Monday, July 6, 2015

The Scariest Dare Yet!

It's nice to know you have the support of family and friends when you try something new, right? When I began this blog endeavor a few weeks ago, I felt a great amount of encouragement when my husband, cousins, friends, and even my mom, who only pretends to be computer literate (Love you, mom! FYI, commenting on Facebook isn’t the same thing as commenting on a blog.), jumped on board with resounding enthusiasm. They were the first to come forward with funny, good-natured dares. I couldn't of been more proud of them.

How, in just over 3 weeks, has this gone completely sideways on me? What was for one brief, shining moment legit dares has now turned into an excuse to contract me for indentured servitude. In the past week I’ve been dared to do gardening, childcare, and house cleaning by the people nearest and dearest to me! What gives?

Even my husband couldn't resist the chance! He dared me to get the oil changed in the car. One would think that this particular request, in order to be dare worthy, would involve me wearing a clown suit, not showering for five weeks, and setting up a five course meal with table cloths and candles in the waiting room. But it did not. He simply asked me to get the oil changed. 

At this point you might be asking yourself, what kind of dare is that? Isn't this something all adults do on a regular basis? 

Answer: Yes, I imagine it is. 

But the joke is on me, people... I've never done this by myself. Never. The closest I've come to something like this is riding in a tow truck after I crashed a car while calling my husband to pick me up so he could deal with the aftermath. 

I truly hate this type of thing. It's not that I have the antiquated notion that this is a man's role. If you know me, you know I have little tolerance for prescribed gender roles. But I have a terrible distaste for all things routine and scheduled. I just can't will myself to do routine auto maintenance. 

I put oil changes in the same category as mowing the lawn. In theory, I like the idea. It's outdoors. There's exercise involved. I can't hear my kids if they are fighting or complaining. Sounds ideal, right?  That's because it really is! I just don't know what's wrong with me.  I place partial blame on my husband who, until last week, completely enabled me to live with this deficit. 

How did I respond to this simple oil change dare? I totally put it off.  I didn't even know where to begin, and frankly, I didn't want to know where to begin. What would happen if I learned how? Will there be an expectation that I continue to handle the maintenance of my own car? Unfathomable! 

I eventually caved and talked to my brother-in-law about oil changes. I figured he's the guy who sold me the car, so he should know what to do. He recommended a dealership near-ish my house and gave me very specific directions about what he wanted them to do. When, during his explanation he started saying words that I didn't have any context for (Example: Dextose), I asked him to just send me what he wanted me to say in a text. (Thank you, Jesse!)

Having finally worked up the courage to accept Jared's dare, I found myself incredibly nervous. I don't like to appear as though I don't know what I'm doing, so I called the dealership while driving to the my oil change and asked a whole bunch of questions about protocol. The voice of the woman on the other end of the line was kind, but my endless stream of questions was obviously testing the limit of her patience.  

I pulled up to the dealership with my sweaty hands tightly gripping the wheel. I parked my car and was immediately met by a friendly gentleman in a blue button up shirt who, to my surprise, wanted to sell me a car. When I told him I needed an oil change his first words were, "if you get back in your car and drive around the building, I'll meet you there and point you in the right direction."  I couldn't tell if I should be concerned for my safety or labeled a complete oil change failure. 

After being given an elaborate set of directions, I followed the gigantic, clearly labeled signage (which I had somehow previously missed) toward the quick lube... not to be confused with the body shop. I pulled up and once again got out of my car.  Before I could shut the door a man in a black shirt shouted (in a nice way), "Just stay in your car, I'll come to you." 

What the heck? Is there some weird oil change rule about not getting out of your car?  Why did my parents never teach me this? Was this like a car wash thing? Just put your car in neutral and you'll come out the other side with an oil change.  Bamm! 

The black shirted man eventually made his way to my can and after gathering my info he told me to leave the keys in the ignition and wait in the lobby. This produced two significant issues in my mind:

1. Having just navigated the labyrinth of the dealership parking lot, I, in spite of my geography degree, was totally ignorant of the lobby's location. 

2. My new ‘space car’ doesn't have keys. It has buttons. 

When I announced, "I don't have keys," the repair guy looked at me like I was an insane person. I swear to you, I was so nervous at this point I began to sweat. Hoping to end his confusion, I held up my key fob. He nodded his head and said, "Leave it on the windshield. Sometime those new cars lock the keys inside."  Was he messing with me? Leave a rather expensive, small, roundish item on my nearly vertical windshield?  How would they not roll directly into my engine? It was my turn to look back at him like he was crazy. At that point he ended my confusion by taking the 'key' out of my hand and placing it on the windshield wiper blade. In my heart I knew at this point that I was failing this dare.

After being pointed in the right direction, I made my way to the waiting area. When I opened the door I was shocked! It was filled with clean (defying my expectations with this one adjective), comfy chairs and had a counter completely stocked with snacks, soda, and coffee!  The large sign with the wifi password caused my heart to skip a beat. I was in love... with a lobby! Endless Candy Crush with no data usage while drinking diet coke from a clean, nicely padded seat... I may as well have been floating on a bed of clouds!  45 minutes later I was sad to leave.

Oil changes, where have you been all my life?
Yes, that is a picture of me with my hair down.  Enjoy.

A special thanks to my husband for this dare!  

Now you can show this post to your 16 year-old so they can learn to do this at a normal age. 

Questions for the readers:

1.  What do you, as an adult, avoid doing that you should really know how to do? 

2. What dares do you have for me... Or a friend? I'm more than happy to exert some peer pressure on your friends in the name of a good dare. 

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  1. This spring my coworker let me know my tire was real low on air and I should fill it up. I smiled and thanked her. Three weeks later she mentioned it again... This time with a loving lecture about how she doesn't want me to get a flat while driving. The thing is, I didn't want to do anything about it. That seemed way too intimidating. If I just wait, will it magically fix itself?? I didn't want to try and figure out the air situation at a gas station. I helped a guy jump his car after an appointment and considered asking him to return the favor with my tire, but I didn't. i got an oil change, hoping they would just put air in without me asking, but they didn't. I finally convinced my dad to "teach me how" (aka do it for me). But apparently I did learn, as I successfully put air in a low tire on our rental car this week while vacationing with my sister. I'm such a competent adult now!

    1. Excellent work, Laura. I'm very proud.

  2. Despite having grown up in the northwoods, and even one attempted lesson, I have never learned to drive a stick! I was always surrounded by tons of other people who knew that it was never essential. Now people just assume I can, and are appalled when they learn the truth!

  3. Wow, Coley! I disagree with your friends! You need to learn this. How will you ever go on the Amazing Race? You're simply limiting life options! I officially dare you to learn to drive a stick. Please document your experience. I will bleep out any swearing from video footage. Don't worry about holding back.

    1. Haha! Okay, okay... btw, I mean that there were so many other people who knew how to drive it, that it wasn't essential for me. But I'll take you up on it anyway. :)

  4. Someone is going to regret sending you on this dare, because he may never again get to enjoy the cushy seats, free treats and wifi. I'm glad you found your happy place ;)