Thursday, September 10, 2009

Shop of Desperation

Family Car Pictures, Images and Photos
I am very bad about taking my car in for service. Waiting in that shop is like toture. It's never just an oil change, there is always something they find that will cost you an insane amount. I am not patient by nature and have only so much tolerance for handling my crazy kid in public places so I tend to put it off. A few weeks ago, I noticed that my brakes (just got new ones in January) were making a weird groaning/creaking sound when I was driving at slow speeds. It was disconcerting because you do need to have brakes. If I could drive with my feet like the Flintstones, I probably would, but since I can't, I knew I needed to deal with the brakes. I was also a little overdue for an oil change, maybe by 3-4,000 miles? My husband is great doing projects around the house, but he generally does not bother with our cars, so it means service for them, lots of annoying scheduling and waiting. Once G found out about how much I've delayed my service, I got a fine lecture. "It can damage the car not to have routine need brakes...we are almost car payment free...can't afford another car..."

I sort of live my life in a flighty, distracted way. I like to shirk duties that bore me or cause me unneccesary stress. Dealing with the car is high on that list. I do feel guilt easily though, so lectures are generally effective in getting me to do things. I finally manned up and made the appointment.

The building is half service center and half car dealership, and 100% lame. The people that sit in the chairs look either bored, terrified, irate, or sickened. It's really a nonstop loop of all those emotions for me there. However, most of them are by themselves and can at least pretend to read or look at the mute, close captioned morning talk shows on the T.V. while they wait. I have my daughter, wild as colt, wanting to find good times in the loudest possible way. To be fair, the center does have a closet sized kids' room, but chewed Legos aren't that my fun for my explorer. She wants to see vending machines, crawl under tables, take out the contents of Mommy's wallet, laugh and shriek, run circles around display cars, and really just live life to the fullest in a Honda service center.

After the hour and a half that it took for the oil change and brake check, they tell me that my brakes have too much rust. I don't drive enough, I need to drive more. The thought of driving more and using more gas is not appealing to me. They tell me they can sand off the rust. They also tell me that various fluids are black and full of mold. Really, they could tell me anything and I would pay it because what do I know about cars? I just want it to run. Although vaguely in the back of my mind, I remember them asking about this particular service a year ago and me shrugging it off... Looking at the cost of everything, I want to curl up and cry. I hate the costs! It's almost as bad as struggling in the waiting room of doom with my wayward toddler. I'm also informed that the MAJOR service is coming up and another issue with a fuel injector that will need to be taken care of at that time. It's scary stuff and my face is the wheel of horror, disgust, anger, and disbelief.

After being told to wait another half an hour, I go back to chasing A. for a good hour. I tried to cajole her into looking at an ESPN magazine, but that worked for all of a minute. I tried to take her back and make those chewed up Legos as appealing as possible. We even had snack time at the vending machine. I tried singing along to the 80s hits playing in the background, but I was ansty and my kid was antsy. When everything was finally done, I was actually glad to pay that scary amount just to get out of there. Now my future plans will be to figure out how long I can delay the MAJOR service so that I don't have endure any of that anytime soon.


Buggys said...

I too, will gladly shirk duties that bore or stress me, exactly! We might be soul mates. It doesn't really matter how high on the importance totem pole those duties are either. My husband usually breaks down and takes care of the potentially dangerous stuff. I should feel terribly guilty shouldn't I?

Together We Save said...

I hate car repairs. I have found a wonderful mechanic whose daughter will give me a ride to work and call me when they are finished. Very afforable. It is easier now.

Anonymous said...

I look past those duties too. They bore me so should I really have to do them???
I recently found a mouse trying to make a nest in my car! Maybe I should start driving more too! Na

Jessica said...

Buggys, I don't think you should feel guilt. I would love if G would finally just do that crap I don't want to do, but it's always up to me no matter what!

Together We Save, That sounds like an ideal situation. I wish I could just be a mechanic and do it all myself.

Na, I would love having a mouse in my car. He would be my driving buddy. You are lucky.