My friend Sean is getting married. His fiancee, Brenna (it annoys her when you call her “Brenda,” but it’s funny, she reminds me of another cool person I know named Brenda) has already taken over.
I was over at Sean’s last night when he showed me. It was Sean, our buddies Jon and Wayne, and me, standing in Sean’s bedroom, doing our best to ignore the girly lavender curtains. I think the color’s called lavender. Whatever it is, it’s a girly shade of light purple.
Jon’s married, so Jon understands. I’m not married, or engaged, or even seeing anyone at the moment, so I haven’t had to cave yet on such things, but I know my day will come. Still, whenever I see it happen, a little piece of me feels bad.
So I suggested Sean needed something manly for his bedroom. Get a lawnmower engine, or a motorcycle engine, and start rebuilding it in there. Brenna shot me a dirty look. Sean liked the idea. So after we talked about it in the kitchen with the women around, we went back in and sketched it all out.
Sean actually has more than enough room in the corner for a big-block V8 on an engine mount. Jon and I started tossing ideas around. A big, rolling Craftsman toolbox where his dresser is now, a nail where he can hang his oily apron (he’ll wear an apron while working on the engine so that if Brenna comes over, he can just wipe his hands on the apron and go straight to the kitchen to make her something to eat), and…
“Right up there, over the bed, you can put a [turning to the other room and raising his voice] DRAG RACING poster,” Jon said.
Jon and Bethany are pregnant. Well, actually, Bethany’s pregnant. Jon, being Bethany’s husband, is just responsible. Whenever people ask what the theme of the baby room is going to be, Jon deadpans, “Drag racing.” Keep in mind they don’t know the baby’s gender yet. I can tell Jon’s rooting for a son, so he’ll have someone to play with again (most men never really grow up, you know).
Then we talked about interior decorating theory. Jon used to use a tire as a coffee table. No, this wasn’t a worn-out tire from a Honda; it was a racing slick. Jon and a friend drove up to a Trans-Am race in Iowa when he was in college, and someone said something about how you can go buy a tire for something like three bucks. Jon’s eyes got huge. “No WAY!” So they walked over to this fenced-off area, where a guy asked if he can help them. Jon asked if it was true they could buy a tire. The guy said sure. Jon asked how much. “Three bucks. What size do you want?” Jon said what any true male would say. “I want the biggest tire you’ve got!”
Later on, Jon also acquired a tire off one of Bill Elliott’s cars.
Years later, when Jon was dating Bethany, he put the tires away. (It was probably the night of their first date that he put them away. At least I hope so.) And one day, Bethany was helping Jon move, along with some of his other friends. Jon went down to the basement with one of his friends, got a twinkle in his eye, and said, “Watch this.”
He put a tire under each arm, then waltzed upstairs, right past Bethany, without a word, and put the tires in the back of the truck. Then he walked back in the house and walked past the bemused Bethany.
“Wha-What were those two black things?” Bethany asked.
“Tires,” Jon said matter-of-factly.
They talked about the tires later. Jon eventually gave the Bill Elliott tire to a coworker. But after driving the Trans-Am tire all the way back from Iowa in a Honda Civic (and there isn’t enough room in a Honda Civic for Jon’s 6’2″ frame, let alone Jon, a friend, a cooler, and two racing slicks), Jon swears up and down that he’s keeping that tire forever.
I know what room it would look great in, even though it’s not really a drag racing tire.