Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I Have the Worst Luck with Cars, Part VI: How I Met Your Father

Roxy makes lots of visits in this series because she is an Aveo. It's almost like she belongs here among complaints of stupid car shit. But I can say that I would not have met my husband if it wasn't for this damned thing.

It is a hot, bright sunny day in Nashville on August 21, 2010, and I am going to be driving to Atlanta to visit a friend that next weekend. I want to be sure my car would be good for the trip, so I stop in the Valvoline closest to my parents' house. I was living there at the time since working for the state wasn't exactly helpful in ways of paying rent by myself. The second I pull up to wait, I notice this guy: a curly-headed, olive-skinned dude wearing a Valvoline hat and rocking his work pants. Another guy working there directs me behind what I later found out was Bay 3, and I reluctantly park there, the whole time trying to discreetly check out the curly-headed guy.

My luck apparently changes because Bay 1 opened up (Three later told me the customer suddenly changed his mind and only wanted an oil change - FATE!!) and Curly-Head motions for me to come over there. He flashes me this smile and I giggled.

Okay, I have absolutely never giggled at a guy before; at least, not in this sort of situation. I feel like such a moron and try to cover it up, but he notices and ugh. I tell him what I need, he nods, and guides me into the bay. I think I mouth "OH MY GOD" at least fifteen times to myself as I watch him move around. Seriously, his ass? A sight to behold.

When it comes time to recharge my A/C, he asks me to go into the lobby and wait until everything was done. I can't leer at him anymore, so I grab my phone and try to distract myself with whatever game I had then. Maybe Brick Breaker? To my delight, he comes into the lobby.

"Well, it looks like you'll need a new battery soon, but I wouldn't worry about it for -"

"It's okay. Just put a new one in."

He has this shocked expression on his face, and I immediately regretted it, but oh well. He smiles - again, that smile - and says, "Oh, hey, by the way, I like your paint."

I have a tattoo down the center of my back that was inspired by Polish folk art and I was wearing a very skimpy tank top (it was hot out, okay? I wasn't planning on getting all flirty with a Valvoline employee), so of course he can see it. But I am all, "OMG, HE WAS WATCHING ME AS I WALKED AWAY SQUEEEEE!"

The tattoo in question.
I go on to explain that it was in honor of my grandmother who was Polish and that I had brought the artist about four or five different images I wanted him to use as references. Basically, I am sputtering and trying to give him a reason to stay. He looks out into the bay area and then sighs, deciding to take a break.

Of course, my head is all going places and thinking things and yet not able to actually form words. He's like, "God, it's hot out there," and I'm like, "Yeah, it's hot as balls. Not that I ... have balls. But I would imagine that this is what that would ... feel like??" It was just so headdesky that, looking back on it, I'm surprised he showed any interest in me at all.

But I digress. How is this about a lack of car luck?

WELL. Let me tell you.

As it turns out, I have an Aveo. I may have mentioned this before. The car keeps having issues, and I go back to Valvoline to get these things fixed. And despite what you're thinking, these are all legitimate things. Basically, my two rear lights are not working, which initially is blamed on the new battery. Then they figure out it must be a sensor, so Three sends me to NTB, National Tire something or other, just down the street. I drive away, and unbeknownst to me, Three is thinking, "Damn, I may never see her again. Well, maybe she'll come back to get her oil changed in three months." Well, NTB tells me, "Hey, you have to go to your dealer because we don't do sensors."

If you remember, Carmax is my dealer and I had vowed never, ever to have anything to do with them again, so I'm more than a little reluctant to comply. Now, Three had called me from his cell phone regarding the battery arriving, so I figure, what the hell. I text him: "Hey, this is Juju. I just wanted to thank you for all the help you've giving me, but I have one more favor to ask. NTB is telling me I have to go to Carmax. Can you think of anyone else that might be able to help me?"

I wait a few seconds after sending, mentally flogging myself, but he calls me!

His first words: "Yeah, that's crap. I'll fix it for you. Can you come to the store tomorrow?"

Of course I say yes. And of course he asks me out* and of course we go on a second date the next night** and OMG I'm completely infatuated and then I remember, God, I have to go to Atlanta this weekend. I think about canceling but realize that's a really shitty thing to do. So I'm down in Atlanta, the whole time trying to stay focused on my friend who keeps fucking asking me about Three, and actually have a lot of fun. We stay in my friend's friend's condo which is amazing and has a hot tub. We go to the botanical gardens and we eat incredible food, all the while I'm avoiding thinking about Three. Then, the day I'm supposed to go back, my car is dead. Completely.

The fuck? According to the neighbor, my brake lights were on the whole time, even after I'd turned off the car on Friday night. Awesome. My friend helps me jump the car, and I immediately call Three to tell him what happened. He's concerned but assures me that he'll look into it when I get home. On my way back to Nashville, I notice that the radio isn't working and that the clock is now permanently set at 1:00. And none of the cigarette lighter things that I used to charge up my phone were functioning. Great. I hadn't charged my phone that night since I was assuming I could do so in my car, so I'm hoping now that no giant tragedies occur. And if you know anything about me, this hope is actually very much needed. 

Now, if you'll notice from reading my other posts, nope, none of the above problems were fixed. And Roxy is officially dead and waiting to be transported back to Carmax as we speak. But! I have an awesome husband, Valvoline is no longer a part of our lives, and Three's ass is still bangin'. 

* At first I'm nervous and I say, "God, I'm tired." He cocks his head to the side and says, "Well, that probably precludes my next question, but I'm going to ask anyway. Do you want to go grab a drink?" He had me at "precludes."

** And there may or may not have been some outdoor, park bench sex.
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