I turned the key and....
The car did nothing.
I may not know a lot about cars, but I do know that something is supposed to happen when you turn the key.
I chewed my lower lip as I gripped the wheel. The wind outside was ridiculous and the car rocked a bit as it brushed against the car.
It was cold out.
Like negative temperatures cold.
The only reason why I was even out was to drive to my friend Amanda’s house to celebrate New Years.
Only the car wouldn’t start.
I turned the key again and the dashboard went crazy. All the warning signals popped on.
“What does this mean?” I wailed dramatically. I hate when things don’t work properly.
“Is it broken?” Tommy asked from the backseat. “Maybe it’s the battery.”
Oh God. What if it was the battery? What if it died? But how? I didn’t leave anything on in the car. It couldn’t be dead. It just couldn’t. I had places to be, dammit, and my car was still relatively new.
I have a 2010 Honda Insight, a hybrid, and I expect good things from a hybrid. I expect hybrids to TURN ON when you want them to.
“I’d expect this sort of thing from an old car but you are still new so stop it,” I said. To the car. Even though it’s, you know, not alive.
I tried to turn it on again.
“Mommy? I’m cold,” Natalie complained. She had on a heavy coat, hat and mittens but it didn’t matter.
And I didn’t blame her.
It was cold out.
“Stupid car,” I grumbled and we all went back in the house. My friend Amanda just picked us up and we still managed to have a fun get together.
On Saturday I tried the car again. Maybe it was a fluke on Friday night.
…nope. Still nothing.
I smacked the wheel. “What is the matter with you?” I griped. “I don’t speak car, I can’t help!”
I rested my forehead on the wheel. My hair fell down around me. I was not in the mood for this. Everything seemed to be breaking around me ever since Tom left for Korea. It was like the world was testing me, seeing if I was strong enough to handle everything.
“I am strong enough,” I muttered. Great. I was talking to myself. A lot. And speaking to inanimate objects. This probably meant I needed psychological help.
I popped open the hood. I figured I’d have a look see. I got out of the car, bracing myself against the cold. It wasn’t as bad as Friday, but still pretty chilly.
I peered into the hood, stroking my chin as though I knew exactly what I was looking at.
So…that thing with the wires hanging from it…the engine right? Or the battery? Wait. What was that thing? And…oh, THERE was where I put the windshield wiper fluid.
What was I even looking for? Something that said, “I’m causing the problem? Help?”
“Everything looks okay,” I said, peering closer. It was like some bizarre maze in the hood of my car. One that I’d never, ever figure out.
I shut the hood.
“Well,” I said. “I guess I’ll try again tomorrow.”
Sunday rolled around.
I gripped the keys in my hand. The car and I had a stare down like we were in the Old West.
“You had your fun. Now it’s time to start. I have places to be next week and don’t have time for car tantrums.” I envisioned myself walking into the service section of the Honda dealership going, “I need help. My car is having a tantrum.”
I slid in front of the wheel. I stuck the key in the ignition.
I took a deep breath.
I turned the key.
....the car rumbled back to life as if nothing were ever wrong.
I mean, what a bitch!
I let it run for a few minutes. Then I turned it off. Then I put it back on, just in case it was teasing me.
And it still worked!
I’m guessing it didn’t like the really cold temperatures?
But we’re in Wyoming, it’s going to HAVE to get used to the really cold temperatures.
I’m going to call the Honda dealership and will have them look at the car, just in case.
I don’t have the patience for car tantrums, after all.