Oil Changes and Attitude Adjustments

I saw this great tweet the other day:

I agree. Those stereotypes are offensive and often untrue. What do you do, then, if you're a woman who is not, in fact, a terribly confident driver or a whiz at long division, sine waves and completing the square? I'm still not the stereotype - I don't weave all over the road, I don't run over things with gay abandon, I don't generally run into things (apart from that one unfortunate incident with the signpost and the back bumper, but my husband was away, I was short on sleep and it wouldn't have cracked off if it wasn't so cold, THE REPAIR MAN SAID IT, shut up). My kids know not to come to me with their math homework, but it's not because I'm too pretty or that I think numbers are dumb - math just doesn't happen to be an area I excel in. Sorry, an area in which I excel (I AM supposed to be not bad at this word business). I just accept, I guess, that I CAN drive and do math (sort of ), I just enjoy other things more.

When I started taking vehicles in for servicing, I was always kind of embarrassed and tense about not really knowing anything. And then one day I thought FUCK it - who cares? I'm paying them to know this stuff FOR me. I think it would be awesome to be a woman and know all about cars. I think it's quite possible that a guy would find it hot if a woman knew a lot about cars. I personally find it a little hot if a woman knows about cars. I'm just not that woman. I don't know how an internal combustion engine works. I don't even know if cars HAVE internal combustion engines, 'internal combustion engine' is just a phrase floating around in my head. I also don't know what a catalytic converter is, or how a Geiger counter works, although some of the women at my World Trivia Night table did (and yeah, it was a little hot).

So now when I need an oil change or something, I show up, I park my car somewhere, I go in and say this is what I'm here for, where should I go? And they tell me exactly where to put the car, and then I sit in a comfortable chair and read or drink tea with Pam until the car is ready, and then I pay them and say thank-you and drive away.

Today I had to go get winter tires put on the Rav 4. Pam was working, so I was all by myself. I drove in the way they told me to, then got out and the woman (who knew a lot about cars) at the service desk asked me if our winter tires were on rims. I didn't know. Then she asked me something else about other parts, and I said look, I know nothing except that my husband said we negotiated the winter tire installation as part of the lease. She said no problem, how about we check the cargo space in your trunk? Now, until last week I had no idea that we HAD such a thing, but thanks to the incident with the FUSB, I at least didn't end up looking at her blankly and then having her have to show me the little pull tab in the trunk that lifts up to reveal the storage space. We opened it up, and she said "oh, what's that plastic bag?" I pulled it out and she said "ma'am, I believe we've found your nuts."

Then we made out on the hood. Okay, no we didn't, but what can I say, I like a woman who knows her way around my cargo space.


Hannah said…
I know what a catalytic converter AND an internal combustion engine are, so can we make out now?
Nicole said…
This is my favourite thing EVER. I used to feel weird about taking the car in but now I OWN it. I have been known to say "I have no idea what you mean, should I call my husband to check?" I DON'T KNOW CARS PEOPLE.
StephLove said…
I sometimes feel better about not knowing this kind of stuff because if Beth's the one to do it, it's still a woman doing it and the kids don't have traditional sex roles reinforced quite as much.
Bibliomama said…
It's true. Same-sex marriage FTW.
slow panic said…
i like the words/phrase "catalytic converter"

i have no idea what it is.

Amy said…
Why does the term gay abandon make me giggle?
Dimitra said…
How do you manage to describe things in such a way that the visual manages to catch me off guard? I spit out my coffee with laughter reading your "make out session on the hood"!!! Still crying!!

And I've never heard of a Geiger counter.....

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