We had a catastrophe this week, or as other people call them, car problems.
Whenever Bunny calls me unexpectedly during the day, either someone died, or she’s having car problems. (Because for anything else she would text)
When you don’t have the knowledge or capacity to fix things, every car problem becomes a catastrophe. [Enter Damsels in Distress from left]
She was crying when I answered the phone, never a good sign. It turned out she had not one, but two blown out tires, both on the left side. She was on the freeway, with only one spare.
If you don’t know how to fix cars, you need to have money for catastrophes. One year, as we were preparing to leave for our Michigan vacation with my grandparents, Gram handed me six hundred dollars and said, “Grandpa says you need to have money when you’re traveling.”
Grandpa does not fix his own cars.
Gram would continue to give me money before our Michigan trip each year for all the rest of the years we went with them, even though (knock on wood) my car never broke down. It was always an end of summer trip, so that money usually went for new school clothes and supplies for Bunny, and Gram knew it. (My Gram was awesome, have I mentioned?)
I was lucky for all my life to have my dad, who both knew how to fix cars and also had money. He saved me a lot of times.
When it came time to think about Bunny driving, I regretted not taking an automotive class. Who was going to save the day for her?
My dad has saved her a few times, and my husband has done some much needed repairs and oil changes. My dad is out of town this week and J was at work, so fixing this catastrophe was up to me.
Bunny lives an hour from me, and works even further, so I told her to find a ride to work (Uber’s don’t want to pick you up on the side of the freeway btw) and I would get busy on the rest.
I had to venture out into an unknown city to find a tire place. The last time I took Bunny’s car to an unknown place for some brake work, they put power steering fluid in instead of brake fluid and her brakes failed again two days later.
I had to first prove to them that they were at fault, because they tried to blame us for the error, then I had to argue with them about which parts they needed to replace because of their error. It ended with me eventually demanding an entire refund, so I could afford to pay someone else to do the repairs they were refusing to do.
I went to that shop, and I looked that man in the eye, and I said these are MY DAUGHTER’S BRAKES. It was the mom card. And then he said he could see, as a mom, how I would be worried and he would replace the rest of the parts. Hallelujah!
I googled tire places and called the first one on the list. I needed to find a place to have the car towed, on a flat bed, and fixed.
Aaron answered the phone and confirmed they had the tires, and then to my amazement said they could arrange for the tow. He would call me back with the details.
When he called me back, I braced for the inevitable list of other things they thought needed fixing.
“Don’t be a dickhead, Aaron” I silently commanded.
Aaron was not a dickhead. He said they have the car and the tires are beyond repair, and that it looks like the other two tires are also pretty worn.
“Coincidentally,” I said to Aaron who was not a dickhead, “I gave her new tires for her birthday but she hasn’t had time to get them yet, so yes, please do all four.”
Aaron did not try to sell me anything else, and he gave me very good directions how to get there, cause I have the money for catastrophes and Bunny does not.
I told Bunny, later when I picked her up from work and brought her to her car, that this was her new tire place.
“This is where your warranty is. Ask for Aaron,” I said.
As Father’s Day approaches, I’m thankful for all the Knights in Shining armor, dads and husbands and brothers and grandpas and uncles and sons and son-in-laws and cousins- and guys like Aaron, who can save the day for the rest of us.
Happy Fathers Day,