Clueless at Valvoline

As we’ve already established, this blog is where I go to divulge my random thoughts to the faceless void of the internet. I also sometimes post updates about upcoming projects (Observation is in the final stages and I’m almost finished with a second book!) But, mostly the random thoughts thing.

So, I wanted to share a classic Quinn misadventure. Come with me to the magical realm of oil changes.

I’ll admit it. I know next to nothing about cars. My older brother would mock me in high school for not knowing how to drive stick, but then refused to teach me because he didn’t want me to wreck his car (???) so I never learned. He always changed the oil and did basic repairs on our cars, so I didn’t have to. I know how to change a tire, but only in theory.

Now that I’m an adult, I still don’t know anything about cars. I always make my husband take it to the mechanic so that I won’t get taken advantage of. (He knows exactly as little about cars as I do, but he’s a man so he automatically gets more respect. Because sexism.) I am a stereotype and I hate it. Anytime I have to do anything with a car other than drive it, I immediately feel like everyone looks at me like I’m Cher from Clueless.

My husband recently started working his first job since finishing graduate school and he works long hours, which means that a lot more responsibility has fallen to me, including the care of my car. When I needed an oil change, I decided to just go to Valvoline, because that’s where my husband had always gone. You just pull in, they change the oil, and you keep on driving. Sounded easy.

I pulled into the building and they immediately asked me a bunch of questions I didn’t know the answers to. The guy ended up sighing and opening my door for me to read a bunch of serial numbers written on a sticker hidden there. I was nervous when I pulled up, but I was quickly revving up (heh) into full panic mode. I was so determined to prove I wasn’t some clueless woman, even though I was. This led to a series of increasingly embarrassing decisions.

At Valvoline, they don’t just change your oil, they also check all your lights and filters and try to sell you as many things as possible. The guy asked me to turn on my lights. Suddenly, my car was a spaceship. I had never seen these controls before. I had no idea what to do. Let me be clear, I know how to drive. I have never once forgotten how to turn on my lights while driving. For some reason, taking the action out of context flustered me so completely that I lost all sense. He asked me again to turn on my lights. I turned on my wipers.

After an extremely awkward pause, he asked me to use my turn signals. Thankfully, I remembered that one. But then it happened. The big mistake. He asked me to pump the brakes. I’m guessing we can all see where this is going.

I hit the gas, y’all. The car was in park, so I didn’t injure anyone or anything. But, I wanted to jump out of the car and run. Obviously I couldn’t be trusted to drive myself home, anyway. Once again, I have never hit the gas instead of the brake while driving. I have no idea what happened. But, I know that I confirmed the mechanic’s prejudices against women drivers.

And I made my husband take the car for oil changes from that day on. The end.

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