My Wife, the Mechanic

Yesterday my wife and I were at the gas station putting air in our car tires when a white car pulled up in front of us, uncomfortably close, blocking our route to leave. I read about all the violence in Memphis everyday so I just thought we were about to be robbed of all our quarters but thankfully I was wrong. An elderly lady stepped out of the car and slowly made her way over to where I was standing and she asked if I could put some air in her back tire because it was low and she didn’t know how to do it and her husband, the mechanic, had died more than sixteen years ago. I told her no, not because I was being rude but because I was being honest. I could have put air in her tires but wouldn’t have known the right amount to put in because I am one of the least handy people when it comes to cars (and a lot of other things too). We were having this conversation while my wife was busy doing her thing checking the trie pressure all around the car with her little doo-hicky she ordered off the fancy internet and inflating each tire exactly to the right capacity. Don’t worry, the woman who told me she is turning 90 this weekend got air in her tires thanks to my talented and knowledgable wife who knows as much about cars as I do about the Dallas Cowboys.

My wife’s brother is a mechanic and he has taught her a lot of useful things over the years about car maintenance and how to do different “routine” things that you normally would have to take to an auto shop to get them done. In the past whenever I’d remember that I needed an oil change I would just head over to Walmart and whenever I had some free time and had them give me the cheapest oil change available, but that doesn’t cut it anymore. Now, thanks to my wife I know exactly when I need an oil change and here about it for at least a week before it needs to happen because she gets excited about getting to do an oil change and verbally counts down the mileage. Rather than spending twenty bucks for the fine folks at Walmart to say they changed your oil she’ll spend twenty-five on full synthetic oil because it’s better for your car. Then instead of shopping for half an hour while someone else does the hard work for you she’ll get out in the hot sun, slide under the car, and change the oil herself coming in the house later looking like she had fallen into the Gulf of Mexico after the BP incident.

Some father’s teach their kids how to change a tire, but my dad got me Triple A and for that I’m very grateful. My wife on the other hand not only knows how to change a flat tire but enjoys the process of taking the tires off the car. You know how when you need new tires you just take your car into the auto store and they’ll change the tires for you? Apparently there is a much more complicated and headache inducing option wherein you take the tires of the car yourself and bring them to the store and they will put the new tires on the rims, then you can go home and put the new tires back on your car. It takes something that could be done in under an hour and drags it out for several and while it does save a few dollars it really doesn’t make it worth it when you consider how long it takes and the fact that you’re doing most of the work yourself. None of this matters to my wife because she isn’t doing it to save money, but rather is doing it for enjoyment. Some people like painting or riding horses. Others like running or playing tennis, but my wife likes working on cars, and I’m very lucky to have her.


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