***UPDATE*** Last night, yours truly found out that oil is not the *only* car repair needed on said crappy car – the TAIL LIGHT is out, too!!! Go head, roll your eyes, but this is completely traumatic to me. The person who reported the busted tail light to me offered to help out with the project, which is good, because honestly, I was just not going to drive at night any more. For three months. It’s not that much of a hardship, since Daylight Saving Time (not a typo, it’s actually supposed to be singular saving) ended.
I guess that’s not necessary now. But SERiously. Seriously?!? Tail light, too? I haven’t evolved THAT much!!

I mentioned I’d blogged a lot in my head this past week. One of my funniest head-posts was about our car, a crappy 2002 VW Golf that is outfitted in cloth that closely resembles lint-roller material and causes me to have an OCD breakdown once every few months (where I take a real lint roller and feverishly try to expunge all of the hair from the seats, which stays hair-free for, oh, say, 32.2 seconds), currently smells like stale coffee and wet dog (that’s just today’s smells – I forgot my coffee in there – tomorrow it might be better) and burns oil like it’s going out of style. I wish I had a better analogy for that one, but I just wrote that long Vietnam adoption post and I’m a little spent.

So anyway, our car. It burns oil.

I should preface this with a funny story. When DB and I were dating, we lived in a cold, snowy place. Previously as a car owner, I’d lived in a medium-cold, not-snowy place. The difference between a cold-snowy place and a cold-not-snowy place is that in the cold-snowy place, one squanders a heck of a lot of windshield washer fluid. There’s all this dirt, and salt, and nastiness that flies in the windshield, not to mention that a very liberal use of windshield-washer fluid will actually melt away ice. Did you know that? Yes! So you can sit in your nice, warm, car, squirt squirt squirt, run the blades, and away you go. No need for that pesky scraper.

(I learned quickly that that practice is frowned upon by those who actually care about the wiper blades. OOPS.)

Anyway, so you go through a lot of washer fluid, either legitimately or through sheer laziness.

So my first winter in this cold, snowy place, DB and I were driving along (he was visiting me, so I was driving my car, the very same 2002 VW Golf with the maddening seat cloth, only it hadn’t driven me mad yet), and the little indicator light for a low windshield-washer fluid level illuminated. I exclaimed, “Oh, NO! Now I need ANOTHER OIL CHANGE, and I just got one a month ago!!”

That should tell you about my skills in automotive repair.

I am proud to say that I’m no longer of that ilk. When I get that little light now, I am proud to say that not only do I know that you can buy windshield washer fluid for mere pennies at almost any roadside convenience store, I know where said washer fluid goes. It is, like, total liberty.

OK, scroll forward to last Thursday.

We know my car devours oil. When he’s around, DB takes control of this need, frequently checking the oil level and adding oil as necessary. No problem. Unfortunately, DB is not around, and unfortunately, although he informed me I needed to get an oil change because he’d forgotten to before he’d left, *I* was busy, and *I* forgot to get one.

Thursday afternoon, the oil light flashes (it is a scary red color), makes a totally trauma-inducing noise, and I freak out. DB happened to be on the phone. I shriek, “DB, the OIL LIGHT IS ON!” He replies, “ok, go get some.”

(Doesn’t he remember the field trip to Wal*Greens where we learned how to fill the windshield washer fluid? Doesn’t he remember that he married the girl who procured an oil change to top off basic convenience fluids for her car?!?)

So, the hearty little car owner I am, I go to procure some 5W30 oil. Guess what. That type of oil is impossible to find. So I am crying, cursing him and his lack of foresight to either a) fill up the oil, b) change the oil, c) leave extra oil in the car with a little fireproof sign on the engine that says “pour here”, d) not go away for a 90-day extravaganza in the first place.

Not so pretty.

The happy part of the day was that I befriended a car mechanic who took pity on my 5W30-filled car and loaded it up with his fancy-schmancy oil fountain hose.

The more salient part of my day was that I thought a lot about communication in marriage. You know, I started thinking “What. does. it. matter. if. I. COMMUNICATE?!? He. doesn’t. LISTEN!”

(I really love my husband beyond words; read this as real evidence. This is just a progression of sorts. Plus, he’s not around to verbally process this with me, so blogging is my new marriage. Oh, that was sad.)

Anyway, so I started thinking.

First, he felt terrible about not filling up the car with oil before he left, he told me so, and I told him (happily and graciously at that time, I will admit) that “I’d just take care of it”. Yeah, right.

Second, no one asked him to take care of the oil in the first place. Granted, he does it, and granted, I am thrilled about it, but it *is* our shared car, and I *am* perfectly capable of doing it. So it’s not really a communication breakdown.

Third, well, I probably shouldn’t haven’t blamed him for forgetting how inept I am at car care. (But seriously. Seriously?)

So all in all, after I got to this point, it was a better day. And after the dude put 2.5 quarts of oil into my engine (yup. It’s a small engine. Car freaks out there, be impressed. The oil didn’t even register on the dipstick, which I *did* check myself), the car was happier, too.

The end. (OK, granted, that was not that funny. But the part about the thinking I needed an oil change was funny, wasn’t it?)

P.S. In case you are wondering, cause I realize how this sounds after a night of thinking about it:
a) Contrary to what this sounds like, my dad is handy, my mom is a role model for independence and not-whinyness, and my brother (the one old enough to deal with cars) is also handy. *I* just decided that cars were not my thing.
b) I could decide that cars were not my thing because I grew up mostly in urban areas where there was public transportation. When I went to college, I did have a car, but I just took it in for oil changes and apparently nothing bad ever happened (it wasn’t a particularly luxurious car, but it got the job done with minimal drama).
c) The current car, although it’s not that old, has been a PITA. The starter blew up last year. The windows fell in the doors during a blizzard two years ago. The catalytic converter is busted, and it’s actually under recall, but every.single.time. we manage to go back to the dealer to get it replaced, the stupid engine light turns off, and unless the engine light is *on*, we can’t get it fixed.
d) I’m very self-sufficient in other ways. I swear.