Sunday, October 25, 2009

My mechanic and me...a love story

Bet that got your attention, and it is almost exactly as it seems. I have had a mostly adoring relationship with my auto mechanics over the years. A good one is oh-so-hard to find. But once you have the right guy, one who's honest to a fault, who can pinpoint a problem with unerring accuracy on the very first try, do not let him get away.

Years ago, I used to joke that the very best reason for getting married was to have someone who'd take the car to the garage when it needed repairs. I naively believed that's how it worked. Men dealt with cars and -- oh, sexist me -- women got to deal with the fun stuff. Then I discovered that almost every one of my friends not only took their own cars in for repairs, they took their husbands' cars, too. I was very distraught after learning this.

And then one day, when I had my car at the shop I then used on Miami Beach -- mostly because the mechanic was a very cute and courtly Cuban guy -- I mentioned my philosophy to him. He beamed back at me. "No problem," he said eagerly. "We marry and I fix in the driveway!" I should have taken the deal.

To this day, whenever the slightest thing goes wrong with my car, I'm the one who feels like a failure. Apparently I have a very weird attachment to that hunk of metal and mechanical stuff. Just before leaving for Florida this fall, I had a tire that was going distressingly flat. Not that I could tell immediately since low profile tires always look flat to me...but that's another gripe. In a panic, I pumped in a bunch of air and raced to the next county to my current favorite mechanic. I threw myself on his mercy, or his wife's actually because she holds the key to actually getting inside that garage. No big deal as it turned out. Just a nail. The tire was plugged and I was on my way in a half-hour. I still felt as if I'd failed my car.

Then on Wednesday, it started going low again. Same tire. I looked for a nail. I looked for an air compressor. Then I looked for the mechanic who eats breakfast where I do...every day but the one on which I needed him. By the time I found the grocery store...I had a bag of frozen food and no time. I pumped the tire full of air and said a little prayer. As of today, the air's still in the tire. Quite possibly, so is a nail. At least, though, I'm on high alert to the slightest change in air pressure. Like Scarlett, I'll deal with it tomorrow...or the day after.

This has all reminded me of how totally reliant we are on our vehicles as we go about our daily lives and, thus, how critical a reliable mechanic is to our lives. The mechanic I use in Virginia told me a couple of years ago when we were discussing various new car options that I needed to stick with the make I currently had because anything else would probably drive me insane...and by extension him. I don't cope well with the unexpected little glitches many cars are prone to.

Then, again, if I were to track down that once amorous mechanic of mine and his offer were still on the table, perhaps all of this would be moot. I'd be at the courthouse in front of a judge by noon...and my car would live happily ever after.

Sherryl Woods


Blogger Lynne said...

How true! Once you find that special mechanic hold on to him. Speaking of which, I need to call mine. :)

October 25, 2009 11:56 AM  
Blogger Kathleen O said...

Having a good mechanic is like having a good hairdresser. Someday that can fix you up when there is an emergancy... I had a great one for many years. My cousin's father in law and then I moved over an hour away and in the past 7yrs I have been to two or three, but I think I found the right place. And it took me that long to find a good hairdresser too..

October 25, 2009 1:56 PM  
Blogger Sherryl said...

Do not even get me started on hairdressers! There have been times I feared I'd wind up with hair down to my waist, because I didn't like anyone who cut my hair. I now have a great stylist in Virginia and none in Miami. When in Florida, I go as long as I can stand it and then keep trying someone new. I'm about to throw in the towel and go back to Virginia with a new, shaggy look.

October 27, 2009 5:09 AM  
Blogger CMT of Miami said...

I have some recomendations to help you find a good mechanic in your area. Got to BBB, Angie's list, or Mechanicratingz. If you are diligent you will find one of the good ones.
Pedro Talavera from CMT of Miami.

February 28, 2010 2:21 PM  

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