I’m no mechanic

miniWhen I met my wife, I had a car of my own – a Hyundai Elantra. I was good about taking it in for its regular maintenance, putting on my all-season and winter tires and washing it when it got dirty.

Once I started living with my wife, though, a second car was no longer necessary, since she already had a Mini Cooper. And since she drives to work everyday while I take transit, there wasn’t much debate about which vehicle we were keeping.

So I sold my car while it was still young. And with it went the headaches that come as a car ages.

So, the Mini is now technically “Our car,” but because she drives it regularly, it falls to my wife to take it in for its regular maintenance, its tire changes and its car washes. I’m no mechanic. I’m not even really into cars in the way some guys are, and while I make a bit of a fuss about having to drive what some consider a “girl’s car,” I’m quite content to simply get behind the wheel of the small car now and then. Still, I can’t shake this nagging feeling that I should have car knowledge pre-programmed in my brain. So the other day, when there was a problem with the car, I felt a bit ashamed that I didn’t know what to do.

The dashboard was lighting up with a warning that one of the lights were out. So we checked it out together – with her turning on each light – headlights, high beams, brake lights, while I checked if they were working. They all seemed to be fine. She said “I better take it in, there must be something wrong.” I said “but if everything’s working, what are you taking it in for?” We pondered it some more. She shrugged. I shrugged, but inside I was really wishing I could figure this problem out. And I planned to. So  imagine my surprise when she told me this past Friday morning she was leaving work early to take the car in to be looked at.

Turned out the light that wasn’t working was behind the license plate. Who even needs that, right?

Later that night I said “Why didn’t you tell me you were going to take it in? I could have done that.”

“Well, it needed looking at.”

“I feel bad that I couldn’t fix it myself.”

“I don’t know how you would have figured out what was wrong with it.”

That’s my wife. Ever practical, non-judgmental. As usual, the only one questioning their value in this relationship is me.