Oil Change?

The smell of pungent oil and burnt coffee sent little memories of sophomore year chemistry disasters wafting upwards, floating in bubbles around me as I waited for my car to be finished. From the small cubicle of a waiting room, I would be able to peer out at the two mechanics working on my little car if I craned my neck four inches in a northwest direction. But I am not good at coordinates or map reading, and a little fearful that if I stretch my neck something might pop, which could be frightening for anyone right? Instead I sat and read …..

He came out and grimly informed me that my air filter was shot and for $50 they could replace it for me. Instantly dismayed, I felt a little jolted. I wasn’t expecting this. I just wanted to come in, read a magazine for 20 minutes while the transfusion took place. I didn’t think that nasty minerals or deadly chemical or hairballs and other things I associate with “filters” would be a problem. UGG…being the cheapo that I am, I declined the service and tried to ignore his warning “okay, but next time, this definitely needs to be taken care of.”

So jump ahead a few thousand miles on the car, as well as several little road trips and one heck of a snowstorm where the image of that percolating disastrously choked up filter now has become congested in my mind. Time for a tune up I decide. Hey, it’s the new year, and the car needs a little revitalization just like the rest of “the new you” mumbo jumbo we’ve been hearing for the last 10 days. I walk into the dealer and request that they honor a coupon from the local quick lube joint, for an oil change, tire rotation and free inspection. They do. I inform them that I know the car might need an air filter and that since the part is quite easy to obtain and replace, if they would charge labor for doing so. They wouldn’t. Then I stretch the truth a bit saying that I have a friend who knows cars and he has taught me well (I do have such friends, but I fully put my buck on my google addiction. Go google!).

The upshot is…after their inspection, my car is deemed as “perfectly healthy.” Superb. A+. I do a little internal jog, because hey people, I am an A addict after all, and this has somehow proven validating…My care It doesn’t need a thing. Only gas, an occasional vacuum or interior wipe through perhaps, and my expressed gratitude for transporting me daily to safe destinations all while a) maintaining an attractive body and b) being so damn cheap.

I do discuss with my supervisor having changing a tire/oil on my 101 list, and he agrees to help me this summer. We discuss that I should get the air filter and do it on my own soon, which pumps me up a little because a) I just saved myself some money (which I translate into a reward like a free bottle of wine and b) I feel capable, confident, capable of caring for myself with ease….and joy and all the other things meditation claims sole property of….

What’s the lesson here? Like always, my ideas don’t need special occasion to metastasize. So I’d BEG for your insight….! (Please, pretty please? Make sense of this for the two people who read this blog!)

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