Writing 101: Cars, car repair and car maintenance, I am Bob & Rays worst fears

Just recently, I came home from a nice weekend at my boyfriend’s house and on the way home I rolled two of the four windows down about 6″. Hey it was a beautiful spring day, live a little, breath the pollen.

Pulled into the drive, parked and before turning off the engine, I hit the buttons to roll the windows back up. I find it odd to still use “roll” when we haven’t had manual cranking up the windows since I was in high school.

Wait, nothing happened. Nothing, what?! Leave car on, walk around to the other doors and try their automatic buttons. Not only did I hear nothing move, but I also realized that with the exception of the drive’s side door, none of the windows moved. Three out of four windows defiantly sat there, not going up or down. My pulse quickened.

I puffed and panicked as I quickly called the BF. He should know exactly what to do- he works on cars all the time, right?

Me, “Hello?”

Him, “Heeeeey”

Me, quickly and impatiently, “I gotta problem. My windows, they won’t go up or down. Is it a fuse? Crap. Should I take it over to TrackAuto?”

I go on to explain the three out of four thing, I’d gone around to each door, etc. I was getting exasperated by his questioning. Every step further into the diagnosis meant one step closer to sundown and the possibility that I might have to drive into work downtown Monday with windows partially down, screaming to every thief, “Look at me! look, my window is wide open, come in, take a load off, steal something why don’t cha?”

Him, “Do you have an owners manual?” he was patient and cool

Me, “Fuck! What do you mean, do I have an owners manual?! Of course, I do.” That was it, I was hotter than the recently parked engine. What kind of a car owner would I be without an owners manual in the glove box?!

Me, “Look, just tell me, should I take it over to TrakAuto or Pep Boys? Can they fix this for me? Shit, I can’t believe this.”

Him, “well if you look up under the dashboard, you should see a box, with lettering…one will say something like W-I-N”

By now I was upside down in my front seat, feet hanging out the door, squinting and fingering around the dash, trying to find something, anything that could help my circumstances.

Me, interrupting his last instructions, “Yes, but I can’t read it. The lettering is tiny and I have crappy eyesight, remember?!!! ugh” I did some more harrumphing, getting a carpet burn on my elbow from the car mat as I struggled to get closer to the itty bitty print.

Why can’t he say, “Come back over and I’ll take a look and fix it for you dear” or even the reassuring, “TrakAuto will hook you up and fix it no problem.”

From the time I was first divorced, I took pride in my ability to get things done around the house. My philosophy was, and still is, if it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to fix, then I can do it. Oh, and you can learn to do anything from YouTube.

This was definitely out of my comfort zone. I’ve rewired lamps, replaced disposals, re-seated a toilet, replaced a plug on a vacuum. Pretty much anything that I can’t get killed doing, I’ll give it a try. Oh hell, I own my own tiller and not the goofy mantis, but a real 4 cycle tiller that I’ve named  Hawg for the grunting sounds it makes as it pulls me along.

But this time, really, I just wanted to be reliant on someone else for once. I wanted to swoon and say in my best southern belle accent, “Oh help me, help me.” with a few, appropriate and well-timed eyelash flutters.

Car repairs have always stressed me out and somehow the long term BFs in my life seemed to have been there to solve the problem. Flats, bad horns, turn light is burned out, no matter how simple or in depth, I can feel my pulse start to rise at the thought of fixing them.

Whats worse is that I feel I might lose my independence. There is something out there I just can’t do on the spur of the moment. I can’t stand my lack of patience with these types of mechanical, oil-covered problems. Shit, I probably shouldn’t have cursed so much. Fuck, fuck and fuck, why me, why now I thought as the sunset set lower in the horizon.

That’s it, I vow to not be such a jerk next time I have to pop open the hood. I vow not to take the owner’s manual in vain. Thou shalt not freak out next time the check engine light comes on.

Oh and finally, in case you were wondering. I did thank the TrakAuto person who told me my window lock was on- I admitted to what an idiot I am and road off into the sunset.

The BF? he just laughed at me… and I can deal with that.

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