On fixing the unfixable…

When it comes to fixing things, I tend to be an #epicfail most of the time. I’m not super handy around the house, even though I grew up learning everything about everything from my dad, in that regard. I can make pretty decent guesses about how to fix things, but when it comes down to actually fixing stuff, I fall apart.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t really transcended every area of my life. You see, I have this bizarre “savior complex” wherein I feel it my moral obligation to “fix” people and situations. It’s really bad and probably wrong most of the time. If people wanted fixing, they’d probably seek professional help. Or, at minimum, they’d ask a friend for help. I think that part of the reasoning behind this savior complex is that I am generally not happy unless everyone around me is happy, especially my family and friends. It’s emotionally draining for me when someone I care about is struggling with something, anything…and it causes me to feel as though I should fix whatever is wrong.
That said, there has been one thing in my life that I’ve successfully fixed (albeit temporarily, it would turn out) and I’m quite proud of it (though I will be the first to admit that I had a TON of help).
Lily. My first car. A 1989 Ford Escort.
What a piece of sh*t that car was! So many issues and so much drama happened with, in, and around that car, I can’t even begin to describe it all. But there was this one time in 2000, before I’d moved out of my parents house, that everything just hit the fan with her.
I’m pretty reliant on the various systems in any car I’ve ever owned. I depend on it to tell me when the tire pressure is off, when it’s overheating, when it’s too cold to expect the heater to work, these kinds of things. So when the systems failed to advise that Lily was overheating, I had absolutely no idea. I was just going along my merry way, driving to and from my various jobs that summer (my schedule was insane: cheer coach from 8a-11a, Good Times Burgers from 12p-430p, then closing shift manager at McDonald’s from 430p-2a…every single day). I needed my car desperately so imagine my shock and anger when I discovered that not only had I cracked the head in my car, I’d also blown the timing belt…en route from Denver to Greeley. I flipped my lid. Called my dad in utter panic because, well, my dad has always fixed my cars and normally when I’m freaking out, it turns out to be something far less than I imagine it is. Not so, this time. Dad came and got my car (while I, in my righteous bitchiness, continued to Greeley to visit a girl friend) and took it back to the house. Two days later, I came home at 3am from a horrible day at all my jobs to find my dad in the driveway, floodlights abounding, and a new engine ready to drop in the car. “Get changed and get out here,” was all he said to me. Didn’t even say hello. That’s when I realized what a bitch I’d been to my dad. I earned that. And there we worked for another 2+ hours, putting a new engine in the car, my dad teaching me all about the wires and connectivity and nonsense of my car’s inner workings. It was a wretched evening (and an even more horrible morning), but I learned a lot that night…about myself, my dad, my car, and my attitude.
That wouldn’t be the last from Lily. In December 2003, I was driving home from work (not a small task, given that I was living and working on w-a-y opposite sides of the city), rounding “Stadium Curve” when I felt something lurch under my foot. Yup, the clutch pedal came off…while I was driving in rush hour traffic. I made it home without incident (I swear I have guardian angels just from that) and Dad and I fixed that issue the next day. Then in February 2004, Lily finally gave out. The head of the new engine had cracked in four places and the timing belt snapped again. Even my dad conceded the following: 1) I needed a new car; 2) I shouldn’t be alive; and 3) if ever a car was going to blow up, it would be Lily.
I got a new car the next week and called her Kate. Kate’s clutch pedal fell off, too. I’m waiting for the shoe (or pedal) to drop with my current car, Eleanor. And when that happens, I’m swearing off vehicles and just taking the bus everywhere.

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