Anything but an Oil Change

Last week, I took my car for an oil change.

No, wait. That is misleading. According to that statement, it sounds like I took my car for an oil change all by myself. Which, you would think, makes sense.

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The waiting room

Let’s go back, shall we? Back to early 2011. My car then was a silver Jeep Liberty my grandmother helped me pay for* after I wrecked my beloved Mercury Mountaineer. Though my feelings for it weren’t quite as strong as for my Mountaineer, I still loved this little** Liberty.

*She’s the best.

**Keyword, little. Something about the mass of my Mountaineer made me love it more.

I had the Liberty for the longest I ever owned any car, roughly five years, when it started making strange noises. Up until this point, the only thing that needed repair had been the air conditioning, and from then on life had been good.

The noises continued for about a week before I mentioned it to Hubby. The progression of what occurred is quite the blur now, but I know in a short matter of time things went from bad to oh-boy-this-is-not-going-to-end-well.

I took the car to our local mechanic, who also happened to be one of my dad’s buddies. After looking it over, he asked me the last time I had an oil change.

‘I dunno, a year ago?’ I lied. I knew the last time the oil was changed in that car about as well as I knew the last time I’d eaten sauerkraut. Maybe once in the last three years or so, by accident, but more likely, never.

“Where’d you have it done?”

“That place down 130 with the car wash attached.” Because that was the oil change spot of choice in our family. Free car wash after paying for an oil change. Yes, please.

He shook his head at me. In my naivety, I knew something was wrong, but still wasn’t recognizing the deep impact my neglect had caused.

“Would you go to an eye doctor for something that’s wrong with your heart?” he asked.

It seemed such a dumb question with such a rhetorical answer that I whispered a meek little, “No”, while waiting to hear his point.

“You don’t go to a car wash to have your oil changed.”

He made several attempts to fix the car, but the lack of oil changes and few bad oil changes it received had killed the transmission. Less than a month later, I was without a car.

After this experienced I decided a few things.

  1. I knew absolutely nothing about cars
  2. The act of taking cars to be worked on, even for a mere oil change, was something of which I wanted no part

Thus brings us to last week.

Hubby works full-time, obviously. I do not. Therefore, overcoming my disdain towards taking a car for an oil change became somewhat necessary. My Hummer was not only due, but also needed some new tires. Not wanting to have to communicate these mind boggling needs to the mechanic on my own, Hubby escorted me to the shop, told the receptionist he wanted the oil changed, the brakes checked, and the tires looked at, then left me there waiting for it to be finished.

After about an hour, the car was ready. But the woman receptionist didn’t ring me up. No, the owner, did. He rambled off the things about the car: brakes need to be replaced in a few months, a few tires need to be changed, there’s a thermostat sensor causing the check engine light to come on….and I paid and was on my way.

Only to discover later from Hubby that I was supposed to go ahead and tell him to go ahead and order the tires.

Me? Tell a mechanic to order tires? How could I possibly know the right words to say?

This then led to a grief-like process:

  1. I denied to Hubby that this was my fault
  2. I got angry at Hubby for having sent me there in the first place
  3. I tried to bargain with Hubby to call the mechanic back (so that I wouldn’t have to)
  4. I cried.
  5. I realized that this all may have stemmed from my inability to use my brain when it comes with cars and mechanics.

I tell myself that there is still hope for me, but as it stands, this is the state of my aversion to car mechanics.*

*Just wait until I tell of my aversion to local construction offices and requesting construction permits.

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