The New “Maintenance Afternoon”

So, it’s that time of year. Rocks and construction debris have continually pelted our vehicles over the past few months, we haven’t wanted to get a wash or oil change, and our windshield washing fluid is giving one pitiful squirt per six tries. (Slight exaggeration for poetic license.)

I had a little star-shaped ding in my windshield right over Kitty’s ear. To clarify, I have a little “(Hello) Nerd Kitty” stuffed animal on top of my dashboard, and this blemish was right above her right ear, right in the middle of the car. I do not remember something hitting the windshield at any time before I saw said chip last week. I mean, it happens all the time, something bounces off of a work truck, or someone’s wheel hits some gravel in front of you on the road and nnnneeerrrrwawm! something hits the windshield and scares the bejeesus out of you. You have to try not to duck or swerve too much while driving, and spend the rest of the trip home wondering if the whole windshield is about to cave in.

I wonder how it got there, or how long it was there before I finally noticed it, but, anyway. I was going to leave it, but the man of the house insisted it could (probably would) turn into a bigger crack and need replacement. So, I called my insurance company, made my claim, and an appointment for this afternoon. I figured I would bundle this appointment with a drive one exit further to the place where I used to go to get a combination oil change/fluid replacement/car wash. I desperately needed these things, especially the car wash, since my parking space in the back is under a tree that is trying to win a contest for bright green pollen output, with my car being the collection container.

I had my brand-new Jen Lancaster to read, I ate lunch already, and was totally ready to sit in two cool air-conditioned lounges (it’s well over 80 degrees today) and chill the afternoon away.

The windshield repair took less than half an hour. There was a man talking loudly into his cell phone the entire time. That doesn’t usually bother me, but I wanted to really enjoy what I was reading, so I paid attention with half an ear to the news station. Did you know it was snowing in Colorado today?

When I got to the next place, the car wash line was very long, but I needed to go to the left side, and I was the only one on the oil change line. Seems like 1:30 on a sweltering Friday afternoon is peak car-wash time. Who knew? I pulled up to the “wait for attendant” sign and was then told to pull all the way into the mechanics’ bay. Umm.. okay. Usually I bring my car in to a name-brand place that I will not advertise for, and they just kind of let you park and go about your business, and this place used to be the same. I had taken my insurance cards and my little change purse out of the glove box already, and had unhooked my car key from the key chain in preparation before going to the windshield shop. But, I got to sit in the car while the mechanics did their thing, made their offers for replacements I may need and made requests for me to turn the car off and on, etc. I didn’t get to read my book!

To console myself, I did get to play with the soap-spraying guns, both sets of course, while the car was being washed, so I felt better after kidding-out for a few minutes. I love the car wash!

What’s really funny is that this whole thing took about an hour, even though I was in no rush, and though this maintenance place looked the same as it always did, with the vintage signage, it is now a really different experience.


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