Tonight I come to you, humbled, and with acceptance of all mocking or jeering that you feel I deserve. You will pick sides. And I'm okay with that. Women will sympathize with me and men will ridicule me, and many will take Justin's side. It's all good.
Let me preface my story by telling you that my grandfather was a mechanic, my father was a mechanic, my husband was a mechanic, my younger brother is a mechanic..... and no, I'm not about to spew lines from my Cousin Vinny or explain postitraction (or Posi traction, if you will). The fact is that I do have some automotive knowledge. It's just that I am also blonde and a bit kooky.
|Our own potential mechanic.... she spends more time looking under the hood at the plastic parts that "need work" than driving her Jeep. True story.
Alright. With that out of the way, I will get back to my story.
There's a lot of dialogue, so I'll set the stage and get on with it. I'm driving in my car and on the phone with Justin, who is in his car somewhere else. It's afternoon, early in 2013 and I'm driving along merrily, following my work schedule.
Everything in parentheses is my own commentary, by the way. Here we go.....
Me: When was the last time you changed my oil?
Justin: I dunno. It's probably due. Remind me and I'll get it done when I go to Rockland.
Me: Oh, I think it's definitely due! The oil light has been on for awhile. Remember I mentioned it to you awhile ago?
Justin: How long is awhile ago?
Me: At least a month ago. (how bad could that be?)
Justin: A MONTH??
Me: Yesssss.....why? (i'm feeling nervous)
Justin: Vick...You can't be driving like you do for a month with the oil light on! You didn't feel this deserved some sense of urgency?!
Me: Yes, I did. And that's why I told you that it was on over a month ago. When you didn't do anything I assumed it wasn't so bad. (nicely lobbed that one back in his court)
He's a car guy for Pete's sake. He is in charge of all of the car crap. You can see why I thought I was going to be okay to keep driving.
Justin: I'm not going to do this with you right now (a/k/a/ he knows I have a point). You need to get to a gas station like NOW.
Me: Okay. You're freaking me out a little bit. I'm about a mile from Mobile.
He explains all of the reasons why running out of oil is bad and finally I get to the gas station.
Me: I'm here. I'm going to run in and get some oil. How much should I get?
Justin: Get three. There probably isn't a drop in there.
Me: Ok. Hold on.
I go inside and get 3 quarts of oil and head back to my car.
Justin: You know where to pour the oil, right?
Me: Yes!! I'm not an idiot. I want to just check the oil real quick.
I check the dipstick and it shows that it's already half full. Huh? How can that be? It must be residue. I have no idea what that even means, but it was the explanation I fabricated first.
Justin: There's got to be next to nothing in there. Don't bother. You just need to get oil in there right away. Did you get the cap off?
Me: Oh my God..... it's not budging!
Justin: Are you sure you're looking at the right thing?? (Maybe the oil residue theory was bullshit, but I do know where the oil goes. And I wasn't appreciating his tone.)
Me: Yes, I've got the right thing! I'm not a fucking moron! Justin, it won't move at all! (I feel tears coming) I have four more jobs today and a doctor's appointment afterward! I'm booked really tight! I don't have time for this! (Enter....the tears.)
Justin: Okay. You need to calm down. (He does tend to level out when I start freaking, which is nice) We can work this out. You HAVE TO get oil in your car. You can't do all of that driving if you don't. Can you go inside and see if the guy behind the counter can help you?
Me: Yes. Hold on.
Maybe it was the tears running down my face. Or perhaps it was the desperation in my voice. Most likely it was the fact that I just bought three quarts of outrageously overpriced oil from the guy. Regardless, he was nice enough to come outside and help me. After a significant amount of struggling, he finally got the cap off, and I praised him so much that he felt like a superhero.
Me: I'm putting in the first quart. (Good time to be obnoxious) You know, it's ridiculous that you have to put every cap on so tight! What are you trying to prove? It's just like when you put the lid on the tomato sauce and I have to ask you to help me open it. Then you smirk and open it like it was no big deal. The guy at Mobil couldn't even open this fucking thing without putting a foot on my bumper for leverage....."
Justin: Just pour the oil in.
Me: I'm already done. I put all three in.
Justin: (Very calmly) Okay. Go turn your car on.
Me: (After obeying his order) Oh my God. Justin, the fucking light is still on! This is crazy.
Justin: WHAT? How can that be? Go look under the car and see if there's a huge puddle of oil under there. Are you sure you put it in the right place?
Me: (Back to obnoxiousness) Do you really think the guy from Mobil would have opened the wrong cap after seeing me holding an open container of oil?? Don't you think he would maybe have said, "Um, lady, you don't put oil in your radiator"?? So, even if you think I don't know what I'm doing, I'm pretty sure that HE does! (peeking under car) No puddle, by the way.......nastyass.
Silence. I didn't even hear breathing. Instant panic. Was he done with my bitchy ranting, and hung up on me?
Justin: I'm thinking.
Justin: This doesn't make sense. I don't get it. (more silence) Listen, I know you're really smart and all, but I have to ask this question. Are you sure it's the oil light that's on?
Me: YES! It's the one with the dip stick.
Justin: Excuse me?
Me: The dipstick! It's red and it looks like the stick in a bubble.
Justin: Can you do me a favor? Can you take a picture of it and send it to me?
Me: I can't believe you're making me do this. Hold on.
And this is what I sent him.....
|Take note of the "oil" light circled next to the arrow
Justin: Okay. Let me look. I just got it.
That's when I heard the whispered "Oh my God" and giggling. I could tell he was trying to break it to me gently.
Justin: Honey, that's not your oil light. That's your TIRE light. Your tires need air.
Me: Wha...? Tire? But it looks like a dipstick in a bubble with liquid in the bottom.....
Justin: Those are tire treads. Your oil is fine. (more stifled laughter) You'll be fine. And you have plenty of oil now too. I've gotta go, okay?
We hung up.
He was going to hang up and tell someone this bit of embarrassment, wasn't he? If I hadn't been so relieved that my engine wasn't about to seize, I probably would have made him promise not to tell anyone. But after my bitchy and ornery attitude, I deserved it. He earned the right to share my vehicular dopiness with whomever he wanted.
In return, he allows me to call it the Tire Oil Light so I can pretend that I'm less of a mechanical moron.
Until the next time, I wish you safe travels and no tire oil drama.
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