Having car problems and being stranded is on my worst-case-scenario list. I will drive on the top half of the gas tank to make sure I don’t run out of gas, I report every squeak and out-of-ordinary noise, and I almost never go anywhere without having my cell phone fully charged. Getting lost while driving comes a very close second.
My van left me stranded a few days ago. Dead battery. How on earth do you fix that? I have no idea. I’m almost militant about my personal independence. I don’t need a man to rescue me — except when my van won’t start. Thankfully I had a warm place to wait for help, and a couple of willing young men eager to rescue me.
I detest feeling helpless. There’s a story there, but that’s another post. I can check the oil, change the wiper blades and even replace taillights — but after that I’m baffled. I don’t speak car, and don’t care to learn. I understand the principles behind changing a tire, but would rather pay for a CAA membership than actually learn how to do it myself.
This is a personal weakness – totally fessing up on that. I just don’t want to learn this stuff. However, my personal aversion to it doesn’t mean I’m an idiot. There should be a few rules concerning women and car repairs — at least for women like me.
1. If I tell you that something doesn’t sound right, that I heard a funny noise please accept that I’m NOT making it up. Don’t make fun of me just because it’s not happened to you. Because I’m so paranoid about it, I may think a small clunk is a bigger problem than it actually is, but don’t belittle me. What I really want is for a man to appear to thoughtfully consider my rendition of events, and either fix it or reassure me that it’s something insignificant and won’t leave me stranded.
2. If you don’t have time to do said repair, and refuse to make time, that means I’m free to take the vehicle to mechanic who will fix it — and I don’t care what they charge me. I won’t care if they overcharge me because I’m a woman. I only care that it gets fixed. If I pay a mechanic to fix it and I’m still stranded, then look out. Hell hath no fury like a woman stranded let me tell you.
3. If I have no money to pay someone to fix it, and I don’t have a man to fix it for me — that means it’s completely OK to ask my Dad (or my brother, or my uncle, or next door neighbor) and the man who refused to fix it then forfeits all rights to complain about how I got the job done.
What’s on your worst-case scenario list? What will you go a mile out of your way to make sure doesn’t happen to you?
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I’ll be teaching a workshop at WANA Con (an online writer’s conference) on February 23. WANA Con runs Feb. 22 & 23. You can attend the whole weekend, or just a day. Recordings will be available for the sessions you’re unable to attend.