Friday, September 5, 2008

Oh Look! It's Another Poll!...and Possibly a Divorce (not really)

So, who takes care of automobile maintenance in your house? For the most part, I take care of my own car. I don't like to but I do. And the reason I don't like it isn't because I'm afraid to talk to mechanics like a certain someone in this house believes [oh, and remind me to tell you about the time that the certain someone told my DAD exactly that. My dad who is a bit of a...how do I put this delicately...chauvinist and how I've spent my life cultivating the idea that I'm an independent woman with a good head on her shoulders and how that certain someone now validated that women are the inferior sex with that one sentence, from her husband. A man. Bygones], no. It's because I know I'll do it wrong.

EXHIBIT A: (from the way back machine) Take my car to Jiffy Lube for an average oil change. A new serpantine belt is recommended presenting its frayed self as proof. I approve the additional work. I get in trouble when I get home.

EXHIBIT B: (from the way back machine) Take my car to Jiffy Lube for an average oil change. They recommend a new air filter and present its nasty self as proof. I decline because of all the smarting from the last time I foolishly approved. Once home, am told that I should have had them replace it.

W. T. F. ?

Imagine my apprehension when I recently took the car in for it's 40,000 mile service. Really it was the 30,000 mile service since I delayed it that long. The fretting and subsequent ulcer and erectile dysfunction cannot be accurately described. Imagine a burny, acidy refluxy sensation coupled with stabbing headache and irritable bowel syndrome. Not. Even. Close. In addition to the service, the dealership was also instructed to inspect my brake pads and rotors because FOR THE PAST YEAR they have been doing this kind of stuttering wonky wah-wah-wah thing upon stopping. Something I haven't exactly been keeping to myself, either. But that's neither here nor is it even right over there.

You know where this is going, right? Things were not good in the land of brake pads and rotors. I approved the additional work....without...wait for it...checking with a certain someone.

[On the plus side they did manage to fix the lock on the glove box (free of charge! how generous) that's been jammed shut for two years which means I can finally get that dammitifIhearthisonemoretime Black Eyed Peas CD out of the deck]

I'm officially absolving myself of any responsibility for car maintenance. I've taken my name off the roster. [Car Maintenance Roster: Tootsie Farklepants, see?] Choose your battles in marriage, people. This one can go suck an egg.

Which leads me to the poll, why? Because they're fun!



If you don't hear from me, I've been thrown out of the house for bringing this up in public. Wi-fi might be sketchy at my new digs... the freeway off ramp.

51 comments:

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

When my husband starts cleaning toilets, then and ONLY THEN will I start taking care of car maintenance. I tell him that, too. He just looks at me and I say, "yeah, that's what I thought."

And by the way, my reasons are similar to yours. I get duped by the mechanic in my husband's eyes, but honestly, how the hell do I know? Car engine talk makes me want to drink.

KEEP BELIEVING

standing still said...

I'm not going all Sarah Palin on this one. My husband is a college educated mechanical engineer who aced gasoline engine class.

Having said that, over the past 20 years, I've learned alot from him. Tootsie, when you hear a noise, tell Mr. F. It's a gasoline y-chromosome thing for some guys. It'll give him WOOD to know you care so much.

Limbic Resonance said...

Tootsie...I too am married to a mechanical engineer. He takes care of the cars, we save money and time, and I get to read awesome blogs like yours while he does all the work (he does the toilets sometimes too!).

Mekhismom said...

I think it would be great to have my husband take care of it. But I have realized that I have the only man on the planet that knows less about cars then I do!

O'Neal (The woman in charge around here) said...

I am in the category of believing the mechanics will lie to me knowing I don't know crap about cars and they're just trying to get more $ out of me. So NO, I don't get involved. Same thing goes with computer repair, they assume most people are idiots knowing nothing about their own pc's. Geek squad quoted over $400 to repair and reinstall software. Hubby googled it and learned enough to replace the hard drive for $90 and then called the Sony company and got the reinstall software for $20. Ta-da! New pc! But none of that really mattered to me, I've got my lappy and that's all I need!

Laura said...

I'm down to 5% oil life right now, whatever that means. The car is screaming - get me oil. I'm not budging. I'm gonna use that "clean the toilet" swap idea!

The Girl Next Door said...

When I was married I always called home to get "approval" before doing maintenance. He would huff and puff. Til one day he said, 'It's your car you decide." Well then. I found a mechanic I trust not to take me "for a ride," I avoid Jiffy Lube like the plague after they nearly wrecked my engine, and I cross my fingers. A Lot. And Joined AAA.

hulagirlatheart said...

Similar situation in the Hula house. About three years ago, I put down that piece of luggage and decided to let him take full responsiblity for the vehicles. That way if something goes wrong, he can't b**** at me about it. I hear the view is great on the freeway ramp.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Heck, if he wants to do it, what's the fuss? You've got enough to do, what with sitting around and looking pretty all day.

Sara said...

You know that look that they give you (they, as in my hubby) when you try to explain something like how to do laundry? That's the exact look I like to give when I'm being told how to put air in my almost flat tire while toting around 3 small children. Yep. That one. "Huh?" Dude. Totally works.

Debbie said...

Whoever drives the car maintains the car. Makes sense, no?

dorothy said...

Yay! You got the glove compartment lock fixed! It's been for-EVAR!

Nut Nut said...

My husband takes the cars in for work and oil changes and gas. But he has to call me to approve any weirdo work that comes up. My dad has instilled enough common sense into me to know when something fishy is going on with cars.

Plus, we actually have an HONEST mechanic we use, so if we take our car in anywhere else, and they say it needs work, we pay for what has been done and take it to Bob. And Bob tells us the truth (more often than not, no work needs to be done).

How about that? An honest mechanic.

Madge said...

if i try to do anything around this house i get the evil eye and 20,000 things that have to happen before whatever it is i want to do happens.

this is what i have been hearing for TWELVE YEARS -- "i'm starting the kitchen remodel in a few weeks." no lie. 12 years. no new kitchen. nasty kitchen. disgusting don't-let-people-in-my-house-because-they-might-see-my-kitchen kitchen.

twelve years. i'm just sayin'...

smalltownmom said...

He does it. He knows far more about cars than I do.

LaskiGal said...

Me. I do it.

Working on cars since I was 12 makes it easy for me to sound like I know what I'm talking about (even if I don't know what the hell I'm doing).

barbra said...

Sorry I didn't take the poll.

We kind of do the car stuff together. We are both pretty much equal when it comes to auto knowledge (very limited).

When a car needs to go in, we figure out who can fit it in their schedule. Usually, we both take it over to the dealership for their night shift and both go get it when it's done.

It does take two cars to drop off one car for service, after all.

Usually, I talk to the mechanic about my car, and Hubby talks to the mechanic about his.

Anonymous said...

Tootsie, Really you need another choice here. Might I suggest: I'm a woman, Technically I'm supposed to take care of my own car. Doing an exceptionally bad job of it (oil change? Huh?) Husband has no idea. So really what we have here is Neither or us.

Where's that button?

Cindy

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I freely admit my husband does it--why would I do something he knows a lot about and I know nothing about?

I don't ask him to bake and decorate birthday cakes.

I will say I feel very lucky to be married to a man who knows how to do all the oil changes/brakes/filters himself. Apparently those are easy, not time-consuming and save you a bundle of money.

scargosun said...

I like Angie's idea.

Anna See said...

I get all sweaty and nervous at Jiffy Lube. What's it going to be today???? I say NO to everything, my husband says YES to everything, and we second guess all of it. What a helpless feeling to know nothing about cars!

Swirl Girl said...

In my tribe- we call rent a goy for all things maintenance.

Burgh Baby said...

Man job all the way. I refuse to blamed for anything which bores me. Like serpentine . . . zzzzzzzzz . . .

Heidi said...

I'm pretty sure you're living with my husband. Seriously, I get pretty much the same thing whether we're talking about car maintenance, home appliance maintenance - you name it. Whatever I decision I make in the absence of HIM will be the wrong decision.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

It's ironic that I take care of all cars in our household. I actually do it all except make money and mow the lawn ('cuz THAT'S so hard on a riding lawnmower...). You've reminded me what a useless twit I married.

georgie said...

Ohhhhh lol I voted ima woman my hubby takes care of that...I hardly ever put gas in my car...in my defense there are certain things that I consider mens work vs womans work the vehicles,the lawn and garbage are mens work...I take care of everything else

Anonymous said...

damned when I do and damned when I don't- where's that button?

I thought (mistakenly) that my husband would take care of those manly type things - no not so much. So I have to take care of mine and his too half the time- but have to tell him before I commit to any work being done- I'm with you -- see you on the off ramp tootsie!
kl crab

Baby Favorite said...

I'm married to a very skilled mechanic, fortunately...

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I take care of it my own damn self, and because I do it my own damn self, questions from the peanut gallery are strictly forbidden. (The same rule applies to Christmas shopping, home decor, and planning extracurricular activities.) If a questioning look even crosses a peanut gallery member's face about a decision that I made while the peanut gallery member was too busy to attend do it himself, then I bob my head and snap my fingers three times while making an air "Z".

Mel, A Dramatic Mommy said...

If a mechanic tells me I need something done I call my dad then my husband.

Undomestic Diva said...

My philosophy is, when a car requires new tires, it's time to get a new one... a new car that is, not tires.

Never works, tho.

Anonymous said...

First time reader....I'm with you I no nothing about car repair my husband tries to teach me but I can't stop myself from laughing evertume he says things like
"you put the dip stick here" LOL

katydidnot said...

what is this automobile maintenance you speak of? put in gas, try to remember to lock doors. is there more?

Mr Lady said...

You can change your own air filter at home in less than 3 minutes. I actually like to change mine right before I go in for an oil change and then listen to them tell me how I need a new one. :)

Every time my husband takes the car in, something gets screwed up. Why? because he THINKS he knows what he's talking about. I assumed all car duties about 5 years ago. It's just easier that way. :)

laughingatchaos said...

I take care of ALL car maintenance. Mine and Tom's. This is not my idea of a great time, but it gets done. Bleh.

JCK said...

So, how's the WiFi?

Eve Grey said...

Welll, Dr. Dre takes car of the vee-hick-les in this haus and he kept saying he smellled gas when he drove the car. I was all, like, don't worry, it's nothing. He takes it in today & they pulled up the back seat & the gas tank was leaking into the back below the car seats. Yeah, we both freaked because if it ever did ignite? Well, it would have exploded. Fuck.

Your Pal Pinki said...

Hubby says, "Time to change the oil. Oh, and have them do blah and blah while you're there."
I do love going and I take the kids. We make an outing of getting the oil changed or the thingy flushed out. They let us sit in the car and they bring us iced waters and they yell in fun sing song style as they work on the car and there's a guy in the ground with a little helmet on. It's really quite a show! But it is Hubby who knows when it's time to go, I simply oblige.

Manager Mom said...

This is why we only get Hondas.

Oil change every 5000 miles, tuneup every 6 months, runs like a dream. No frayed belts, wonky pads, or nasty surprises.

calicobebop said...

Sadly, I have to rely on myself but my dad is just a phone call away! So, if there is any doubt about the sincerety of the maintenance dudes - I just give him a call.

The Girl Next Door said...

I know I already commented, but wanted to let you know I dropped an award on you at might site because I truly Love your blog. come see!

OHmommy said...

Totally a man job.

PS. Linked you on my post last night. Had a glass of vino and thought it would be fun to post late at night. Ha.

Cactus Petunia said...

It's a pretty fair division of chores here at Camp Cactus...at least I think so. He takes care of the cars, the bills, the recycling, and buying all vacuum cleaners. I do all the painting, cooking, emotional counseling and construction. And blogging.

Sue said...

I do it myself, but only because I have a mechanic who I've known since childhood that I would trust with my firstborn.

My husband is also a mechanical engineer, and I'd have to say, I have a better insinct about these things that he does. Like the time he told me the Check Engine Light was not a problem and the car died on the freeway with me and 3 kids inside. (Note to anyone: Check Engine Light ALWAYS means SOMETHING BAD!)

I agree with you though. Mr. FP needs to take over this one. Or find you a mechanic you can trust.

This Mom said...

I totally could have written this post. I have gotten to the point where I take care of the cars needs but don't tell hubby I have had the work done. He thinks there is a fairey that keeps it running and the oil changed. Mind you this is a cousin to the laundry fairley because he thinks that gets done by magic too.

Don Mills Diva said...

I hate doing it but I force myself so because I have to keep up the strong indeendent woman image...

Jennifer H said...

I do a lot of things myself, but right now my car is sitting in the garage, in desperate need of new brakes and attention to something else that's wrong...until Mr. H comes home from a trip. (We're both certain that if I take ti in, I'll agree to god knows what, and it will cost a fortune)

I'm driving his Jeep, and I'm completely screwed if anything goes wrong with it.

g said...

Oh, God. I'm embarrassed by this one.

I always took care of my own car when I was single - regularly, not obsessively, and usually did everything on time. I even learned how to change oil and stuff when I had a real beater.

Now that I'm married....

My husband is a musician and an academic. I love him dearly, but in his entire life he has earned his living from playing music and writing books and teacher. His mechanical aptitude is such that he does not really know what end of a hammer is the business end.

So...some bizarre hard-wired femininity has made me cede all car decisions to him, EVEN THOUGH he doesn't care about it and doesn't understand it.

So, basically, what happens is - "uh. Gotta get the Mercury to the dealership for the service. They says we need XXXX? Okay."

They could tell us we need to pull out the seats and recover them with plaid upholstery, we'd go, OK.

Not to mention the embarrassing fact that all our cars' electrical wiring has been chewed by rats, since we live in the country. so we're too embarrassed to look our mechanic inthe eye, we just fork over the $$$$.

Collette said...

Why hello! Just found your blog on Classy Chaos. I couldn't help but comment on this post. About 6 months ago we were having issues wih my car. Check engine light, poor gas mileage, etc. I asked hubby to take it in a fix it ASAP because I was going through gas really quickly. I thought it was the cat. He said the cat wouldn't impact my gas mileage and my mileage was worse because I was heating my car up before starting on my way. Of course, I insisted something was wrong with the car that impacting my mileage and it needed to be fixed. I also insisted the cat was bad because of the way the car was acting. After much fighting and him insisting I was wrong, it turns out my spark plugs were bad and needed to be replaced...and so did the cat. My mileage improved and the car stopped acting funny. Did I get an I'm sorry? Nope, not one. Sorry to go on, but it still upsets me.

Anyway, nice blog. Glad to have found it.

Colleen said...

I don't like to do it because I'm lazy and I've spent so much of my formative driving years sitting in waiting room at shop or another. Plus, exhaust fumes make me audibly gag. But for some reason I'm still bullied into doing it.

Except for this past weekend when I said, "honey? my car needs the oil changed and the safety inspection done. Would you like to go or stay home with the boys?" I an not lying when I say I saw a dust-cloud (ala The Roadrunner) and saw my car screeching out of the drive. Not only did he come home with those two items completed, but with TWO pints of Ben & Jerry's "Vermonty Python". I'm not sure I could ever share that story with the kids without harming their egos, but it sure made MY day!

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