I learned some really good life skills in high school. There are the obvious things I use in my day-to-day life, like logarithms and how to sew pajamas pants. But, no one explained to me what a ‘handle’ was or how much gas one car could realistically consume in a four week period.
College was a similar experience, I quickly caught onto alcohol-related definitions, how to bat my eyelashes and what the best midnight snacks were…are.
However, seemingly small lessons seem to have been passed over, and as it happens there are various things I have recently encountered that make me stop and think, “wait, who was supposed to teach me that and when?”
Recently I explained to a male how there is an obvious buffer built into the suggested oil change time line, made specifically for women like myself. First off, I am very busy and driving aaaaallll the way to the dealership where they will give me a loaner car to avoid me wasting an hour waiting around seems like a hassle. Secondly, when did an oil change become a monetary priority in my life? I like spending money on things like shoes and wine, not an oil change. Seriously, could anything be less sexy? However, as it happens, on the practicality scale these two points of rationale are irrelevant when speaking to someone who is obnoxiously auto-literate.
J: Didn’t your Dad teach you anything about taking care of your car?
Me: Yeah, he did.
Me: He TAUGHT me his phone number.
…yah, I said it.
So, on Tuesday after avoiding the tire pressure light that had been on in my beautiful Lucy (don’t act like you haven’t named your car, too) for a week plus, I grudgingly accepted that J was not going to actively help me out and pulled over at a gas station. Air pressure, how hard can you be?
At the risk of sounding like a total idiot, I will tell you this, hard. There are so many rules when you have a car with a dent-free (knock on wood) finish. For instance, I am pretty sure dragging the air hose across the hood is a definite no-no. Which means I had to position it around and under the front bumper, while also unscrewing the tire cap, checking the beginning pressure, inserting the nozzle, learning that the hose pressure gauge is unreliable, fumbling for my own pressure gauge (thanks, Dad!), rechecking, pulling my shirt down/pants up to ensure no passer-by confused me for a plumber, realizing I put too much air in, panicking, realizing I could let some air out and checking it again with my own gauge.
Tire one, check.
At this point, you might think “ok, so she went to the next tire.” If only. No, no, because I was convinced it was just the one tire, I got in the car, turned on the engine and DAMMIT THE LIGHT WAS STILL ON.
After the second time of the light not going off, I finally thought it best to check all tires.
Then my three minutes ran up, and I couldn’t reach the last tire without dragging the hose all over my mostly unblemished paint. More quarters, followed by pulling my car forward.
Absolute mess. I am sure the guys at the tire center got a real chuckle from my absent-mindedness. They will never know I grew up with Tim the Toolman Taylor and a garage full of wrenches, engine lifts and…stuff.
Four tires, two dollars and one Americano later I was back in the car driving away from the Hellish place that will inevitably cause nightmares. I made sure all the PSI or PPS or whatever matched what they were supposed to match. And, guess what. THE LIGHT WAS STILL ON.
Turns out, you have to drive for a few minutes before the freshly filled tires register. Err…at least I think that’s what happened because now the light is off.
Growing up, women are told to marry rich. I know I can make money, so I say, women marry a man with a wrench.
In other news, I have recently started editing a blog for the above mentioned J, even though he refused to fill my tires with air. He will be documenting his snowboarding adventures, skill progression and terrain coverage. Check him out here.