Today it happened.
It happened as I had always feared.
It happened without warning and completely unexpected.
It happened and I was totally unprepared.
“I’m almost out of gas. Shoot!” I said to myself.
“24 miles…I should probably stop after all I have all that stuff to do after sewing camp. Oh shoot. I’ll have to stop and I’m already late.”
So I stopped at the Dash on Quarterfield Road and filled up as usual.
I filled up as usual…
Then without my consent my car decided that it wasn’t going to start.
“No” it said.
“I’m putting my foot down. You’ve neglected me for far too long. Today I’m going to ignore you and see how you like it.”
Now let me explain something. It is convenient that cellphones sprang into popularity around the time of my first driving excursions. It is convenient mostly because I do not know how to do anything to my car other than check the oil (not change it) and the windshield wiper fluid. I know that you are supposed to take the car in every 3 thousand miles for an oil change but goodness knows when those dudes at jiffy-lube start asking me about filters and canisters…I freeze…
Just like my car, who I affectionately call “Papa Bear”, did this morning.
I could change a tire if my life depended on it but with the knowledge that the tire would most likely spin off and fly out into the highway causing more damage and mass mayhem all over the road would probably prevent me from getting back in the car.
Yes. I’m that girl. I’m the girl who can’t do anything to her car. Yes. I am the stereotype. I am every feminists worst nightmare. If I broke down on the side of the road I would probably call everyone I knew, including the police department, before attempting to fix it myself.
So today when Papa Bear decided that enough was enough I was stuck.
I called Andrew.
No jumper cables in the car.
Andrew couldn’t find jumper cables in his car or the house.
I sulked for a few minutes.
I couldn’t just go ask some stranger to help me. I was hoping one might just hear the not so subtle grindings and screachings of my dead car battery as I turned the key in the ignition for the 100th time.
I called my brother and sister-in-law who live right up the street. But they were both out and too far away to get to me before lunch.
I thought that the best idea at this point was to update my facebook status…instead of getting my car fixed.
Then I got up the courage to go into the gas station to ask if they could jump me.
“No. We can’t.” said the lady behind the counter without a smidge of hesitation or kindness.
“WHAT?! You can’t jump me? I see your minivan just sitting out there. I’m not creepy. I’m not trying to steal from you. For goodness sake I’M PREGNANT! But you’re just going to let me sit here and take up one of your gas pumps all day. Great…and smart. REEEEAL smart!”
Just then I got a text message from a friend Ashley.
“Val, I saw your status update. Are you ok? I live one exit up from where you are right now!”
So I called Ashley and she immediately headed over with her jumper cables and zero knowledge as to how to use them.
“No worries Andrew. I’ve got someone coming. Just tell me how to do it.”
So Andrew politely and gently talked me through the process of resuscitating a lifeless car battery (this included how to open my hood…) and hung up the phone.
When Ashley arrived nothing looked the same as Andrew had described. I called Andrew back.
“I’m minutes away. Don’t move.”
So two pregnant ladies stood at the Dash on Quarterfield Road with their hoods open, taking up an exorbitant amount of space not only with their cars but also their protruding bellies (actually Ashley is much smaller than me at this point).
So finally, after an hour of sitting there with my car a dude came up and said, “Would you like some help? I do this every day.”
“Oh.” I said, “You need a new car.”
But then I said, to my surprise, “no thank you. My husband is just around the corner.”
And he was. Andrew successfully started my car and taught two ignorant and pregnant ladies how to jump.
Andrew ended our conversation that morning with this: “Val, what would you think of having some weekends dedicated to learning about car repair?”
Ignorance is not bliss. At least I don’t have to pay for my remedial car repair classes. The only thing I lost today was my a sizable piece of my pride.