Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Monday, August 10, 2009

C: Tractoring and Poker Tells.

My brother-in-law taught me a new term yesterday: “Tell.” Apparently, in playing poker any body language that tends to give away is called a “tell.” Google provided list upon list of them: eyes shifting quickly toward the chips can signal that a player is nervous about the strength of his hand; acting nonchalant (“Oh, is it my turn?”) can indicate that a player’s hand is strong. These are involuntary.

Oddly enough, the whole conversation that introduced me to “tells” had to do with my tractor and my lying husband. Only this time, it was the kind of lying that one hears referred to as B**LLS**T. (Cleaned up to maintain my PG-13 rating).

I was telling my BIL about hubby’s reaction to my tractor woes. A friend had borrowed it a couple weeks ago but returned it promptly, saying it just was not powerful at all and he was worried about using it. Great! A few days later I got on it and it was fine, then I had to baby it along, and, finally, it just quit in the middle of the pasture. When I sent my son out about twenty minutes later, it started right back up. What??!!

I let the subject of tractor repair ruminate in the back of my mind while I went on with life the next couple of weeks. I have no way to take one to the shop—are there “house call” tractor mechanics? So, I tackled the problem by avoidance of the issue plus prayer.

Shortly after this, my husband came out to get his tools. While he was here (with one of his guy friends to help), I thought I’d take a shot at shortcutting the tractor repair problem. After all, we were being cordial enough, and he knows the tractor, maybe there is just some idiosyncrasy…I explained the problem.

Then he did an odd thing. It is what I now know is a sure-fire “tell” for BS: He straightened up, kind of pulled his britches up a little by the sides, and did a little fake spit to the right. “Well, I’ll tell you, C, it sounds like you might be havin’ some transmission problems. Too bad…”

Transmission problems??? Well the dying in the middle of the pasture did not seem like transmission problems to me, but who knows?

As he was leaving, he did another weird thing. “I see you had some electrical outlets installed in the work shed. Did DK (electrician down the road) do it for you? How much did he charge?”

It was none of his business, but I told him, anyway, which resulted in this condescension: “Hmmmph! I thought so…he’ll get to ya alright…” (Translation: “You idiot, you got took.")

DK did NOT get to me. I had called several before thinking of him and he was far and away the most reasonable. I know my husband knew this price was good, why was he doing this? (Revelation comes later….)

So, fast forward to last weekend. I got the tractor out, hoping that my prayers-and-avoidance treatment had cured all ills. And, remarkably, it cranked right up and I bushhogged right along for an hour. Then, the weakness began again. I babied it a while and then it started to hiss. I just don’t think that is ever a good sign. And there was a little fluid leaking. Yikes! This is not my tractor pictured, but it sure what was pictured in my mind (can you see the spewing out of water in this picture?):

I left it sitting in my mother-in-law's front yard and walked dejectedly down the driveway wondering again about house-call mechanics.

Halfway home I was intercepted by my neighbor who asked what was the problem. I told him and we walked back to the tractor together. His response: “I don’t know what’s wrong, but let’s check the most obvious. This hissing and fluid is from your tractor overheating.” He showed me where the air filter is. We removed it and turned out chunks of dirt. I mean, that thing was filled completely up! “Your little tractor was just gasping for oxygen, he said!”

And, as an aside here, this man did not treat me with condescension like my husband did on this subject. Rather, he seemed to think that he might know a little more about tractors than I but that I probably knew things he didn’t as well, like, say, how to do a writ of habeus corpus and such. No down talking here, just respectful exchange of info.

This weekend, the tractor performed like a champ—being able to breathe and all. But, now, back to that “tell” thing. First lesson I learned here: When a guy does that fake spit to the side thing, accompanied by hitching up his britches, he is more ‘n’ likely about to BS you. Truth is, my husband did not have the faintest idea what was wrong with the tractor but rather than say that, he gave an answer and it was one that was designed to demoralize me.

And the remark about the electrical work was also designed to demoralize me. It was gratuitous and stupid. In the end, he had to know I actually knew what the job should cost. Why would he take the chance that this could actually make him look childish to me? Which it did. Sort of like a kid saying, “Well, I can do that better than you!!” Whether it's true or not. Again, I pondered, and it came to me: It’s a “Tell!” I think he is halfway afraid I am going to succeed without his sorry butt and—horrors!—I might actually manage better than he does.

How funny; he ain’t wrong…he can just hide and watch!


Debbie said...

I was gonna suggest you check the filter. Being a woman like yourself, I don't know much about motors, but I had that same problem once and I watched my husband check and clean out the filter. I don't know much about the law either, but I'm glad now that I know a good lawyer! :)Aren't we thankful for good neighbors? I'm thinking by now that your x-husband has figured out that you're probably doing better in this than he is.
I get the biggest kick outa reading your posts!
Have a great day,

Threeblindsheep said...

Oh C! This is so reminiscent of my conversations with my ex. It's funny-I was worried about being able to make it alone, until I was alone. Then I just did what I had to. Now I'm much better off and it's apparent to all that this is all ME and none of him!
Good for you!

Patty said...

Nice electrical work,I've just retired after thirty years of doing electrical work and it is not cheap.I will say I don't miss those men and they're attitudes.I could tell you some stories,but I won't go there.Glad to hear the tractor was an easy fix.Once again I enjoy reading your blog.Also I do know that the air filter is real important to keep clean,we all live and learn.

Suzanne said...

And you'll have the last laugh when he's a senior citizen dealing with a teenager!!! HA.

Anonymous said...

Loved it, loved it. Some of the comments are hoots too. I am so glad you are doing good. I love to see a woman driving a tractor and taking care of things. Now you know all about air filters, on tractors.

Cynthia said...

I haven't been on a tracker since my teen years, C., but you remind me of my days on the farm. (I still live in the country but it's just comfortable...we have some trees, limon (cross between the two) grapefruit, avocado, and some banana plants.)

You are one determined and competent woman.

Thanks for you comment and visit over at Oasis Writing Link (OWL) blog. I hope you come back to the heat of Puerto Reco again. <3

jan said...

I am glad the tractor is up and runnin' again! Living without a tractor when you need one, is not a good thing!

KathyB. said...

I LOVE your blog, and the boost of encouragement it is. ( Thanks for the pic of my sheep, what a surprise to see when I clicked on ) Yes, sometimes I am amazed at the lengths a man will go to in trying to maintain a superior attitude about things they know nothing about. I learned a lot in the 15 to 20 years of selling hunting dogs I bred and raised to men who were "know-it-alls". I wish I had been blogging then because there were so many funny and frustrating stories dealing with these guys.Usually though, my Hubby would be the "Front man" and just relay the answers I gave him because I raised the pups and their parents...but the guys buying only listened to men.Good thing they got puppies eager to please and follow.

I'll remember that hitchin' the pants up routine.

Anonymous said...

LOL....Another great post. Thanks for the education on 'Tell'.

Anonymous said...

C -- I enjoyed this post and when Hubby came past, I read it to him too. He said, "I like her -- she's fiesty!" I hope that's a compliment, because he calls me that too!

Leslie said...

I loved your post. I didn't know there was a name for that.

With the sleepless nights and diaper bags, your ex is probably having twinges of "what the heck did I do?". He has gone "all in" and now he's trying hard to hide the crappy hand he is holding. He isn't fooling you. You have a much better hand and he knows that if you don't fold, you are going to win the pot$$. (I really liked your poker analogy :)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I would be clueless with anything that has a motor (machines and I do not like each other), but that being said, I used to be able to sorta figure what was wrong when a car would do something weird. It was more intuitive than mechanical knowledge. I had one car that seemed to need constant tinkering at one point. Now, I'm not so sure I could figure out the signals with all the computer gadgets and what not.

I'm glad you got your tractor fixed and had the added bonuses of learning what a "tell" is and being up on his very own "tell" should he ever try to use that snow job again!


Sheila :-)

willow said...

Oh, gosh, I'm such a city girl. I've never been on a tractor in my life. I like to play poker, though, and have a great poker face.

Thanks for stopping by Willow Manor. :)

Vickie said...

Loved this post C! I've always prided myself on being able to fix things and figure out how to do stuff. I picked up alot of good stuff from my dad. Don't know anything about a tractor yet, but we're fixin' to get one, so maybe there's still hope!

I like your spirit. I'm glad you can see thru your X's actions. He deserves all the poopy diapers that baby can give him!

Remember that old song, "I Am Woman" ? That should be your theme song!

Vickie said...

Oh C, I so enjoy reading your posts---I can almost visualize you sitting there telling it all..and I can see a million facial expressions as well, the laughs I get are precious ..you rock

Eggs In My Pocket / Yesteryear Embroideries said...

I don't know if I should post this or not.....I try not to get into too much...but everytime I read about your untrustworthy mishap of a companion in life.....it just breaks my heart. Unfortunately, lying, cheating, ex's don't have the right workings in their hearts or heads to be "human". They tend to walk around in their newly transformed monster makeup and treat the ones they betrayed badly. But if I may keep letting my unhinged mouth rattle....they are just insecure and can't stand to see that you are not failing because they left you. They really realize that you got the poison ivy and weeds out of your garden, and you are BLOSSOMING! You just keep on blooming and shining! Let the worms lie in the dirt. (OH, MY,I do have an attitude, don't I ?)You don't have to let everyone see this comment...my heart goes out to you with this kind of struggle. blessings,Kathleen

Big D said...

Nice post - you write really well. Good luck with it all :)

Martha said...

It is absolutely uplifting to see how well you are doing, and it is mind-boggling to me that a person who loved you and with whom you spent so many happy years together can turn into such a petty little figure. Do you ever look back now and recognize some of this current behavior in his former self, or was it a complete personality change?

Me said...

Men are so funny sometimes. Kudos to you for making it on your own, and if it makes him feel less manly. . .well I'll spit on HIM!

Farmchick said...

I always love stopping by and reading your posts. I get such an injection of girl power. I love it.

Suzan said...

Yee haw, C! Go, girl!

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



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