Let me start by saying that Jared and I have become good friends with jumper cables the past 2 weeks. The battery died in the Jetta, so we had to borrow jumper cables from some friends in order to get it to Wal-mart to replace the battery. So $100 dollars later we had a new battery + an oil change. The very next week, I went out to start the car and it was totally dead. We couldn't get the Bean's cables to work, so I used Jared's car to go to Wal-mart and buy some tougher jumper cables. Jared jumped the car and got it going, but as soon as he turned off the engine it died again. So it wasn't a problem with the battery-- which is too bad because that is still under warranty. Jared jumped the car again in order to get it to the mechanic where we learned what Jared (and also 2 women that I'd talked to) thought-- that we had to replace the alternator. You'd think with all that jumping, I'd have learned how to do it, but no. I just sat around or revved an engine and basically let Jared do all the work.
I remember one time during college (I was having some kind of car issue that I refused to take control of myself) and my dad said something like, "Do you just think there's always going to be a man around to take care of you?" I was totally flabbergasted that he would even ask that question. The answer was so obviously "Duh!" I mean, I'd never even pumped a tank of gas until college. My dad or brother always did it for me. Know how to change a tire? No. Check the oil? No. Understand any of the words a mechanic says to me? No. I'm an easy target to rip off. But pathetic as that is, it never really bothered me until today. (That's not true. Once I felt bad when I paid way too much to have the car fixed.)
Anyway, today I got a knock on the door. It was a girl from the ward who lives in a building right behind us. This was my first time EVER actually speaking to her. As the story progresses, you'll see that I made a GREAT first impression. Okay, so she told me that her battery was dead, and she wanted to know if I could help her jump it.
I told Rebecca I'd be happy to lend my car, but that I was completely clueless so she'd have to do all the work. I think she thought I was exaggerating until I pulled up next to her car and DIDN'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO POP THE HOOD. I walked to the front of the car and stood there staring at. Then I bent down and tried to feel under it until Rebecca kindly said that there's usually a button that you push near the driver's seat. (There is?) Well, she didn't see it right away, so I seriously had to pull out the owner's manuel and stare at it like an idiot. Where do you find instructions for "how to pop the hood"? I went for the index, and luckily there must be other idiots like me because I found it listed under hood release (booklet 3 page 34). After we got the hood up, Rebecca asked if I could help her hook up the cables. By my look of terror, she figured that was a No, so she just had me stand and hold one pair while she hooked up one, then hooked up the pair I was holding. She told me very clearly not to touch them together. (How dumb did I actually look??? Maybe she should have told me not to put them in my mouth.) As a glorious finale, after her car had started, I slammed the hood down right on top of the battery cover that I hadn't replaced and cracked it. Wow! How do YOU think I did on a first impression? Didn't look clueless, did I?
And as a final humiliation, an hour later, I went to the bathroom and saw a BIG, DARK smudge that illuminated most of my nose. Was it car dirt? Make-up? No idea. How long had it been there? Again, no idea. Which makes me wonder... How bad did I REALLY make myself look today?