Ross and I leave work at the usual time. Before heading to JR’s daycare to pick him up for the evening, we make a quick stop for gas.
While I sit in the warm car, reading the Twitters, Ross fills up the tank.
(This is one of the best parts of being married to him — he always pumps the gas, no matter what.)
A few minutes later, he get back in the car, I slip my iPhone back into my bag, and I start the car.
I try again.
Ross hops back out to see if maybe the car isn’t starting because he didn’t twist the gas cap on tight enough (which is apparently a thing that happens?).
Encouraged by his calmness, I try the car again.
It’s 5:30pm. It’s about 3 degrees outside. Our kid is stuck at daycare and our only car isn’t working. We’re at a gas station located in a parking lot of a grocery store during rush hour when most people are scrambling to pick up those last things they need for dinner. Or, in the case of this particular grocery store, driving around the parking lot like maniacs and kind of being a-holes in general. (It’s the Kroger on Lombardy and Broad, for you Richmonders.)
Without any other options, I put the car in neutral and Ross pushes it into a parking space.
We take a minute to collect ourselves. Then Ross calls his dad and I call JR’s daycare to let them know we are still coming and haven’t abandoned him, we just don’t know how we’re getting there yet (luckily they’re open until 7pm).
Because Ross’s parents are made of unicorns and magic and goodness, they drop everything to come help us.
Once they’re on their way (from the other side of town, during rush hour, mind you), I call the dealership that usually handles our repairs. Luckily I get Nice Guy Joe, as opposed to Dumb Lady Who Couldn’t Work The Phone When I Tried To Schedule Our Annual Inspection Yesterday And Hung Up On Me Twice Before I Gave Up.
See, Joe is great because I can say things like this to him:
“Hi, Joe. This is Valerie Catrow. My car won’t start and I need to get it over to you. I have AAA, but I’ve actually never had a car break down before and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. So what’s next?”
And because he’s Nice Guy Joe, he chuckles and then tells me what to do.
So I call AAA and arrange for a tow truck to come get the car and take it to the dealership.
(Speaking of, did you know that AAA calls you like every 5 minutes when you’re waiting for a tow truck to give you an ETA? Technology is the tops.)
Just as Ross’s parents show up (in two cars so we could have one to borrow should the repairs take a while, God bless them forever and ever amen), the AAA guy pulls into the parking lot. Ross and his dad stay to deal with the car while his mom and I hightail it over to JR’s daycare to pick him.
When we get to JR’s classroom room, he’s eating yogurt and hanging out with the evening teacher (it is so late his regular teacher has left for the day — talk about mother’s guilt). Apparently being the only kid in the class is SUPER FUN because he wants nothing to do with leaving, what with all the yogurt that must be eaten.
By the time we get home, I have a few messages from friends who have seen some exasperated comments I made on Twitter, offering rides or even CARS if we need them. Luckily we don’t, but it was still lovely to see.
So, how was your evening?