(DRIVING – Part V)
“It’s not your job to be likable. It’s your job to be yourself. Someone will like you anyway.” ~ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Tuesday, March 14th, 2023
How To Not Get Asked To Drive
~ Ever ~
(Part 1, Part II, Part III, Part IV)
It was freakin’ freezing. It was dark. It was closing time. Naturally, I was the first one clocked out, out the door, and in the car – all by 9:01 pm.
I was stealing away in the family station wagon, which felt like a mobile igloo.
I was driving the steering wheel with my fingertips to keep my hands from full frostbite. I was singing along, in soprano, to a song in my head because the radio was frozen.
All of a sudden, the car decided not to work adequately. It just kept slowing down.
Really slowing down.
I pushed for more gas and checked the gauge a quarter-ish tank left, the absolute lowest amount allowed per dad, so that part was fine. What the crap was going on?
Then it died.
It slowly departed as I barely made it into the median. Sideways. Then I left it.
“Hey Kim, aren’t you leaving work? Is everything ok?”
“Yeah, I finished a few minutes ago. Listen, I’m at Taco Bell. Want anything?”
“No, I’m ready for bed. I’m just waiting to make sure you get home ok.”
“You sure? You could meet me here and catch up over a burrito.”
“Kim, I’m going to bed. Make sure you lock the doors when you get home.”
“Mom, I may not make it home tonight.”
“Mom, the car is not really working right now. It looks normal. Nothing external.”
“Is it in the mall parking lot?”
“Sort of. It’s just a little outside the parking lot.”
“Oh, Kim. What happened?”
“It just went slow on me. Then it stopped.”
“I’m not waking your dad up. I’ll be right there. Just stay inside.”
“Trust me, I will. It’s freezing out there. Put some gloves on, mom.”
I stood in the double doorway at Taco Bell. I didn’t want to go inside all the way, but I was quickly weirding out the customers… watching them eat while rubbing my hands together.
Luckily, my mom was fast. Typical. She pulled up in her pajamas and housecoat. She’s gonna wish she had changed.
I watched her from half inside Taco Bell – calculating her mood. My mom just sat in the car staring at me. Not bad…
I made my way to the passenger side and opened the door.
“KIM! Where’s the car?!”
I told her to get out of the current car and to look backward with me.
“KIM!!! It’s in the middle of the road!”
“Yeah, thank God. It gave up a few times before making it that far.”
“Well, all I remember is that when I got in the car, it was fine, and then it started to quit, and then it totally quit.”
“Did you warm it up before leaving work?”
“Your dad and I have told you countless times. When it gets cold, and the car sits outside for hours, you need to let it run for a few minutes before driving.”
“So, you’re saying…”
“That’s it. No more driving… for now.”
“Yeah, I agree.”
“Mom, should we just leave the car where it is?”
“No!” (slow inhale) “We have to jump it.”
“It’s below zero out here. You sure?”
Fifteen minutes later, my mom and I are outdoors in the middle of a busy street between two cars. I – was in my spring heels, a skirt, a summer blouse, and pantyhose, freezing my buns off, and my mom – was in her pajamas. Thirty minutes and 70 rubberneckers later, we drove home separately.
It was a cold night.
Then this happened…
Stay tuned… next week, I’ll wrap this driving part up. In the meantime, let me know if you need a ride.
(Stay tuned for a short series from a book I’m writing called, “Stuff I’ve Learned – Sort of.” We’ll continue with more driving experiences and lessons next week. This could save your life. Could.)
“You change the world by being yourself.” ~ Yoko Ono
Ohhh Kim!! I do remember that fateful night. I believe Tony came by and helped us push the car off the road into an empty parking lot.
Thank you for the bday wishes. I love you!!😘
That’s right! I think he was leaving the mall and noticed our car. Me thinks… Such great memories, mom. I love you so much – happy birthday month.😘