Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Uncool under pressure

If you are in a jam, a pickle, a whatever....don't call me. K? I'm not being mean, I'm being HELPFUL. This is because I am extremely uncool when it comes to stressful situations. Geo likes to/has to remind me to calm down, relax, stop freaking out, put down the scissors or let go of my blankie and get out from under the comforter when something nuts is happening.

So you can imagine how uncool I was on Monday when my car battery died. It had been sluggish for awhile but I chalked it up to the cold, forgetting that it has been powering my car for SEVEN YEARS. Still, I knew I was pushing my luck when I drove it to work on Monday morning, so as soon as I got to my desk, I made an immediate appointment to get the battery replaced that afternoon.

At like 2:45, I walk out to my car and turn the key: nothing. I swear loudly at the car: nothing. I apologize for the swearing, promising to be better to the car: nothing. I was out of answers.

I texted and called Geo at his grown-up job repeatedly and when he answered, he was obnoxiously calm. "Okay, you're fine. Relax. Can you have someone jump it? Do you just want it towed to the car place?"

I responded, as any sane woman would "UGH! I DON'T KNOW! EVERYTHING IS THE WORST AND I'M COLD AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO AND I SHOULDN'T HAVE DRIVEN THIS MORNING AND THIS IS PROBABLY PAYBACK FOR THAT SUMMER I KEPT KILLING ALL THOSE BIRDS WHILE DRIVING!"

Needless to say, he doesn’t LOVE talking to me when I’m in this state, and I certainly don’t blame him. But after some reassurance from him, I got my car jumped and it started up.

This wasn’t good enough to calm my nerves. I asked the guy who jumped it how long the battery would last. Could he just reassure me that I would make it the 3.3 miles to Firestone? He shrugged and said, “Probably. I mean, I don’t see why not.”

Not helpful.

So I turned off the heat, the radio and made a mental note not to use my blinkers (I don’t know what batteries power and what they don’t) and headed off to Firestone. I was a headcase the whole way there. Some choice words I spoke out loud in my silent car included “Come on, baby. Come on. You can do it. If I can run a mile without stopping surely you could keep going. I’ve never said a bad word about you, Subaru. You OWE me this. Clear eyes, full heart, car.”

On the way there, my phone — providing me the directions — ALSO died. I couldn’t charge it in the car because again, I didn’t know if it would drain the battery. So I tried to remember the directions I had looked up earlier and found myself on this road with 1,000 cars, 12,000 driveways into multiple strip malls and a dangerous hesitancy to hit the brakes.

Finally, after turning around 8 or 11 times, I saw the Firestone sign. I pulled up to a garage and slowly drove in circles in the parking lot. I gingerly rolled down my window an inch and started yelling at a gentle man who I’d learn was named Herb, “I CAN’T STOP OR MY CAR WILL DIE! I HAVE A 3:00 APPOINTMENT TO REPLACE MY BATTERY! WHERE DO I GO?! WHAT DO I DO!?”

There were several problems with this scene. One: I think I would have been fine stopping my car and talking to Herb like a human. Two: Even if my car HAD died, I was in a place more than equipped to handle such an incident. 

Three: It was the wrong place. It was another battery/tire/auto place next to Firestone that I just drove into out of sheer panic. I had no appointment, Herb had no warning that this nightmare was about to befall him. Only, I didn’t even realize it was the wrong place until about 15 minutes into my wait when I noticed nothing around me said Firestone…except the sign about three storefronts further down the road I saw through the window.

But like the hero that he no doubt is, Herb replaced my battery and I could drive home in peace. Except my tire pressure light is still on, and so’s my Brake light. But that’s a panic for another day, I guess.

1 comment:

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