Don’t Freak Out. I Am Okay.

So I had a heart test last week. I’m leading with that in case any of you were planning to give me a hard time about being gone for so long.  Making you feel guilty right out of the gate is a neat deflector when I don’t have a good explanation for my absence other than “lazy” and “in a highly committed relationship with my sofa.”

I had stress echocardiogram to be exact, which is usually prescribed when someone is having chest pains and the like. I wasn’t having chest pains or shortness of breath but I could feel my heart inside my chest.  When I can feel my ovaries inside my abdomen, I know the pain is coming and that there’s no amount of Advil or chocolate or heating pads that will make that pain stop, so when I became suddenly aware of a new sensation in my heart, I assumed it would be the same.  Like all rational people, when the sensation hit at 2:00 am, I self-diagnosed “impending heart attack” and took an aspirin and then toyed with the idea of writing a living will in case I kicked off in the middle of the night.  Note that I did not drive myself to the ER or make a doctor’s appointment, nor did I write a living will.

Perhaps I will do that now in case I ever do kick off in the middle of the night.

Jimmie’s Living Will:

Do not put me on a machine to live.

Give away every organ you can.

Incinerate the remainder of me or donate the remainder of me to science.

Martie is to sell my house and pocket the equity, give my car to whichever kid is next in line to get one, and use my retirement money for somebody’s college education.

Woney gets my Tiffany bow necklace, Daisy can have back the earrings she lent me, Phranke gets Seamus (because Murphy will expire from a broken heart when I do), and Martie gets all the rest.

There. Done.

After self-diagnosing “impending heart attack” three or four times, I did make an appointment with my doctor who scheduled my stress echo, and clearly I am okay because I told you in the title that I was. Here’s the good part, though, the part you have been waiting for ever since I started this post.  I had to take my clothes off for this test.  And because I had to take my clothes off, I handled this doctor’s appointment with as much aplomb and finesse as all my other doctors’ appointments wherein my clothing has to be removed.   Here’s the breakdown of that visit:

Pro:

  • Nothing is wrong with my heart.

Cons:

  • I waited 52 minutes for my test. I asked and was told twice that there was no back up and that my appointment would happen right on time but I waited 52 minutes and had to listen to not only Rachael Ray’s talk show but also The Price is Right.
  • I had to wear a gown.
  • The schedulers told me three times I could keep my clothes on but I had to wear a gown.
  • The gown was too small.
  • Steven, a student, was invited to observe my test for which I had to wear a gown that was too small.
  • It took too much screeching at a pitch only dogs could hear before we all agreed that having Steven the student join us was a bad idea. My throat hurt.
  • No matter how much screeching at a pitch only dogs could hear that I did, I still had to hoof it 12 minutes on a treadmill with no bra and in a gown that was too small.
  • It took too much screeching at a pitch only dogs could hear for one of the technicians to finally say to her co-workers, “You know, we should probably try to remember what this is like on both sides of the table, shouldn’t we?”
  • My eyes looked like two peas in the snow for 48 hours from all the crying.

Pro:

  • The gown wasn’t paper.

With excellent test results, I’m still left with the question of what’s causing my new occasional heart sensation. A few months ago I began a new eating plan in an effort to rid myself of all of these pesky hips and stomachs I have collected.  I cut out all grains, all diet sodas, and most sugar.  My only treats are unsweetened tea, delicious, and 90% cacao chocolate, which on the first pass tastes like scorched coffee grounds with a hint of cocoa but on the third or fourth pass tastes like divinity made by God, Himself.  I’ve lost a small hunk of weight due to this eating plan – not enough that you will be clamoring for me to sun myself at your beach parties so that you may behold the beauty of my body, but enough that my pants are too big.  It also seems that this new eating plan has done something to the sensitivity of my insides because caffeine, found in both of my meager and sad treats, causes me heart sensations that I do not enjoy.  There’s nothing wrong with me that cutting out my two pitiful and pathetic treats won’t fix.

I mean, I’m guessing. We have no answer for my heart feelings, but as we all have learned, I’m the master at self-diagnosing.  I’m so, so good at it, so good in fact that I get to pay an enormous chunk of my medical deductible off early in the year for a test that told me absolutely nothing was wrong and that I am free to be sick as a dog for the whole rest of the year without monetary penalty from my insurance company.  I have no delicious treats with which to console myself but spending $2200 to discover that when I feel my heart in my chest, the pain of losing my favorite creature comforts is coming and there really is no amount of chocolate, Advil, or heating pad that can fix it.

Sigh . . . no more chocolate.

I missed you all, btw.

Love,

Jimmie, M.D.

13.1. Yeah, I Did It.

Four years ago I said, “Y’all, I’m going to run a half marathon.” And then I did.  I totally did, except I only ran 3.1 miles of it which is practically the same thing.  Then last year I told you all a story about drinking like a fish with My Girls and embedded in that story was a second promise to run a half marathon.  And then I did.

Okay, that is a lie.  I can’t even fiddle around with that one and pretend like I did something great.  Instead, what I did was spend all my money fixing my car for the 95th time after it kept crapping out on me and then I could not afford the trip to Cleveland for the race.  (Recently spent another $450 on that vehicle getting some additional mechanical repairs; meanwhile the side piece under the passenger side doors hangs limply down from the frame in the manner of droopy drawers.  Best car ever.  Get a Hyundai Sonata.  Go ahead.  Tell me all about it when you do.)

What I learned from those two experiences is that when I tell you guys I’m going to do something, I don’t do it.  There’s really no explanation for it, but I’m not so dumb as to keep telling you about my goals and whatnot and then have them not come to pass.  If it’s all the same to you, I’m keeping the big stuff to myself.  You can hear about it afterwards, like this:

I COMPLETED MY FIRST HALF MARATHON.

WITH MY GIRLS.

AND I WILL NEVER DO ANOTHER ONE AGAIN.

NEVER.

Months ago, and who even remembers when anymore as my “drinking like a fish” stories with My Girls are beginning to run together, we lounged around in our fuzzy pants and contemplated a second shot at doing a half together. Lo and behold, the next day my checking account was debited $35 for my race fee.  A race in Medina, Ohio which sounds cute but also foreign and far away.  I do recall Squash (the Girl who hails from Ohio) promising us that her weather would be fine and that the course would not be hilly, and I do recall some amount of enthusiasm as we each whipped out our mobile devices and our debit cards and happily signed away the fees.  We clinked together glasses of rum and Coke and then merrily called Luke over for pizza and girl movies.  (This happens often so while I cannot pinpoint the exact trip, they all kind of follow the same itinerary . . . .)

From left to right:  Squash, Nurse Bananahammock, Woney, and your favorite, Jimmie

From left to right: Squash, Nurse Bananahammock, Woney, and your favorite, Jimmie

I realized immediately after that trip that I was really going to complete this half.  And right after that I realized that I needed to train for it.  And then not long after that I realized that Daisy was the perfect person with which to train because she walks like the Energizer bunny and her complaints are very soft-spoken.  We began traipsing up and down the Greenway, three- and four-mile walks here and there and then longer walks on the weekends.  We kept adding mileage every Saturday and eventually walked 11 miles in one go.  It was awful.  It was hot and hilly and our legs were so tired.  We only meant to walk 10 that day, but I misjudged the mile markers (surprise) and when we finished we had walked just over 11 miles.

 

My Greenway

My Greenway

I could tell how the half was going to feel based on that one walk with Daisy.  We were at mile nine and Daisy wearily turned her head towards me.  She gave me a long look and said, “When we get back to the car, I’m going to beat the shit out of you.”

I looked wearily back at her and said, “You can’t catch me.”

And she wearily said, “You can’t run.” Valid.

She probably would have beat the shit out of me except we had promised each other pancakes that day, and our desire for pancakes outweighed her desire to kill me, so we carbed up and eventually forgot about our tired feet.  Carbs are magical.

 

Don't they look delicious?

Don’t they look delicious?

The day arrived for the half marathon.  I was excited enough to be full of hope and naïve enough to not be full of dread.  I had on comfy clothes, a bra that cinched the lady bits into battle ax position, and two pigtails.  There were 13 miles ahead of me and a medal and a chocolate milk at the end.  I was with My Girls and the weather was fine.  The promise of a flat walk was unfounded. We received an email a month before the race that was apologetic in nature – changes were made to the course so that the last eight miles were stuffed full of hills – but I live in Nashville.  We are hills.  I could take it, sure.

From our starting position at the back of the corral, My Girls and I trotted off.  We kept a pretty good clip for quite a few miles (Nurse Bananahammock, the runt of the litter, practically had to jog to keep up with us) and even chatted while we walked.  I greeted every volunteer who steered us in the right direction.

“How you durin?” I’d ask and they would cheerfully wave at us.

“I know, we *are* awesome, this is so great,” I’d say, every time we got the you are fabulous, good on you speech.

Woney said to the Girls, “I knew she’d be like this.”

And I was like that for about nine miles.

Mile nine was the marker where my feet started the burn.  I could hear Daisy in the back of my head saying, “I’m going to beat the shit out of you,” and I thought, “Yeah, this is maybe not so fun anymore.”

By mile 10, I was a grouch.  I was overly fond of pointing out, “That house is ugly.  It looks like doo doo.”

Woney said to the Girls, “I knew she’d be like this.  Just wait.  It gets better.”

By mile 11, I was resigned.  My dogs were barking, one of my pigtail holders had popped off, and my body was one giant salt lick from the sweat.  “I’m finishing this bitch. I did not do all this walking to get swept and not get a medal.  C’mon y’all.  Two to go. Dammit.” Fun.

Woney said to the Girls, “Hold on.  She’s coming back.”

Mile 12 was the killer.  Somehow we had picked up a Negative Nelly who whined about her feet the whole last mile.  “My feet really hurt. Do your feet hurt?  Why aren’t you saying anything about your feet?  This was a mistake.  My feet are killing me.”  Yes, our feet hurt.  Our backs hurt.  My butt hurt.  Woney was drained.  Nurse Bananahammock was winded.  Squash was already finished but her feet hurt, I just knew it.  If any of us had had the energy, we would have stabbed old Nelly over there with an ice pick.  But we had a mile to go and there was no getting out of it.  I really wished for Daisy at that point who would have said to Nelly, “When we get to the finish line, I’m going to beat the shit out of you.”  And she would have meant it, carbs or no carbs.

 

Not magical enough to save Nelly.

Not magical enough to save Nelly.

On we trudged. Resignedly I’d respond to the clapping volunteers, “Uh huh, we are great.  Yeah, this is awesome.  Sure, we can do this.”  Most of that came out as a wheeze through parched and lifeless lips but at least it came out.

Woney said, “I told you she’d be like this.”

As we reached mile 12.5, I said to the Girls, “I usually like to cry at the end of these types of events.  I don’t think I can today, I don’t have the reserves, but please know that I will want to.”  When we reached the last hill we eyed a sign that read, “You can bitch about the hill, or you can make the hill your bitch.  Finish line at the top.” We heaved mighty sighs and stoically placed one foot in front of the other all the way up the hill.  I swallowed a bug.  Maybe it was cigarette ash from a passing vehicle.  I’m not sure, but it did not help. We had to shove an old man out of our way. He was blocking the path and we did not have the energy to veer.  Children ran wildly at us and we cared not if they brained themselves on our knees.  We were automatons and we were going to finish, up the hill, on a cobblestone street, across the line.

As we got to the top, I held one hand out to Woney and one hand out to Nurse Bananahammock. We locked fingers, raised our arms in victory and crossed the finish line together.  Turns out I did have the reserves because I cried all the way across the line, sweaty, grimy, down to one scraggly pigtail.

 

Done.

Done.

It. Was. Glorious.

Here is the medal. Get a good look at it because it is the last one you will ever see on this blog.  I worked for it.  I earned it.  I am proud of it.  And I never want to do anything like that again to get another.  Isn’t it pretty?  Tell me it’s pretty.

IMG_6951

One tired Jimmie.

One tired Jimmie.

Also, you know we drank like fish after that race was over.  Keep this in mind for future posts which I will not tell you about in advance because I want the plans we made to happen.  But yeah, happy times are a ‘coming.

Invitation: Singles Awareness Day Party

You are cordially invited to Jimmie’s Singles Awareness Day Party!

 Official Party Itinerary

 February 14, 2015

Jimmie’s House

5:00 p.m. – 5:32 p.m.

Play Old Maid

5:34 p.m. – 6:01 p.m.

Arm Wrestle

 6:02 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.

Bathroom Breaks

6:15 p.m. – Until bellies are distended p.m.

Dinner of chicken, pie and biscuits will be served*

 When bellies are distended p.m. – Food coma onset p.m.

Play highly competitive board games, arm wrestle, not cuddle

Official Party Rules

No significant others allowed.  If any invitee has even a whiff of a love interest, even as small as a tentative conversation wherein a member of the same or opposite sex has expressed the slightest modicum of romantic interest, the invitation is hereby revoked.

So that we are not a group of sad sacks with cold, black, anemic hearts, I am instituting a cover charge.  Each attendee is to pay a single dollar bill or bring a single canned good item, all of which will be donated to the local food bank thereby ensuring that we love in action, i.e. with black beans and fruit cocktail, not in emotion, i.e. with hearts, flowers and chocolates.

*Several months ago I joined Costco through a Groupon offer which charged me the full price for membership but also gave me $20 in Costco bucks, and coupons for a free chicken, a free pie, and a free case of toilet paper.  That sounded like a good weekend right there, so of course I snatched that up.  Singles Awareness Day Party supplies for free!

P.S. Phranke has been invited and has accepted my party invitation. She expressed dismay in Pee-tah’s lack of invitation. “I really like him,” she said with some sadness.  See, Pee-tah is now officially Off The Market as he is loved up with a new boyfriend.  I, too, am disappointed but rules are rules.  This is the price Pee-tah must pay for being loved up.

I am hardcore.

Let me know if you are coming.  Got to make sure we have enough pie.

DO NOT Tell My Daddy

I cut my finger open with my new pocketknife. I thought I should just cut to the chase because to know me is to know I’m going to shred my fingers with sharp things as soon as you give them to me. I’d like to tell you it wasn’t my fault but it totally was.

See, I was talking to Pee-tah who had just picked me up after I dropped off my car for the fourth high-dollar fix of 2014 (it was the bushings this time, most likely exacerbated by the rear-ending my car took from the guy with the cigarette), and I was opening some batteries with my knife. I was doing great with that until I flipped the knife around and the hinge snapped shut like it is designed to do when pressed upon. The problem was that the blade closed onto my finger and immediately made the blood gush from it. (Now is probably too late to tell you “TMI.”)

Pee-tah didn’t even bat an eye. He just sighed a little bit and clicked on his blinker for the turn lane into Walgreens. “We’ll get some band aids,” he said.

We split up as we walked into the store, me to the front to find more batteries and Pee-tah to the back to pick up the bandages. I made my selections and laid the batteries on the counter. There I chatted with the clerks as I held my finger aloft in an attempt to not bleed to death at the Walgreens counter.

The nice lady clerk said, “Hon, you want a paper towel for that?” She was eyeing my gruesome looking finger, hand and arm. No worries about my blood being too thick or anything. Runs like a fountain.

“Sure,” I said, and then wrapped the paper towel wad around my finger and resumed standing like the Statue of Liberty while I waited for Pee-tah and the band aids.

The clerks and I chatted about pocketknives and Rock Island and my need for 6 C-sized batteries (for the blower thing to inflate my float for my Rock Island trip) and waited for Pee-tah. And then we discussed chocolate and chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate marshmallows, debating the merits of each and agreeing that chocolate consumption covers a multitude of ills, up to and including gashed open fingers. After some time I began to wonder if Pee-tah was alright back there in the band aid section. It did not occur to me that he might have become exasperated with my propensity to hurt myself on a regular basis and snuck out the front door as I held my finger like a torch whilst waxing poetic about Cadbury Easter eggs, although it should have. How many times can you roll your eyes and pat me on the arm and shake your head when I flay my skin open without saying, “For the love of God, Jimmie, will you quit with the pocketknife already?”

Instead, I wandered to the back of the store, finger held in front of me, and found Pee-tah holding an armful of bandages. “Jimmie! These are on sale,” he yelped. Y’all, he had so many boxes of bandages that he had to stack them up and hold them like bricks in a wall formation, one arm underneath them and one arm over them, all perpendicular to the floor. He had at least 10 boxes of band aids and chattered excitedly about them as we walked up to the checkout counter. “These are the best bandages ever! They are water resistant and will protect your finger from the gross water you’ll be swimming in later. I know they don’t smell like the other ones but you’ll thank me, you really will.”

Those clerks watched our arrival, Pee-tah with the entire shelf contents of band aids and me with a bloody mess of paper towels wrapped around my finger held above my head. Their eyes got round and their eyebrows leaped up to their hairlines as they asked, “How often exactly do you cut yourself?”

It’s a fair question.

However, what they didn’t know is that Pee-tah is a sucker for a sale. He knows a bargain when he sees one and thus is the reason I own an iPad mini, emergency lights and now the best box of band aids ever, all of which I have already used. Having been my friend for a long, long time, he knows that having a stockpile of band aids is never a bad thing as is having a set of emergency lights and a fire extinguisher, my other favorite gift from Pee-tah.

Also, I’m asking Daddy-O for a hand mixer for my birthday this year because I broke my old one making a banana cake for Hulk. No way I can go wrong with that.

Bag o' bandages

Bag o’ bandages

Checking That Off The List

As a single adult who is spoiled and often gets her own way, I’ve always maintained that the best way to spend a Saturday is by going to Rock Island or to the State Fair with friends. Lounging on the beach or in my marshmallow bed with a book and a movie while a storm rages outside also rank high on my list of amusing things to do. Never once have I ever claimed that spending a Saturday morning getting your hoots smashed between two glass plates sounded like fun. That never sounds like fun for any day, actually. However, two years ago I made an appointment for the breast smash and last Saturday I finally showed up for that appointment.

I had made a few plans for Saturday and had the faint notion in the back of my head that if those plans stayed intact, I’d just reschedule that mammogram. (See above: spoiled, gets her own way.) I’ve done that for two years, what is one more week, right? Well. My calendar had other thoughts and all the fun plans I’d made disappeared, leaving me with the lone option of finally, finally visiting an imaging center to fulfill my “I-turned-40” medical obligations. Sigh.

Armed with my paperwork and some vague directions, I arrived early for my appointment. Accompanying my sweaty, nervous self was my other personality, the raging snatch I carry with me for every cookie doctor appointment and for any scheduled time which involves me removing my clothing and donning a paper gown, open in the back, please. She was sitting on “go”, just waiting to make her appearance the precise moment my wait in the lobby clicked over from five minutes to six.

The receptionist who did not ensure that the building was marked well enough so that I could see from the street that it was the location I needed would be the first to encounter that heifer. The billing specialist who’d give me the total and the arm band for the procedure would be next because he was leisurely drinking his coffee and filing his nails. And the imaging specialist? Oh, she was in for a treat. I’d been gunning for her since the day I made the appointment, two years ago. She was to receive every tear, every curse, every single insult I could hurl at her without getting arrested, simply because she was the reason for my humiliation, for the fact that I have breasts at all, and because the screening process was surely designed by a man who had never had his testicles smashed between two plates in an attempt to screen him for cancer.

I was prepared.

So was the receptionist.

Turns out, the building was marked just fine and the receptionist was pleasantly chirpy in the face of my snarkiness when she indicated that I was in the right spot. Huh.

Also, the billing specialist said to me as I sat down, “I’m so sorry you had to wait. I was to be here at 7:30 this morning and I got here at 7:35 so that wait you had is on me. Let’s get you squared away so that we can get you back there and out on time, okay?” What the . . . I hadn’t even gotten my lecture about his insouciance fully prepared in my head and here he was preempting me. I was stunned into silence. This was not the normal state of things.

I still had my shot at the imaging specialist but I was feeling a little off about that. I hadn’t had a chance to work myself up into a proper lather what with the receptionist and the billing guy being fantastic, so when that poor, sweet woman called me to the back, I could only muster up the tears from my arsenal. My other ammunition had disappeared and I was adrift.

Still, tears. I blubbered, “Look, I’m not the best patient when it comes to this stuff. I’m the nicest person in the world when I get to keep my clothes on in front of strangers, but here, today, I’m awful. I’m sorry in advance. It’s just that you are going to give me a gown that is too small and is made of paper and I’m going to desperately try to cover both sides of my chest with it but that won’t work, and then you’ll have me traipse up and down the halls in a paper towel and then you’ll make me wait and I’m not good at that. This is humiliating and you get to keep all your clothes and I don’t and I hate this!” And then I said, “See?! I’m trying really hard to be nice and I just can’t!”

And bless her heart, she handed me a real gown, a fabric one, and said, “It’s not too small. I promise.” And it wasn’t. In fact, it swallowed me whole, like a muu muu, and it was the best thing I ever wore in my whole life. Plus, it was purple.

We were halfway through the procedure (and let me say here as an aside that I’ve never been manhandled in such a fashion before – I believe she is more familiar with my funbags than I am) before I stopped crying. I’m surprised it took me that long because while I’m a dreadful patient when naked, I’m also quite curious.

“Can I see what you are looking at over there,” I asked as she took another picture.

“Sure,” she said, “come on back.”

I wrapped my purple muu muu around me after every shot and trotted over to her screen to have a gander at myself. I knew she couldn’t/wouldn’t tell me anything so I didn’t ask but I was just a regular chatty Cathy over there. “Would you lookit that! I had no idea it would show up all white. Lookit how round they are! Is that normal? Is it easier to take pictures of big boobs or small boobs? Do you think if we could smash testicles in those plates we’d get a new screening method? I bet we would. I bet it would only take two weeks.”

Y’all, the procedure was totally painless. I mean, it wasn’t pleasant but it also wasn’t awful. There was a tinkly waterfall in the background, the lighting was set on “mood” and also “dim” and the muu muu smelled faintly of laundry detergent. I exited the building exactly one minute after my scheduled departure time and was never more shocked in all my life, both that I was done and that we all had survived the apocalypse that is “Jimmie, Naked at the Doctor’s Office.”

I drove to my next event which was my four mile Greenway walk with Daisy. I had partly planned that walk to calm myself down from the state of hysteria I was certain to be in, yet my non-hysteria flummoxed both of us a bit. Daisy wasn’t sure what to do with her offer of all the ice cream and all the chocolate she was sure I would need to ease my bruised feelings, and I wasn’t sure what to do with all the Kleenex I had stuffed in my car. I’m not going to say it was my favorite day, it’s not Rock Island after all, but I lived. And until next year when we do this all over again, I’ll maintain this: “Mammograms – Not That Bad.”

Yes, That Sounds Normal

I ran into an old high school friend this weekend. He’s a police officer here in Nashville, and it seems to me that a friend like that is a handy thing to have.

I also was involved in an accident this weekend. Some guy behind me “lost his footing on the clutch” and smacked the back end of my car pretty good. I was at a red light, in heels and church clothes, and of course, got out of my car to assess the damage. The guy, a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, didn’t even put his car in gear or open his door.

I hollered, “What exactly are you doing?” and got the lame clutch excuse. He yelled it out his window and my head nearly popped off in anger. My bumper was fine, surprisingly (and I’ll say here, my car’s engine has given me lots of fits since January but it seems the body can take a hit pretty good), and when he saw that nothing was lying on the ground, he yelled again out the window, “Thank you!” and drove off, waving his cigarette at me as he drove merrily away, leaving me standing in the turn lane in my heels and skirt.

It would have been nice had I run into the police officer friend at that intersection but, no. That would never happen. Instead, I ran into him when I was at the grocery store getting “girlie supplies.” “Girlie supplies” consist of cookie dough, prewashed grapes and the neon hot pink box of *those* supplies. Why hot pink? Why such a loud color? Of course that’s when I saw my police officer friend. Of course.

Anyway, below are some pictures of my recent life. And while I’m talking about pictures, don’t forget to send me your Throwback Thursday pics. I already have some good ones and will get them up this week.

Madre's Flowers

Madre’s Flowers

Sounds Game

Sounds Game

Martie, Tigger, Jimmie

Martie, Tigger, Jimmie

Coach, Pooh, Tigger, Martie, Jimmie

Coach, Pooh, Tigger, Martie, Jimmie

Jimmie, Pooh, Martie

Jimmie, Pooh, Martie

Coach, Tigger, Jimmie

Coach, Tigger, Jimmie

My Greenway

My Greenway

Dropping The Hammer. Literally.

Sigh.  So this is how my Friday ended.

car 2

I told you.  I told you that I’m a terrible person and I 100% deserve all these car issues because I let Murphy ruin Daniel’s shoes. For the record, Murphy ruined a pair of my own, too, when he did his business in the garage and I stepped in it in the dark one morning and fell down.  I hate that cat.

I wrote you a whole post about how my car croaked and how I got a new battery and everything was hunky dory except that was a whole post of misinformation.  Right after I got my new battery and the assurance that all was fine, my car wouldn’t start.  That non-starter began a long and drawn out saga titled “Drama: Jimmie’s Car”.

Car 1

Over the last few months, I used up a large percentage of my messaging allowance sending pictures of this nature to Pee-tah and asking “What is wrong with it?! It won’t start!”  Pee-tah responded with a diagnosis of “bad connection” and a prescription of “wiggle the cables around until the connection is good and it starts.”  This worked for a time, and I learned that carrying a lot of paper towels in my car was a good idea as my hands began to resemble those of auto mechanics from all the wiggling of cables.

After that no longer worked, Advanced Auto Parts made a diagnosis of “needs a shim” and prescribed “place new shim on terminal and whack down with a wrench.”  This also worked for a time, and I learned that whacking my battery terminals with a heavy object was an effective way to start a vehicle.

When that began to fail, Slim made a diagnosis of “loose cables” and prescribed “tightening everything, so much so that no one can get the bolts off ever again.”  This also worked for a time, and I learned that Slim is really very cute when he works on my car.

After some time, Daddy-O and Coach had to make the diagnosis of “needs new battery cables and shims altogether” and prescribed “buying new ones at Auto Zone.”  They also prescribed “using a Dremmel tool to loosen up those nuts and bolts that Slim so faithfully tightened on.”  This also worked for a time, and I learned that nothing is more comforting to me than having my Daddy-O work on my car.

Meineke had to then rescue me and made the diagnosis of “loose cables, again” and prescribed “Jimmie, I say this with love – please never get under the hood of your car, ever.  The metal you have been whacking on with a hammer is so mangled we cannot recognize it.”  This worked for a time, and since Meineke charged me nothing for that visit, I deducted that they are honest and forthright.  They will always receive my business.

Meineke had to rescue me a second time and made another the diagnosis of “new shim did not properly crush onto terminal” and prescribed “remove shim and tighten mercilessly.”  They also prescribed “here’s some tissues, please stop crying.” This worked for a time until the next time my car wouldn’t start, yet I still will give my business to Meineke as they are honest and forthright.

All of this brought me to Friday.  I’d like to note a few things here, some things I learned through this process.

  • There’s a reason why auto mechanics always have grease-stained hands.  That stuff does not come off.
  • Having grease-stained hands is not a good look for me.
  • Men (numerous men, men with mechanic uniforms on, men who make eye contact and then look immediately away, men who speed up to rush past you when moments before they were merely strolling, men with nothing better to do but sit on the curb and smoke) who see a woman banging around under the hood of her car with a hammer will not stop and help her unless they work at Jersey Mike’s in Madison, Tennessee.  Chivalry is dead. Except in Madison, Tennessee.
  • Repeatedly banging on your battery terminal with a hammer will give Slim apoplexy. It’s probably wise to not tell Slim everything.
  • Having a vehicle that repeatedly won’t start will make me miss a visit to Woney’s house when Squash and Nurse Bananahammock are there, and I will get sulky.
  • My new boss is really nice.  I know this because she had to rescue me from the Publix parking lot where I went to get cold medicine and cough drops on my lunch break. My humiliation at having to ask for that rescue after being employed for only three weeks was lessened ever so slightly by her niceness.

I’ve put the hammer away.  I’m out of paper towels.  I now have calluses on my hands from all the mechanic work I’ve done.  I know more about this car than I ever wanted to know, and it does not fill me with joy that I know it.  It’s a marvelous thing that I am independently wealthy and also made of money because my car is now scheduled for a diagnostic session to determine why it intermittently won’t start and a catalytic converter repair, left over from last year’s separate car saga titled “Drama: Jimmie’s Car Falls Spectacularly Apart”.

You want to know the part that really ticks me off?  I’ve been stranded numerous times lately with this car, in parking lots and at gas stations, and in not a single instance was I doing something fun.  I bought no new shoes.  I was not making out with Dwayne Johnson in some swanky hotel.  I wasn’t even making out with Slim!  I wasn’t eating chocolate.  I was doing boring stuff like buying gasoline and cough drops.  Huff.  How annoying.

Please send money.

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