Friday, November 25, 2005

My Altar Ego

Today, I was the last person to leave the office. I was the last car in the parking lot as the evening got colder and darker. And of course, the parking lot is in a not-so-great part of town, located about 3 blocks from a prison pre-release center. I inserted the key in the ignition, the car started and died. I turned the key again and the same thing happened, and happened again, and happened again.

Rather than walk the dark parking lot back to the office, I figured it would be easier and safer to walk the half block to McDonald's and use the pay phone outside to call my brother. The phone ate my 50 cents - twice - without completing the calls. Therefore, I had to walk the 2 block back to the office through the cold dark night. Did I mention that I work a few blocks from a prison pre-release center? I called my brother who said he'd come down to help. I walked back to the car (remember - dark, cold night; prison pre-release center) to wait for him. It only took him about 25 minutes to get to me but during that time I struggled to not feel sorry for myself. Continue reading this post, to find out if I was successful in my struggle.

I feel most helpless, lonely and single when I have car troubles. I've done a pretty good job of taking care of myself all these years. I can cook, clean, mow grass, shovel snow, balance a checkbook, and even rewire a lamp. I own and know how to use some power tools. Professionally, I'm very good at what I do. Therefore, I feel I'm well within my rights to NOT have to know anything about cars.

It's not that I'm not capable of understanding the mechanics of an engine, I don't think I should have to know them. That's a man's job. And since there is no man in my life, I feel I've received the short end of the gear shift.

Calling anybody for help I feel I'm inconveniencing them. Actually, it's not just a feeling, but a fact - I AM inconveniencing them. Spouses have an expectation of being cared for; single friends and family members come second...or lower.

I was reading a blog post by Carolyn McCulley where she quoted her pastor, Joshua Harris as saying "A single woman should feel honored and cherished in this church whether or not she has a boyfriend." When I have to take care of car issues - repairs, oil changes, even scraping or brushing off the ice and snow - I don't feel cherished. And when I have to ask for help, I feel bothersome.

The logical answer to handling car problems would be to get a AAA membership and also make sure my cell phone is fully charged so I don't get in situations where I'm stranded alone in cold, dark parking lots. But I don't want to be logical. I spend too much of my days being logical, and always having to think and plan. I want to be cherished. I want to be #1 to someone. I want someone else to do the thinking, especially where cars are concerned.

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