Thursday, October 18, 2007

Can Today Be Love Your Auto Body Day?

Sarah tells me it’s Love Your Body Day. I learn a lot from the internet.

I’m sure you have never waited so long between oil changes that the little reminder sticker on your windshield displays only sad, faded numbers that you can no longer read.

And I’m sure what prompts you to get your oil changed is the realization that the appropriate number of months or miles driven have elapsed since your last oil change. You are not nudged into action by the fact that you seem to be out of windshield washer fluid, so you might as well have all the car’s essential liquids topped off.

Also, I bet you don’t decide “today is the day for that oil change” because you are already so late for work that another 30 minutes is not going to make a difference.

Or maybe you change your oil yourself, on the weekends, because you’re all conscientious and self-reliant and shit.

Well, fuck you.

There. I’m glad we’re past all that.

So let’s say you have taken your car to the garage for an oil change, only to have the mechanic come find you and walk you solemnly to your hoisted car. (Is this the equivalent of gyno-stirrups for your auto? Is it embarrassed to be up there on the lift, having you parade around its undercarriage whilst some greasy-handed man pokes at it?) The mechanic points to your cracked and nearly-bald tires and insists that you desperately need all four tires replaced. Today. As in, “it’s a good thing you weren’t planning to take a long drive on these tires” and “if you were my daughter, I wouldn’t let you drive back to your house on these.”

So, nearly $350 later, you’ve got your damn oil change. And four new tires.

Later that day, on the way home from work, you notice that your radio is really soft. Then you realize it’s not the radio that is quiet, it’s the car that is loud, and suddenly you’re sitting on a jet engine. The damn thing is so loud that when your two-year-old son rides with you he spends the entire drive asking, “What’s wrong with Mama’s car?”


Back to the garage. New muffler. Another $350. Warnings that within a few months that timing belt should be replaced.

I just wanted an oil change.

The car is over 7 years old, so I knew that blissful period between “loan paid off” and “all manner of shit goes wrong” would be over soon. Oh, it’s over.

I wonder if I would love my body more if I just spent over seven hundred bucks on it, after recently tossing several thousands in (insured, thankfully) front-end body work at it, with another several hundred on the horizon.

(Probably not, as the kind of work I need totals much more than a couple thousand.)

(My teeth would probably be whiter, though.)

(And my insides wouldn’t smell like sour milk.)

(Or so I assume.)

(What do you think your innards smell like? Remember, it's Love Your Body Day . . .)


Em said...

There is no appropriate time for major car troubles, but having problems after you have just left the garage seems particularly unjust.

If you are what you eat I am sure that the inside of my body smells like a fragrant combo of coffee, grape propel, and beer. Because I am more likely what I drink.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

My insides smell like beer and bagels and possibly tacos.

I feel your pain, we just dropped $328 on the motor for the drivers window in Gabe's car.

Mom at Work said...

It must be love you broke down car day. We dropped $600 on Pete's "car." for a battery, a leaky water pump, and a cracked engine mount. Actual conversation:

Me: "What happens if I don't replace the engine mount? Will I be driving down the road and my engine falls out?"
Mechanic: "No. Your engine rests on the car frame. But within the next couple of months, it will break and then it's gonna be a lot more expensive than $200. Also, the State of Virginia considers it a safety issue, so you'll fail inspection. You can wait, but not long. But the water pump, that won't wait."
Me: "I'll take it all." (As I grumble about how what I really want to spend $600 car dollars on is a brand new Mustang.)

Mom at Work said...

Oh, and my insides...

the bitter, bitter bile of a car repair customer.

Becky said...

My insides? Coffee and margaritas. But not necessarily at the same time.

bozoette said...

My innards smell like roses and vanilla. And my shit does NOT stink. But I never get my oil changed on time. Luckily I'm in that sweet, sweet honeymoon period between "paid off" and "falling apart." Not for long, I fear.

p-man said...

Coffee and gorgonzola. Stay upwind.

Violet said...

I've no idea what my innards smell like; I have enough problems with my outsides.