Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Mean Car

Okay, I have this car.

A car named Donna. Why Donna? I have no idea. It’s the name that popped in my head when I looked at the car.

Donna is...

...well, Donna likes to piss me off.

My car is a Honda Insight. And the other day I went to start my Honda Insight and…nothing.

I’ve had issues with the car in the past.

It doesn’t like to start in extremely cold weather. It’ll offer a little puttering sound and refuse to turn on.

When I tried to turn it on this time it wasn’t extremely cold. And I realized as I turned the key that nothing was happening. Before it would at least offer a pathetic sound and now…nothing.

Then I remembered how I let Natalie play in the front seat of the car while I brought in groceries. Anything to keep her contained. And happy. I recalled how she liked to turn on the lights and… hit me that she probably turned the light on, I didn’t know it and we had gone inside and left that light on.

So my battery was dead.

I panicked. If my husband were here I’d have raced inside and shouted, “Oh my God, it’s Donna! Help me!”

But he’s in Korea. So this meant I had to run to my neighbor’s house for help. I knocked on the door and the wife answered.

“Oh my God, it’s Donna! Help me!” I screeched.

Actually, no, I didn’t do this. I didn’t want to freak out the poor lady. It’s what I wanted to do but instead I said in a composed tone, “Does your husband know about cars?”

She nodded. “He’s not here though. I’ll send him over when he’s back.”

So I had to go back to my dead car. I don’t know why, but I tried to start it again as though the battery would magically come to life on its own.

I figured if I wanted it enough, it would happen.

This shows how much I know about cars.

I even opened the hood of the car and peered down at all the parts that I knew nothing about.

“If you could please work, that would be great,” I said. Yes, I had officially lost my mind. I was speaking to car parts that I’ve been known to refer to as “thingies.”

Here was my other worry: the car was in the garage. If it needed to be jumped, how could that happen?

I went back inside to check on the kids. I had put a movie on for them and they were happily watching it.

“Is the car still broken?” Tommy wanted to know. “What’s wrong? Is it the engine? Is it because it’s cold? Is it—”

“Tommy, please, I’m flustered as it is.” I started flipping through the car manual. Maybe there was some button I could push to get the car to start again. It was a hybrid, certainly it had to have extra special powers since it worked to help the environment and all that.

But I didn’t see anything about special powers or a special button.

Le sigh.

“I’m just tired of things not working,” I wailed to myself. It seems like ever since Tom went to Korea, things have been breaking. The couch, the computer, the TV, the car, my mind….

I started to cry and that was when there was a knock on my door.

Crap. The neighbor.

I quickly wiped my face so I wouldn’t scare him off. Men don’t like crying. My husband tends to get nervous when he sees my eyes well with tears. He’ll be like, “Oh, please don’t do that,” and practically toss the box of tissues at my face and run off.

The neighbor did a double take when he saw my face. I am an ugly crier. My face immediately turns bright red and it seems like everything on it gets all wet and gross.

“Hello,” I said, all businesslike. I made it seem like I wasn’t crying at all, lalala. I’m perfectly happy.

“Hello,” he said warily. “I hear you’re having car issues?” He looked like he wanted to add, “Please don’t cry in front of me.”

I nodded. “I do. I think the battery is dead.” I showed him how nothing happened when I stuck the key in the ignition. He said I should still be able to get the car in neutral so I could get it from the garage but my car is extra stubborn and wouldn’t do it. Everything was completely dead.

“Well,” the guy said, “I could string together jumper cables.”

So he did that and I had my fingers crossed, hoping it would work. If it didn’t, then what?

He got everything hooked up and suddenly my car came back to life. The light that I thought Natalie left on? Totally turned on in the car.

“That must be what was left on,” he said.


Then he told me to turn the key. I did and…my car turned on. Yay!

“Just keep it running for a bit and it should be fine,” he explained.

I wanted to toss my arms around his neck but that would been weird. Instead I said, “Thank you,” over and over again.

“You’re welcome,” he kept replying.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” I gushed. It was like I had Tourettes or something. I couldn’t stop saying the word.

“Uh. You’re welcome...” He left pretty quickly.

I burst into the house to tell the kids the good news and found this:

Reason number 3943209 why you NEVER leave children alone.

Oh well. At least my car works again.


  1. I'd have cried too. I cry when my bike gets a puncture. It's just a go-to emotion for me.

  2. I'm a crier too. Add in preggo hormones and I'm a mess these days. Glad to hear Donna is working again!

  3. What is she doing with the broom?

  4. Do yourself a favor and buy a battery charger at the local auto parts store, then ask the cute boys there how to use it. My kids are 7 and 9 and that sucker has saved me more times than I can count.

  5. I hate when my car doesn't work for me. And I am a cryer too! Is Natalie trying to fly the broom like in Harry Potter?

  6. I would have cried too. And what in the world is Miss Natalie doing?

  7. I completely understand. My car wont start when its "damp" outside.
    This is Michigan! It snows/rains for 9 months and then theres like 98% humidity the other 3 months! Needless to say, everyday is some kind of "damp".
    So frustrating! At least it was JUST the battery and didnt require a trip to the mechanic.

  8. Looks like Miss Pigtails tried to sweep up the mess for ya! Boy, her hair is gettin' long.

    Don't ya just hate car issues especially when you left to your own devices??? Glad it was an easy fix for ya girl.

    God bless an have a great day sweetie!!! :o)

  9. Tell Natalie it only works if you yell "UP" at the broom :)

    Glad your car is better. My car's name is Lily and she's currently sitting in the parking lot of my complex w/ a flat. Damn her.

  10. Thank goodness your neighbor came over to save the day! To a guy, a dead battery/jumper thingies is, like, NOTHING. I don't know what I would have done!!!

  11. Yep, nothing worse than car troubles. I mean really, nothing can sink my mood faster. And I am TOTALLY a cryer. C'mon, when we want/need things to work, we NEED them to work. What is so hard about that?

    Glad you had a handy neighbor to help you out.

    And really, you have to explain what that picture is, 'cause I can't tell what Natalie is doing.

  12. Natalie was actually using the broom as a balance beam :/ I think she tried to clean up and then was like, "Screw this..."

  13. Thank goodness you had a helpful neighbor around. I barely remember my neighbors names so it might be a tad uncomfortable if I were to knock on their door.

  14. i'm so sorry. and is she riding a broom like witch?

  15. Oh, I think we have all been in that "it doesn't work and it SHOULD and this JUST ISN'T FAIRRRR!" moment! Glad your neighbor helped. I'm going to risk sounding like the paranoid mommy here and say be *very* careful about letting her play in the car - we had a kid in our town manage to knock the car into neutral and rolled backwards out of the driveway, into the street. May I suggest bribing her with a sugary confection which you will later regret? ;-)

  16. That's how you got it working - I hope you make some cookies for the neighbor (and he actually gets some before you guys eat them all)

  17. I freak out when my car breaks down's not a pretty sight. If I can't get in touch w/ my hubby it's uber freakout time! I completely lose my mind. Glad you found someone to help :)


  18. Awww, I'm glad he got the car fixed. I'm a horrible cryer as well and look like I have a bad case of hives with snot. Horrible.
    At least the kids didn't add milk to the cereal!

  19. You cry when the car doesn't work and I curse.

    Is one better than the other, I have no idea.

  20. Cars are mean but don't let them hear you say that or they tend to act up!

  21. I would have cried, too.

    One time my car battery died when it was in the garage and the tow truck had to drag it out of the garage to jump it. It made a huge noise and left black marks all over the garage.

  22. Nothing wrong with crying. That is my motto. I actually find it to be motivational for he who is married to me.

  23. Totally would have cried too.

    I have a AAA membership - has totally saved my bacon on a few occasions.

  24. Ugh. Car troubles. I can drive cars and sit in them, but that's about it. I have never tinkered under the hood in my life.

  25. I don't know if I'm ugly while I cry, but Good Lord, the aftermath is outrageous! My eyes stay puffy for 24 hours. There's no getting around it for me.

    Did you cry again when you came inside and saw your kids' shenanigans?

  26. First of all that paragraph where you say your husband just looks like he wants to toss the kleenex at your face and run off is hilarious. My aspie just asked what I was laughing at.

    2nd-ly - I cry too when I get into those situations.

    3rd-ly your daughter looks like she's about to do a witch-mount on that broom. Is she trying to make it fly?

  27. I'm a crier too and my husband has the same reaction to me, even if I wouldn't have phrased it in so funny a manner. He treats it like its a tactic on my part. As if I want to wake up the next day with swollen, puffy eyelids.

  28. Three letters my friend...


    Best money I ever spent, and will continue to spend year, after year, after year.

  29. Oh you poor thing! But I had to laugh, sorry. I would have totally freaked out too - I hate when things like that happen and I don't know how to fix them! Glad you got it sorted.

  30. Ugh. I hate car issues. My car has been acting up too. It won't start immediately when I turn the key. So I have to turn it off, release the clutch, push the clutch in again and turn the key. Usually that works.

    I suspect we need a new battery or something. The car is 7 years old or something, I imagine batteries wear out eventually

  31. My first car was a mini named Ethel. Ethel had issues. I could never wear nice clothes as I was always under the hood.I'd take a dress with me to change into.

  32. Ever since my hubs started working out of town I have had 2 rattlesnakes in my yard, a dead skunk (that my dog killed) under my porch, a truck that wouldnt start, and I dont even know what else. Its like the world just waits until it knows that we are helpless!

  33. My house is falling apart too. Hubby works so much that it feels like he is never able to get to anything... although he isn;t really "handy" so really what would he do if he did get to it... who knows??
    The whole ugly crier... yep, thats me too! I get red spots around my eyes that don't go away for literally like an hour. sooo not fun!


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