What just happened?

One of the headlights is out on my car. I know about it, but it’s the kind of thing that I don’t think of during the DAY, when the auto parts stores are open.

After a somewhat terrifying drive home from the airport on Sunday night, down an unlit road that also happens to be under major repair, I most certainly remember once daylight comes around. And so, on my home from work on Monday night, I stop off at a local parts store.

A pair of new bulbs in hand, I walk out to my car in the store’s parking lot and decide to take a look at what I’m going to be dealing with. I’d changed the bulbs a number of times on my previous car, but this one is going to be a first for me. (As an aside, I should note that I am on my way to dinner with friends, and am wearing a taffeta party dress. With pockets!) I pop the hood, look around to figure things out, and then get a rag out of my console so I can get down to business. Suddenly, I’m interrupted by the man who has just finished fiddling with his pickup, parked next to me.

“What are you doing?”
“I have a burned out headlight, I need to change the bulb.”
“Do you want me to get that for you? You’ll get your dress dirty.”
“It’s black. Nobody will see it! (shared chuckle) They look like they just plug in. It shouldn’t be too hard. But if you’d like to help…”
“Have a nice day, then.”
“… oh! Well, thank you.”

I have to admit, that catches me off guard. I very much would appreciate his help, but I was raised to put up at least a little fuss when someone offers their personal time. (If a parts store employee had offered, I would have accepted right away. That’s work time, and they know what they’re getting into.) There’s a running joke that excessively polite Minnesotans will refuse an offer three times before finally accepting. And yet, just as I am giving this guy the go-ahead, he walks off.

Well, alrighty then.

I replaced the bulb without anyone’s aid (the two parts store employees who were busy assisting other customers in the lot when I went out there both went back into the store while my head was under the hood), but it sure would have gone faster if a stronger hand could have unclipped the old bulb from the tiny electrical harness for me. I suppose the next time I’m in such a situation, I’ll jump like a vulture on any offer of help that I may get.

What would you do?

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5 Replies to “What just happened?”

  1. Car repair in a dress? I think I love you.
    The guy was probably reassured that since you knew where the headlights were and how to pop the hood, you were competent to finish the job and sincere in your initial refusal. 😛

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  2. I’m not sure that changing a bulb qualifies as “car repair,” but I’ll take it. 🙂

    I left out the part where I was in the store’s bulb aisle for far too long because I didn’t realize that the Which Replacement Bulb Do You Need guide was, for some inexplicable reason, listing the model years in reverse order (ie: 01-94) and that my “missing” car (a ’95) was indeed included. Yeah, I can be that dumb sometimes.

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  3. That guy is probably kicking himself. I say this because he did what I probably would have done.

    Turns out there’s more than one Classic Jackass on earth. Awwsimm.

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