Despite having owned many and loved a few, my knowledge of the innerworkings of my cars leaves much to be desired. My answer to “why is the engine making that knocking noise” is a very typical “I don’t know, call the goddamn mechanic.” I’d sooner breastfeed a baby camel in my backyard for fun than learn how to change my own oil. For the 30 minutes it takes to get my oil changed by someone who knows what they’re doing, and is therefore held accountable for their mistakes (the selfsame reason that I will never again ask people to help me paint my house, I cannot yell at my friends, but I CAN yell at people I pay). Color me lazy, but it just seems easier that way.
When I was 6 or 7 months pregnant with Ben, due to an unfortuante error in judgement on my part (which is not the subject of this blog post), I was loaned my recently deceased grandmothers car, which I used to tool back and forth to school.
On my way to my beloved jewelry making class, I rounded a corner, and a most mysterious thing occured. The car was filled with a horrible flappity-flap noise while becoming increasingly difficult to stear. Being the amazingly intelligent person that I am, despite being late to my class, I dilligently pulled the car off of the main road and into a brand new subdivision. Upon closer inspection, I realized that I had blown a tire.
Well, this was slightly before I’d gotten a cell phone, and I was a mile or two away from a pay phone, so I opened the trunk. It took several minutes of staring at the jack and the donut tire incompetently before I realized that I had absolutely no clue how to change a tire. Truth be told, even if I had, my burgeoning belly would have likely impeded me from getting into the required position anyway.
After several minutes, it dawned on me that squatting on the well-manicured easement and shaking my fists at the sky impotently while weeping copiously was going to do absolutely nothing to help my situation (aside from possibly landing me in a straightjacket). So, I looked around at the brand-new pre-fab subdivision, with it’s trees so young that they appeared to be houseplants, and noticed that most people were not yet home from work.
If there ever was a situation in which I need help, this was it, so I set off to find someone to give me a hand. I shuffled along, waddling all the way, looking for some sign that someone was home at ANY of these identical houses. Several houses down from where I had pulled over, I saw some teeny bikes in the lawn, and yay! the front door was open. Figuring that anyone who had small children wasn’t apt to be a serial killer, and would likely take pity on an obviously pregnant woman, I rang the bell.
When the children went to get their father, I feverishly explained my situation, my panic escalating by the moment. Through a strangled voice thisclose to tears, I explained that I needed someone to help me change my tire, could he please help me change my tire, I’m pregnant and I need someone to change my tire, please, please, pleeeasssse help me.
The man rolled his eyes at me.
He ROLLED his EYES at me.
Then he sighed audibly at my shear stupidity, rolled his eyes again, glared at me, and opened the door.
I trailed him like a sad, lost puppy dog, explaining my situation while drawing huge gulping nearly hysterical breaths, apologizing profusely, all of which he ignored. But being who I am, when I get upset, it’s like my internal switch goes from “Talks Paint Off Walls,” to “11” so I continued peppering his minstrations with an irritatingly apologetic monologue.
He said not a word as he changed my tire for me. Not one single word.
After he finished, I began thanking him repeatedly for helping me out, all of which he ignored. After sighing dramatically, giving me one last withering glare, he promptly got up from the curb and began walking angrily back home.
I have no idea how long I stood there, rooted to the spot, watching this man walk home. I was completely dumbfounded, hell I still AM completely dumbfounded. And a touch hurt: I have never, ever asked a complete and total stranger for much of anything, except for maybe the time, and I suppose that my expectations were too high. Anyone else I knew (and know) would drop anything to help someone in such a situation, I’d sure help out if I thought that I would be doing much good by occasionally commenting on the sky while other people did the manual work.
Maybe this is just another one of those things in life that I’ll never understand, up there with the popularity of skinny jeans, and propensity for cats to piss on anything plastic and/or vinyl. Why would someone who very obviously didn’t want to help me, help me? He could have very easily sent me on my (waddling) way, and I would have understood: it’s not his mess to clean up, my flat tire.
While I am completely aware that this was a dumbass move on my part, even now, I wouldn’t change a tire while pregnant, and seriously, what was I supposed to do? Hell, when I’m pregnant, I can barely walk in a straight line, let alone jack a several ton car up on a spindly little jack. It’s likely that I would at the very least attempt to change a tire when I’m not pregnant, but still, I have no freaking idea what I’m doing, so the experience would likely net me a trip to the ER AND SOME VICODIN. Mmmmm, Vicodin.
Am I the only one who gets confused by these interactions? Has this sort of thing happened to other people?