This is keeping it as real as it gets. Let’s just get this out of the way, but I need to write it because it’s cathartic. This weekend was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a while, but it was also one of the worst. This post is going to sum up what happened on Sunday afternoon and then I’m never discussing it again. I told you I’d tell you about it but I’m going to be brief..ish.
This weekend, after an amazing time, Sunday afternoon happened. Andy hesitantly trusted me to take the truck solo on my trip to Ellsworth, which started Saturday morning. Neither of us checked the wheels with the other typical items like oil. I, taking it as his truck, thought he was checking it since he checked the oil. However, truth be told I was the one driving the truck, and thus I should have checked. If I had taken my car I would have. I didn’t and my safety is ultimately my responsibility. I don’t really want to get into it, but on my way home when I first heard an odd noise I should have stayed put until I could have reached Andy and the result of not staying put is my fault. A fixable issue became a tow truck ride home and an expensive fix. Our truck, my pride, and Andy’s trust in me to know basic mechanical issues and be competent enough to fix them (and my trust in myself) all were seriously hurt (I am physically fine). It was a hard lesson learned. When your significant other looks at you with such disappointment, it pierces you to the core. What happened, with my husbands reaction added on are the things that open your eyes, very very wide, however.
I won’t say there was a “good” part to this, just a moment of clarity in my part because I never, in my life, want something to happen like it again. The truth is, I got comfortable with Andy always checking the vehicles before trips and in general. At some point, and I’m not sure when, I stopped paying attention. Over time and with Andy’s knowledge far surpassing mine when it comes to vehicles I let him take the reign to my own disadvantage. This is my, and only my fault. Earlier this spring I had an issue with the tire on my car and I could have stopped it. Why that incident didn’t open my eyes to this degree I do not know and I can’t stand around asking myself a million and one times why (because I already have and it’s exhausting). I once fixed a serpentine belt and an exhaust, in my parents driveway with a couple tools—in a mini skirt. I used to help change my own oil, and maintain my car.
I will never assume it is someone else’s responsibility again to know when an oil change is due,to regularly check my coolant, the state of my serpentine belt, tire pressure and lug nuts. I do not know as much as Andy, and there may be issues down the line that I don’t know about – but there will never be such a rookie mistake made on my part again.
All you women out there should know how to basically maintain your car. Don’t ever leave it up to someone else and get comfortable with them doing it. If you don’t know it, learn. Ask. Figure it out. If you do know it, don’t ever get comfortable with letting someone else take over. It is your responsibility as a driver and vehicle owner to understand what’s going on, or at least to not move any further when you know something isn’t right. Even if you don’t know what that something is. Take it from me, it’s not worth it.
TIP: Especially if you bring your car to someone else to have tires changed out and even more important (or as important) if you do it yourself. If you have aluminum alloy wheels and steel lug nuts the difference in metals added in with the heat caused by driving and braking can over time loosen your lugs. You should always go back in to your shop to tighten your lugs after a tire change with this combination of metal, or, if you do it at home make sure you remember to. Check over time just to make sure. You might be positive they are already tight, but checking now and again is not going to hurt anything. Loose lugs = loose wheel. Loose wheel = no wheel. No wheel = damage to your vehicle and potentially you or others on the road (thankfully in my case no one else was involved).
With all that said, excuse me while I dust myself off and pick up the pieces of my pride. Though I am far from knowing all, I am not an incompetent woman, and somehow I let myself become one and that is all my fault. No more. That was a hard fall from grace and it’s going to take time to heal from (but it did not take time to learn from, I have already given my vehicle a once over and I will continue to do so regularly).
I’ll be back tomorrow with the good part of the weekend.