husband something he really wants, and that something is you. He wanted me to go to the race with him. So I did.
But first, knowing he did not want a whining wife sitting next to him, he did a special reconnaissance. He found cheap parking, $40, next to the gate next to Turn One so I walked less than ten New York City blocks. He decided we’d sit in the general admission area on the grass above Turn One. If he had picked the opposite side, we would have been looking into the sun. He took the folding chairs out of the storage box, checked them, cleaned them, and went to Target to pick up some rags in case he needed to level out the chairs to counteract the slope of the hill.
And so we went. I was hot. It was uncomfortable. It was crowded. I am totally uninterested. All the things I hate, including that I spent $139 to be hot and uncomfortable. Except he made it interesting. We found ourselves next to a young couple from Los Angeles, Raj and Sara, late 20-somethings. He was new to an interest in Formula One and she was along for the ride. MacGyver donned his elder statesman cap, armed with his second-by-second iPAD app, he explained the intrigue of formula one, man, machine, skill and dumb bad luck. “You made this race really great,” Raj told MacGyver as we were packing up. And he did.
“To me it was like renewing our wedding vows,” he gushed. “That you watched the race with me.”
Then he picked our next good paying load, into the teeth of winter. I should have enjoyed the heat more.