I’m one of those metaphysical types that find deeper meanings inside of mundane things. For example I believe our cars represent how we move forward in life. They, like our own bodies, carry us on our path. So when I get a flat tire, my car is broken into, or it’s time to have an oil change, it is representative.
Then yesterday, after running ragged for G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S etc.…etc.… etc.… (Because my life always piles it on), my engine light appeared and a little green light next to my gear indicator flashed. Uhhhhhhh….
So into the dealership I went. Now mind you, I just had the car looked over and the oil changed a week ago. Color me unhappy. And like my computer (with all my design software) dying when I need it most for GISHWHES submissions, I am incredulous. Why now?! I don’t have time this week. Next week would be better.
The initial assessment, something got in and clogged a valve. “Hopefully it has moved on through” they sooth. But gears are tricky little critters. I know how hard that one teeny tiny grain of coffee plugging the office Keurig was to remove.
So… they recommended burnishing the transmission for three hundred dollars more than the $100 diagnosis charge I already paid. But I just had my car serviced… He replied, “Our technicians need to be paid”. What happened to customer satisfaction?
Worse, if the burnishment didn’t work, I’d be looking at a new transmission. Again, are you Fing Kidding me? My car’s a 2010. It’s a Honda for Fucks sake. I bought it because these kinds of things are not supposed to happen. They last forever. I don’t even love the car. It was a purely practical decision to avoid THIS.
Their response was “yeah, just bad luck.” Well he just summed up my existence in one sentence, the Piscean curse. Statistically I am sure my streak is impossible.
Then the call came. Burnishing made my car better, but still didn’t fix it. The myriad of computer codes from today were different from the codes the car flashed yesterday. God I miss old cars that can be diagnosed without the use of a computer.
I now need to go another $300 in the hole on the off chance that the shaft speed sensor is the issue. If that does not work then they can officially say the transmission is kaput. At which point I get to beg Honda to help pick up the $3500 tab. I’ll be lucky if they split it. But I bought my Honda new through the dealership and only Honda has serviced it so….
The shuttle driver arrives to deliver me back to the dealership so I can pick up a loaner vehicle. We get to chatting along the drive. My mood undisguised, he tries to assure me they will take care of my car. When the cost of replacing the dead transmission is discussed he says, “Well, Perhaps your husband can help you pay for it.” The feminist in me wanted to retort, but frankly in that moment I wished it was true. I yearned for a successful, hard-working wealthy sugary partner to pick up the tab, or hell just help carry the strain. (Cue damsel in distress video). Frankly, my bills are overwhelming the crap out of me at the moment. Besides I could tell he’d meant it from a genuine place of concern. I simply didn’t have the bandwidth to defend women’s lib in the moment.
I arrived at the dealership to find that the gal who arranges the loaner vehicles went home sick. And failed to get my paperwork together first. So they call Enterprise to arrange a rental. I wait.
Finally I get a car, a Hyundai Santa Fe and make my way back to the office. I’m thankful for the use of a larger vehicle. I have some furniture to pick up and move from my parents. This will come in handy. But I’m reminded of why I bought my lovely Honda to begin with. I had a Hyundai Tuscon that went haywire after owning it for 5 years. I didn’t want to go through that again. And though I adore larger vehicles for their height and storage capacity, I decided I needed a guaranteed long driving, sturdy, practical, goes forever kind of car. Hence, I bought my Civic. Ha that was laughable salt in the wound.
Back at the office I wondered what the appropriate level of whiskey was for this situation. It’s unbelievable that I am batting a thousand. Oh, and did I mention I need to have spinal surgery as well. So yeah, there’s that.
So what’s the point of this whole metaphysical analysis?
The transmission allows the car to shift gears. It helps us gain momentum and move through and forward in life, to make shifts and changes in order to accomplish goals. But in my case I think it is yet another reminder to stop expending myself outwards. I am spread far too thin and it’s literally wearing me down.
My dam’s broke, flooding into town. Time for me to cut back, trim my obligations and hunker in. I must go with the flow and hope to God it shoots me out somewhere warm, preferably on a beach with a whiskey in my hand. And in the meantime I’ll being cursing a lot to release much needed endorphins.
Oh, and it’s been several days now so I can only hope that you’ve gotten your car back and it’s behaving just swell. I have friends who swear by Honda Civics. Yet, I know one of them who had to put considerable $$ into her car (and this was years ago before all the computerized bells & whistles) and, still, when she needed a new car, she got a Honda Civic. And I’m truly sorry you have to have spinal surgery. There’s much too much bad luck your way. No limit on the whiskey.
Sorry about the surgery. I think you’re entitled to however much whiskey you want in the circumstances.