Brokedown Jetta


Marc’s leaving on Monday (tomorrow) to go to England for a week.  I’m pretty sure we’re both in denial about it; it’s not because I can’t function without him (I really can, I swear), but because it seems like such a crazy interruption to the regular flow of life.  You mean, I have to be a dog mom by myself?  Do you know how much dog doo I’d have to pick up??  You mean, Marc can’t just commute home at the end of the work day?  C’mon!

Of course, when you’re trying to “plan” for leaving somewhere, sometimes the proverbial shit will hit the fan.  Case in point for this very journey, Marc’s car.  We each have our own cars; frankly, we rely heavily on the train to get to and from work so any driving we do is done after the work day or on the weekend.  Lately, we’ve been taking my car more often.  It’s a little more spacious, we let the dog go for rides in it (it’s a lease, I’m sure they’ll LOVE that), and it’s automatic which means we both can drive it.  Anyway, as a result, we probably haven’t driven Marc’s car in about a month, maybe a little less.  It has, however, been parked in the driveway but not in our “spots”. Since Marc’s leaving for England for a week we got the brilliant idea that maybe he SHOULD put his car in its spot, so that in case there’s a blizzard, the handy plow man can swoop up and down the driveway in his plow and Marc’s beloved Jetta won’t get smooshed to smithereens in the process.

This was all a stroke of brilliance, of course.  We patted ourselves on the back for remembering to take such precautions, and were generally in awe of our smartitude.  So, Marc got in his car, while I started to unload the groceries/dry cleaning out of my car.

He turned the ignition.




The battery’s dead.  Or maybe it’s the starter, one or the other.

Mind you, we only have to move the car approximately 9 feet, from its spot in the driveway to its official parking spot.  It’s not a straight maneuver, and would require a three-point turn, but it’s SO close, you can taste it.  We did try to push the car, but that didn’t work.

Of course, like any solid stress-filled event, we had to deliberate about what to do next.  I’ll give you the abridged version.

me:  Let’s call AAA.

Marc:  It’s not serious enough to call AAA.

me:  Let’s call Albert (our friend’s husband who works on cars and lives 3 blocks from our house).

Marc:  I don’t want to bother him on the weekend.

(There’s a pause in the deliberation here, where we try to jump his car from my car, only to find out that my car’s battery is weirdly inaccessible for jumper cables.  You can put one clamp on, but there’s no place to put the other.  I talked to my friend Carrie about this and she said that she’s heard that some newer cars are hard to jump.  If you know this to be true, please tell me because I’m fascinated.  If that is the case, it also means that someone couldn’t really ever jump my car, then.)

me:  Let me just call my grandpa to see what he thinks.

Grandpa Tony (from WI):  Call AAA.

me:  Call AAA.

Marc:  OK, I’ll call AAA.

me (silently):  THANK YOU!

AAA was extraordinarily reassuring (after all it’s their job), and someone was out to the house in about 2 hours.  We are so lucky that we had the car in the driveway and not out in a parking lot in the freezing cold.  AAA jumped the car and moved it the requisite 9 feet (and a three-point turn) into the spot.  Apparently, Jettas have really labor intensive battery replacements, and so the AAA guy couldn’t do it, so we may end up calling someone to come out again, once Marc gets back.  In the meantime, it is my solemn duty to start the Jetta every couple of days and let ‘er run, just to make sure that it could start.  We likely will have to get the battery replaced, once Marc comes home, but hopefully, the car will just start and we can glide it right into a mechanic, who can fix it.

The point of all this is, of course, that when life throws you some shit (like, Marc’s unexpected week-long work trip), sometimes you have to be expectant of more shit before it’s all over.  I’m still pretty much living in denial that tomorrow morning at 6:30, Marc’s getting in a cab and we won’t talk (except over email and IM) for several days.  I’m hoping the time goes fast, and that the Jetta will start.

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