I’m old and slightly forgetful. Did I say slightly? That might be a lie. I have been known to forget the correct spelling of my middle name. Truth be told, my mother spelled my middle name wrong to begin with and then taught me to spell it wrong too. So, technically when I spell it wrong, I’m actually spelling it right. Still, after 39 years and counting, I should know by now how to spell it the way it was spelled on by birth certificate even if by common standards that spelling is wrong. But I digress. The story at hand is not about the unusual spelling of my middle name and my unexplainable knack of forgetting how to spell that unusual spelling. The story at hand is about my sick Beetle and my annoying forgetfulness.
Now, as you all know, my green machine was a perfect princess affectionately named Fiona for the first three days I had her, remember? And then, the fates cast their evil eye my way, and Fiona became Christine after an unfortunate mishap with some oil monkeys. Christine has been trying to kill me ever since. I’ve had her worked on more times than I can count, but no one can seem to banish the evil that is Christine and resurrect the princess that was Fiona. It’s been very traumatic to say the least. Finally, someone tested the catalytic converter and ding, ding, ding — we have a winner — it was dead.
Great, I had a diagnosis. I just needed a car doctor to perform the seance and exorcise Christine from Fiona. The first car doctor claimed the part I needed only existed in Germany. Look, I know Beetles are foreign cars. I get that. But I live state-side, and I see Beetles bee-bopping up and down the pavement every day. None of them look overly wealthy. If they had to special order parts from Germany every time they needed to change a wiper blade or an oil filter, it stood to reason they would have to be either really wealthy or really stupid to be driving these cars. But then, I sometimes forget how to spell my middle name. Who am I to judge? Still, I was betting the quote of $1,400 he gave me for the special part from Germany was a bit astronomical. I decided to shop around. Two calls later, I had a car doctor willing to zap Christine back into Fiona for a mere $600. Color me sold.
The next day I was ready to take the beast to charm school, but as I fired her up I noticed she was looking a little dirty. I didn’t want to take her in broken and dirty. The car doctor guy would label me a bad Beetle owner. Oh the horror! No problem, I thought. I’ll just buzz by a car wash and give her a quick once over. So, I headed to an ATM to grab some green.
Now, here’s where my forgetfulness comes into play. I slid the little square piece of plastic in the machine, punched my pin in, and waited for the bills to come out. The monitor said, “incorrect pin number entered.” Well, crap. I was sure I entered the right number. I tried again. Same response. I tried a different combination. Nope. I thought really hard. I was certain I had all the right digits. Maybe I was just putting them in the wrong sequence. I tried a few more times. And guess what? “Your card is being held for your protection.” Yep. The bank just cancelled my card. And I had an appointment at the car doctor in an hour.
So, I called the bank, like an idiot. Banks can’t talk to people over the phone who can’t remember their pin numbers and spell their middle name incorrectly. Hello? Wake up, genius! They know you stole your own card and are trying to rob yourself this very minute. They weren’t born yesterday. They see this all the time!
I had precisely one hour to drive clear across town during the tax-free back-to-school holiday to the only open bank in my chain and have my card repinned to a number that I would remember (Ha! For like a day maybe!) and then drive all the way back for my car doctor appointment while Christine laughed at me the whole way. I kid you not. She laughed. I heard her.
Later that evening, I related this story to the manchild. His response? “Gosh mom, that’s the worse. I hope you don’t forget you have a child and a husband one day. That would suck.” Selfish child. It’s always about you. What’s your name again?