By Joe Rector

Even though we spend the majority of our lives with special loved ones, sometimes they do things that simply amaze us and remind us just how lucky we are and how much better our lives are because of them. That’s the way it is with my wife. Amy is my hero; more than that, I have been reminded that she is a real bulldog.

Amy didn’t appear that way when we first began dating in 1973. I was a senior in college, and she was a freshman. Thanks to Rev. Bill Menees’ persistence, I asked her out on a date. She was a sweet, quiet, gracious girl who knocked my socks off. I asked her out at the end of the first date, and she told me she’d think about it. Dejected and more than a little embarrassed, I turned to leave. After taking a few steps she said, “I’ve thought about it. Yes, I’ll go out again.” From that moment on, I decided she was the one for whom I’d been looking.

We’ve spent a lifetime together, and much of it has run smoothly. However, some situations have been just the least bit bumpy. I admit that I’m an impulsive person who is known to make decisions and purchases in an instant. Amy has been the rudder that guides our ship, even when I do things that steer us off course. Regardless how much I gripe and complain, she has made financial decisions that have made our lives better.

We stopped buying new cars years ago. The prices for them were too steep for our modest budget. When a new vehicle is needed, I go with my dear wife to the car dealership. My jobs during these trips are to sign on dotted lines and be absolutely quiet. Amy is the negotiator for us. She has researched all aspects of the vehicle in which we are interested. Then she sits down to talk with the salesman and immediately lets him know that we aren’t going to play games. Then my spouse states the amount that we are willing to pay for the car, and that price includes everything. Of course, the salesman plays the game about the price being too low and that he’ll have to get the manager to sign off on it. Even when the manager enters the office to squabble about the price, Amy kindly tells the man what we are willing to pay. If he says he can’t sell the car at our price, she thanks him as we rise and walk out. Eventually, we find a vehicle at the price we will pay, not what the dealer wants.

Only a couple of weeks ago, Amy once again worked her magic. My iPhone 7 had never worked correctly. I made multiple trips to the Verizon store and one to the Apple store, all to no avail. On a Saturday evening, my wife placed a call to customer service. For the next one hour and fifty-seven minutes, she talked to three different persons, each one higher up than the last.

Amy refused to allow the representatives to hang up on her. At the same time, she wouldn’t allow them to recite the information on the screens in front of them. One woman told her that I would need to go to the place where I had no service in order to check out the problem. My wife mentioned that I couldn’t call the company because the phone didn’t work there; she also pointed out that I couldn’t spend multiple hours on another phone while I was at work. Amy told the woman that what we expected was a “practical solution.” In the end, the company replaced the phone, which was a defective when they sold it to me. Amy simply wouldn’t give in and give up.

My wife has also helped my son deal with areas involved in his buying a new home. Things have worked out simply because Amy refuses to let people blow her off. That determination is something that most companies don’t count on. They think that if customers are put through too much stuff, they will simply hang up and give up on solving the problem. In our case, those businesses are dead wrong. They discover that error when Amy is on the other end of a conversation.

I’m blessed to have a loving wife. Additionally, I am lucky to have in my life a person who so doggedly works to keep companies from taking advantage of us. She is strong, smart, and wise. Yes, I know just how lucky I am to have her in my life.