I recently got a brand new car, and I absolutely LOVE it… it’s a 2010 Honda Fit Sport in “tide water blue”. It was made for me, there’s no doubt about it. Everyone who’s seen it has responded with a resounding “It fits you so perfectly!”

The thing about owning a car is that cars must be taken care of, they must be maintained, which I am definitely up for challenge, but trust me, when I use that word, challenge, I do mean it. I am, undeniably, mechanically challenged and that’s putting it delicately.  The inner workings of cars, even the general up keep, has never been at the top of my list of interests, I suppose I’m one of those girls… which we’ll revisit a little later.

When I took Drivers Education, I was a part of the first all-girl class in the history of the driving school I attended. Needless to say, the all-male staff of instructors were a little exasperated. On the day we arrived at the chapter in our drivers textbook that covered car parts, engines, and tires and what have you, Mr. Sirfranski, without even opening the textbook, took a look around the class and asked if there was anyone in the room who cared to learn about how cars work. After not a single hand was raised, he asked us to take out our test paper and then proceeded to give us the answers to the test and we were done  for the day. I cannot convey how relieved I was, or how puzzled at the fact that somehow one of the girls still managed not to make a 100% on that test.

Shortly after I received my license, the first time I asked my dad if I could take the car on mini road trip, his only prerequisite was that I explain to him what you are supposed to do in the case that you get a flat tire. Full of confidence, I responded by telling him how I knew not to slam on the break, and how to carefully pull over. He nodded calmly and asked what I was going to do after I pulled over. I had no answer, so his answer was perfectly clear. I have not, to this day, changed a tire. Not even when my sister and I had not one, but two flat tires on one single trip home from Dallas. I held the phone for light with one hand while she got all dirty, and waved at passing cars for help with the other.

I did eventually get to go more than 30 miles away from the house, and on one such occasion a friend and I were headed to a mall when her care over-heated ( I know that now because, well because we were told that was what was happening).  When all the steam started shooting up from under her hood we pulled into the parking lot of a hotel and called my brother in-law, who informed us it sounded like it was over heating. After he got off the phone with me someone asked him if we would be alright fixing it, and in response he laughed and said he was sure we hadn’t even popped the hood… and he was right. Instead we left the car for my friends Dad to come and mess with and we walked to a mexican food restaurant and had dinner.

I’d like to say that I’ve out grown all of that nonsense, but the truth is, two days after I got my new car I called my dad in tears because I couldn’t figure out how to open the gas tank (it was tricky!). Before you go judging me, I just want it understood that I am fully committed to understanding how to take care of my car, but I don’t think that to do so, I have to suddenly become little miss mechanic. I think it’s more than acceptable to admit and understand my limitations, and take care to provide compensation. For this, my friends, we have AAA. However, there are certain things I’m trying to take on myself, like making sure my car is clean… which I know sounds basic, but a girl’s got to start somewhere, ok?

Being one of those girls means I’m not going to learn how to change my own oil, it means that I’ll learn to know when I need to go take my care to get the oil changed, and that I’ll learn to read a tire gauge so that I can air my own tires.  I’m not going to learn to do all of these other things myself just to say that I can. I don’t enjoy that stuff, and I have nothing to prove… especially not when someone else makes their living doing those things for people.

Today I decided I needed to vacuum out my car… this is going to be one of those areas that I’m extremely diligent because I hate seeing the floors dirty… I do hope, however, that in the future the simple task of vacuuming will be a bit simpler. Shop vacs are not the easiest tools for a smaller person to manuever, let me tell ya. AND I got a thorn in my finger in the process. Don’t ask.

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