- This damsel was in distress!
One of the things I like most about myself is that I defy most stereotypes. I like making up my own rules, defying the odds, and challenging the status quo. My life is an intricate balance between being the girl from the ‘hood and the CEO in the boardroom. On a good day, you’ll see both. On a crazy day, like today, you’ll see… A Girl! But not a girl in the Black girls rock, I am woman hear me roar kind a way. But, a girl in the someone come and save me because I don’t know what the hell I am doing kind of way. Yes, ladies and gents, today I was a damsel in distress…smh!
It all started this morning after we loaded the car with the many bags of crap I carry with me. You know, the pile of paperwork I swore I would get to today, that I hadn’t gotten to yesterday, last week, or last month. I start the car as usual and nothing happens. I try again, and again, and again, and again. I get nothing but a measly little singular click every time. What’s going on here? Is it the batter? I hope it’s the battery? Is it something else? Oh God, please don’t let it be something else! How much is this going to cost me? How much is this going to f—-, I mean, jack up my day!?!?
I call AAA. (Side note: do you read AAA as Triple A or as A. A. A.? Just curious.) An older gentleman arrives and begins to tinker with the battery. After lots more tinkering and doing things like shaking the car, backing it up in neutral, and a failed attempt at jumping it with what I now know is a booster jumper, he informs me that it is my starter that’s the source of my woes. The starter? A dark cloud slowly rolled over my little condo and stood there clueless. Where the heck am I going to get one of those and how poor will I be afterwards.
After calling my friend’s hubby who recommended Firestone, which sounded too rich for my uniformed blood, I called Sam. Now Sam is my neighbor the go-to guy for helping me figure out all the other stuff that makes me feel especially damselish, like the time when I almost electrocuted myself trying to repair the circuit breaker in my house – don’t ask! O__o He quickly puts a plan into action and calls his people (he has lots of people) at the car shop and arranges for my car to get fixed stat! Meanwhile, the AAA tow truck is on its way and I am getting anxious. If you know me well, then you fully understand how much I get rattled by spur of the moment stuff, and this was no exception.
Not exactly a dunce cap, but you get the point.
Then, it happened. That moment when all logic left my brain and I temporarily morphed into a real life Snooki (because I don’t think Nicole is always Snooki in real life). He asked me 2 questions that, after my struggle to answer, left me feeling well – verklempt (Yiddish for very emotional). How many cylinders is the car? And if that wasn’t bad enough, he followed up with – is that 3.5 or 3.9? The first question wasn’t so hard to figure out. One quick phone call and I discover it has 6 cylinders. Woohoo! But, what’s up with this 3.5/3.9 business? Hold on again, Sam, let me call and ask. He quickly says, no, you don’t need to call, just look at the car, it should be on there? On there where, I ask? On the side. I There I was, walking all around the car, in the back, in the front, on the side looking for these mysterious numbers. Then I think, oh, open the car door on the driver’s side. I always see them put stuff in there – not!
After a few minutes of being on hold, Sam decides it would be quicker for him to just drive over and come see for himself. He pulls up, hops out, lifts up the hood and BINGO, there it was! In broad daylight, as some folks would say. Why in the hell did it never dawn on me to lift up the hood? And who knew that they had labels with useful information in there telling you whether or not you had a V6 3.5 liter engine and other tidbits of information? Who knew? I wanted to channel my inner Rosie (the Riveter), and handle my business, but homegirl was nowhere to be found. So, 4 hours, 3 technicians, and $110 later, it turns out that the first guy was wrong and it was the battery after all.
Here’s what I learned today: 1) I have a car with a V6, 3.5 liter engine, 2) Always have them test the battery with the green machine and give you the little slip of paper that looks like a receipt because that tells you if your battery is shot, and, most importantly, 3) Information about what kind of engine you have is located (insert drum roll) under the hood – duh! It was such a “girl” moment that I had no choice but to surrender to the fact that I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and could have been completely suckered into all kinds of repairs. For all of the things I know, I know that I don’t know cars. Why wasn’t that class part of any of my degree programs? *raises eyebrow*
Please allow me to redeem myself, just a little bit – I can jump a car like nobody’s business. Does that get me off the hook?