Jason didn’t know I was studying him, rather than what he was actually teaching me about spray paint techniques. I hung on his words, because I didn’t want to mess up the paint job, and I wanted to impress him. More than listening to what he was teaching me about painting, I was watching him move around the shop, gathering the materials we needed for the job. I was observing the ease that I sensed in him and the confidence he has in his craft. It’s his second home, our shop, and I saw him in a whole new way that day.
We took some pictures and videos of the car too. As we set up for some shots, I watched him grab his camera and his phone and move to get the perfect lighting and setting up to get multiple views for the video. It sounds easy, but it’s involved, and Jason always has creative ideas about how to get the perfect angle. It’s something he does every day, and I’m a novice. I was watching him create and it fascinated me.
We’re working on a car together for the Gambler 500 this summer and that’s why we were painting in the first place. Jason is the ‘car guy.’ And when I say car guy, I mean, we have a classic car business that he’s run for almost twenty years. He’s no weekend warrior. He’s a tried and true expert. I, on the other hand, am not. I love cars, and always have. I get to be an expert in other areas of life, but not this one. I like driving fast, and we have some cool cars roll through our shop. I’ve enjoyed the adventures of our business from a distance mostly, just due to life and priorities, and that’s sometimes the way it goes.
I’m fully committed to our business, I guess you could argue I have to be committed because we are married. More than that, I want to be, because it’s something that makes him happy and he’s been able to live his dream. He says he couldn’t imagine doing anything else as a career, and that makes me glad. That’s how life should be, and that is exactly how we are choosing to live ours.
He always has a vision, and he actually senses when he should buy something, what kind of work needs to be done, and the audience to sell it to. It’s almost zen-like. He couldn’t draw it out on paper for you, if you asked, he just knows what to do. I’ve known this quality about him from the beginning. He’s an artist, a creative, a free-spirit, and he lives outside the box. It’s one of the things that made me fall in love with him actually. I’ve watched this side of him unfold for a long time, and it’s only grown more prevalent over time.
It’s a first for us to be taking on a car project together. We’ve done many other types of projects over the years, we are DIYers, parents, and a couple, so you name it, and we’ve done it, but a car is a whole new realm for us. We work well together generally, but I am out of my league in this area, that’s for certain.
Jason could take care of getting this car set up so much easier himself, because my of my inexperience. He has to explain the most elementary tasks to me, how to place the camera, how to hold a spray paint can, mix epoxy, or what type of parts we need. What I noticed when we were working together in his world the other day, was how he was willing to take time to explain what he was doing for my benefit, so that I could join along with him.
I also noticed that he allowed space for me. As we’ve been planning our approach for the Gambler, we’ve made the plans together, each contributing a vision and then working toward that. He’s heard my ideas and we’ve collaborated. He’s clearly the expert in this area of cars, but he wants to do this with me, it’s really not about the car at all, although that will be the by-product of our work.
He’s not slowing down his process so that I can keep up because I’m somehow less important. He’s slowing down so that we can spend time together, and he’s done that naturally, and I see that. I see how he’s having fun with me, and it’s not a chore. He’s inviting me in to his world, and I like that too. I know that it’s his character to include me in his life, and that he’s doing this from his heart. Being loved is a gift, and I can only hope that he feels love from me too. I see our synergy growing in that way, and it feels safe and comforting. We complement each other very well.
I learned a lot about our relationship that day, fell in love with Jason all over again, and very little of it had to do with spray painting.