A Disgrace to my Gender

I'd like to say that this is one of those hip, ultra-modern, no-stereotyped-gender-roles type households. I'd like to, but I can't. We don't try to mimic an episode of Leave it to Beaver or anything - my husband helps with housework, Eve loves math and plays baseball, Angus has been known to scrapbook, and I can drink my husband under the table. BUT I do the vast majority of the cooking and day-to-day tidying. I do my best not to sully my lily white hands by carrying out the garbage, I'm helpless with anything involving plumbing, and bad things happen when I get hold of an allen key, so I don't put together a lot of furniture. I'm a stay-at-home MOM, for frick's sake. And while my husband isn't a neanderthal or a 'I earn the money, you take care of everything else' jackass, he likes his sports and he can be utterly defeated by the vagaries of a washing machine.

Along these lines, I haven't taken a lot of responsibility for vehicle maintenance. Matt would just take whichever thing needed servicing, drop it off and then take the shuttle to work. At some point, he would pick me up and we would go get the other vehicle and tag-team drive them home.

When we bought the minivan last summer, I said that I should start taking it in, and he said he would be glad to hand over that responsibility. However, the first time it had to go in, I was in the middle of a medication switch and I didn't really feel like myself, so to spare me the added anxiety he took it in yet again. Today was my maiden voyage into the big bad world of Car Servicing.

I was determined not to be a stereotypical woman who is clueless and giggly and doesn't know anything about cars and gets taken advantage of. I'm not sure how I thought I would escape this, though, since, regarding internal combustion engines and the like, I AM clueless. And I do tend to giggle when I get nervous. Fortunately, there was little opportunity for any advantage being taken, since all I needed was an oil change which is still covered under our extended warranty. Furthermore, the guy at the desk could not have been nicer (at least one of us dodged the stereotype), so even if there was a problem I might not have left with a new everything-under-the-hood. But yeah, it was bad. I approached the desk and within ten seconds we'd established that I'd parked in the wrong place, and when he asked me if we'd bought the vehicle at this location I had to say "Uh, I think so.... I wasn't actually....there." He said "Oh dear." Then he said "Oh, I didn't mean to say that." I could have said, look, we discussed it at length and we already knew which one we were getting, and the salesman was someone we knew from our son's school, it's not like I waved good-bye to my husband and said have a nice day dear and why don't you pick up a new car on the way home.... but there didn't seem to be much point.

Oh well. The oil got changed, Pam and I went to Costco while we waited (so I guess maybe it did cost me more than it should have after all) and all my husband has to know is that I successfully navigated my first oil change. It's not like he reads my blog. I don't think. Plus, I have a bunch of muffins the size of my head to console myself with. I'm calling it a win.


Magpie said…
it's got noting to do with gender. we're all good at different things.
StephLove said…
I'd call it a win, too, just because of the muffins.

p.s. I came over from Swistle after the discussion about comments made me decide to find some new blogs to read.
Mary Lynn said…
I've taken my car in for servicing a few times and I HATE it. I always feel like they're pulling the wool over my eyes when they say things need doing. Lately I get Ed to take the car in, even though I'm the one with the part-time job. Sigh. Oh well...Ed's a fabulous negotiator, so even when he does agree to the things the service people want to do to the car it ends up costing 10 - 20 % less than it would've if I'd been the one there with the car.
Nicole said…
Everything car related is my husband's domain. I have high anxiety about car maintenance. I once cried hysterically because the "low washer fluid" light came on. I do not say that proudly. I do not know how to open the hood on the car. I put gas in it. Sometimes I wash it, although with extreme resentment. One time I had to go get the tires something-ed (the lugnuts tightened? I don't know) and the guy asked me where the thingy was to tighten them and I started crying. He was like "whoa, lady, that's okay, I'll find another way."
clara said…
In the summer, my in-laws were staying with us and following us places in their rental car and my FIL tells me one of my brake lights is out. He offers to go get a new bulb and change it in my car so I say sure, since I've got the two kids and my MIL to entertain. He comes back up, tells me oh no, it's not the bulb, I tried it in all the sockets and it didn't work, so we take the car to the service centre where the 12 year old fixit dude says "It's the bulb" and replaces it in 2 seconds.

Not sure why I share this story. Perhaps because I felt like an idiot. There you go. You don't own idiocy. I have some too!
Hey, if it makes you feel any better, I DID wave goodbye to my husband for the last two car purchases, and then he just appeared back home with a new vehicle. Both times my biggest concern was that he pick out a nice colour. I have no idea which dealership he went to. The 1950s get a bad rap. I've got my pearls, where's my apron?
Finola said…
I hate taking the car in for servicing, and I will probably never ever change a tire.
But I can put gas in the car...that's pretty good. Right?
Finola said…
I hate taking the car in for servicing, and I will probably never ever change a tire.
But I can put gas in the car...that's pretty good. Right?
Pam said…
There is no better way to celebrate your amazing success of car servicing with slight dorkiness than head-sized muffins. You actually did fine and no one cried so I call it a victory.

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