OK, no, probably not. He has considerably more tattoos than me and looks like he could probably crush a full soda can from across the room with a stern look.
But still, I felt that I won a small victory for estrogenkind yesterday.
I was en route to Massachusetts for an appointment and lunch with a friend, when the center console of my minivan shut down. Not the dash; I could still drive just fine. But the air conditioner, fans, radio, clock and two outlets formerly known as cigarette lighters, poof. Nothing.
I pulled over to the shoulder, turned off the car, waited a few seconds, and started it again. It started right up, and now the A/C and one of the outlets worked, but the radio, clock and upper outlet were still giving me the silent treatment.
I know approximately as much about cars as does my cat, and so I immediately canceled all further travel plans. I’m fairly certain that the whole concept of a fuse box helps protect the rest of the electrical system when there’s a problem in one area, but I failed Electrical Sciences THREE TIMES in college – the only class I ever failed – so I was not willing to rely on “fairly certain.” I got it to the garage we go to whenever our first-choice place is full, and waited.
The kids and I sat there for two hours, while this posse of big, testosterone-laden creatures fiddled with my car. At one point, one was removing the air bag cover, another was lying on the ground next to the car, and a third was far enough inside the engine that he needed a lifeline and a miner’s hat. They grunted. They poked. They prodded.
And then, they gave up. They just couldn’t figure out which fuse it was, or whether it even was a fuse problem, or what to suggest next. They charged me for a half an hour’s worth of labor and sent me on my way, chagrined and embarrassed at having been outwitted by a minivan. The guy in charge actually told me, “Go call a dealer and ask where the fuse is, and then bring it back here and I’ll fix it for free.”
So I got home, tossed the kids in their respective rooms for Quiet Time, and went back out to the driveway to glare at the car for a while.
I decided to open the hood and see if I couldn’t at least get an idea of how it was all laid out before I called a dealer. Mind you, this is about the third time I’ve ever even opened the hood on my own; my vehicular illiteracy reaches truly astounding proportions.
But I got the hood up, and found the fuse box. Popped off the lid, and flipped it over. There, on the underside, was a map, of sorts, with various cryptic abbreviations for each fuse. Some spinning and twisting let me figure out which end was up, and a little more searching showed me a spot on the map labeled “RDO/IP IGN.” Now, I’m no linguist, but it seems like, perhaps, “RDO” might have something to do with a RADIO, and “IGN” bears a strong similarity to “IGNITION,” which is the type of outlet that was not working. Right nearby, there was another spot on the map labeled “SPARE,” and I took a wild guess that it meant “SPARE.”
So, after verifying that the two fuses were the same amperage and that (at least, according to the owner’s manual) I wouldn’t electrocute myself if I just grabbed a hold and pulled, I switched the RDO fuse with the SPARE fuse.
You’re damn right it worked.
Ohhh, was I proud of me. I even called the mechanic back, just to let him know. Sometimes a girl just has to gloat.
So, I’ve met my testosterone quotient for the week, and continue to feel inordinately proud of myself.