By Lori Borgman
Not to overstate things, but I’m pretty sure I was a hero last week.
There are some times when you just know you’re in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills, and you step up to the plate. It’s your moment to shine.
My moment to shine was in a mall parking lot. No, nothing was on fire, no one was choking, no one was in danger, but there were women on the verge of losing it.
I was backing out of my parking spot when I noticed two women of grandma-ish age behind a car with the trunk lid popped open. I continued backing out, took a second look and realized they were in trouble — big trouble. They were hovering over a collapsed double stroller on the ground and clearly neither of them had a clue how to open it.
I slammed on the brakes, threw the gearshift into park, jumped out and began yelling, “I’ve got this one, ladies! I’ve got it!”
Like riding a bike or driving a stick-shift, there are some things you never forget. Although, riding a bike and driving a stick-shift are a lot easier than opening a deluxe double stroller, which is more like wrestling an alligator.
Double strollers are the bad boys in the world of strollers. They are hulking SUVs rumbling at full throttle next to tiny quivering electric cars in need of a battery charge.
As I walked toward the women, I made eye contact and saw fear in their eyes. It wasn’t the stroller they were afraid of, it was me. They’d never seen a woman so crazy excited over a collapsed stroller.
Little did they know this very stroller model had humiliated me in four states. Finally, it all came to a head one cold, windy day in a small town in New Jersey. I’d been left in charge of twin grandbabies. Our mission?
To get to the store four blocks away and bring something back for dinner. I was alone with that beast of a stroller. The babies were no help whatsoever. The doorman was dumbfounded. Several strong men tried to help, but walked away in defeat. I don’t remember how long I did battle. I do remember the babies were crying and I was perspiring, but I was determined the stroller would not prevail.
And then it happened — I discovered the secret — push, twist, jerk. You push the sliding bar all the way to the left, twist it all the way forward and then flick that 60-pound contraption with all your might. Sure, you’ll probably throw out your back, dislocate your shoulder and do permanent damage to your elbow, but this is family we’re talking about.
I did the push, twist, jerk move in the parking lot and opened the stroller for the ladies.
They were still offering me their profuse thanks as I flicked my superhero cape and soared away.
Lori Borgman is an Indianapolis columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.