Sadly, a changing of the guard may be about to take place in our garage. The car that we bought when we first moved to Germany more than a decade ago, the car that I have LOVED driving all over Europe and criss-crossed the country in, the car that, let’s face it, is just pretty, is likely about to go live elsewhere in favor of a vehicle that doesn’t make me question whether I will get from Point A to Point B.
If you have gone through this transition yourself, you know that it usually creeps up on you and then suddenly throws everything into a tizzy. You go from “I’m going to run a quick errand.” to “Hello? Towing company? Can you drag me and my sputtering car to the closest mechanic?” And of course, that means that any productive plans you may have had that require transportation fly right out the window. Sigh. First world problems, I know.
Warning: I am about to go on a bit of a rant about what happens when you are sitting in the holding pen–er, I mean waiting room–patiently hoping for good news on your vehicle. If you aren’t in the mood for a rant, then maybe I can interest you in a recipe to distract you.
In my case, I entered a small room with 3 others also doing the waiting dance. 2 of these gentlemen were deep in conversation about how 1) God ensured that one of them was promoted when he was still in the military, and that 2) God was also going to make sure that his car was done quickly and cheaply. And the man sitting across from him was nodding and agreeing like he was sitting in a pew at church, listening to a preacher profess the word of God himself.
This is an important disclaimer at this point of the story: I have absolutely nothing against belief in God or any other religious belief for that matter. I support people’s right to believe what they choose, and I promise that THAT is not my beef with this gentleman’s assertions. But might it be a stretch that it was God, and only God, that was working to make sure he got a promotion? Did I mention that, because of my experience being married to the military, I knew for a fact that the rank this guy was talking about having placed at his feet by God himself was actually a virtual certainty? At that rank, unless you park your car ON the General’s daughter, it’s about a 99% promotion rate? Guess that’s God’s way of helping you to help him. Got it.
All of this was merely amusing as I kept my eyes down and tried to focus on reading my book instead of looking like I wanted in on the conversation. And then, somehow, the topic turned to race and why it was OK that people of a certain age can be racist, and that if their kids and grandkids spout off and make racist cracks and comments, well, it’s just because they don’t know any better from grandma and grandpa. And then the two gentlemen traded stories of when using slurs or racist tones were just in good clean fun. Ex-squeeze me?
It’s at this point that I think my mouth began to fill with blood since I am certain I had bitten all the way through my tongue. Now I am normally a person who will stand up and say something when this ignorance is spouted off within ear-shot of me. But I chickened out this time because a) I couldn’t up and leave if things got too heated, given my car situation, b) there was quite literally nowhere else to go in that small enclosure (it was pouring rain outside), and c) I was in a locale that I wasn’t familiar with, meaning things could have turned ugly in ways I don’t want to think about. As a result, I kept my mouth shut. I was, all the while, begging for rescue via multiple calls to my husband’s office and posting my situation on the interwebs, namely on Facebook. *Shout out to many of my friends who suggested interesting quips I could use to change the topic.
Sadly, this torture did not end with this topic thread. After I finally decided to walk out in the rain to buy a lemonade from a food truck that stopped by, I came back in to yet another conversation that jarred me a bit. I mean, you know that “the gays can do whatever they want, but that whole marriage thing is just silly.” That lemonade suddenly tasted pretty darned sour. I felt like I was in an episode of “Punked” or “Candid Camera”.
I was suddenly delivered from this fresh hell when the first “gentleman” (I think I should use another descriptor here, but I’m not sure I could hit publish and have this still safe for all eyes out there) was told his car was ready. Apparently he had been waiting far longer than he’d originally been told. As for that second assertion that God was going to assure he got outta there on the cheap, it came as a surprise when the bill for his car’s repairs was several hundred dollars more than expected. Huh. Guess God didn’t get the memo that he was also supposed to be a mechanic that day.
<EXHALE> I feel much better.
Maybe I should just end the day with a cocktail. And a prayer to the garage gods for better company in car repair shop waiting room.
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