Gift Card, Anyone?

I was at the auto parts store again the other day. I'm beginning to think that my dear hubby hates to go as much as I do since he's been sending me so often as of late. And while I was standing at the counter I saw a sign with a Christmas stocking advertising holiday gift cards. Nothing says lovin' like available money to spend keeping your clunker in running order.

I do have to say that this trip to the AP store was much better than the last one. I smelled better, too. And I did get pretty decent service. There could be two reasons for this.

1. A woman waited on me. (I have theories about women who work in auto parts stores, and most of them are kinda scary. Try a little make-up on occasion. And maybe run a comb through your hair before coming to work. Both of these things will greatly improve your image.)

2. Based on the last trip there, I'm now on their "do not mess with her" list.

The only questions that I was asked were intelligent ones. I really tried to avoid giving the year of the car (not that they weren't going to figure it out anyway) but finally had to divulge that it's older than her teenage son. I had slight heart failure when she said the price of a new battery. I asked where on earth the $45 ones went. She looked at me like I had just stepped from the stone age. I guess you know you've owned a car too long when you remember batteries being half the price you're paying.

So after paying, and noticing the gift card sign (mental note, in case I don't know what to get hubbs for Christmas I can always get him one of these), we stepped outside to install the battery. She asked if the hood was popped.

This car is nearly 16 years old. It has 220,000 miles on it and still has all it's original parts. It runs like a train and has been paid off many, many years ago. We love this little car, but it's days are numbered. The door handle barely works, the automatic locks won't unlock automatically, and it's rusting apart. The latest crisis has been the hood release. The release broke off inside leaving a bunch of sheared cable. One needs pliers to pull on these cables to release the hood. I had to ask for pliers to open the hood. The lady looked at me like I was nuts AND from the stone age. I then realized that my husband had locking pliers (I know these have names, but I don't care to know what it is) locked onto the cable and dangling within reach. I now feel on par to the Auto Parts Woman.

But things did improve. It was a slow day at the AP store and two men felt the need to come out to assist with this job. They waited until the woman pulled the battery changing cart out the door herself (I held it for her because I know what shopping with a stroller is). When she actually had to use tools they were there like stink on a skunk. Well one was, the other was busy hacking up a lung. It looked rather like a major surgical procedure, but the job got done. And then the men disappeared like dust in the wind, leaving the poor woman to clean up and tote the cart back into the store. I have theories about auto parts store men as well.

From there I was summoned (thanks to my own cell phone) to Lowe's to pick up a tool. This is only slightly better than auto parts stores. I needed a pocket hole drill bit. I was as clueless as the dog that I took with me, so instead of wandering all through the tool aisles I simply found someone and asked for help. I'm a woman and I can do this. I loved the man who waited on me. He said I didn't have to be clueless, but I informed him that indeed, I did. If I had a clue I'd be asked to stop way more often than I am. To which he answered with this gem of wisdom: "You don't have to be stupid, just act it."

I think I'll adopt that as my life's motto from now on. I love to be informed. I love to learn new things. But who's to say I need to let my husband know that I know how to fix the car? Or use his tools? Or change a light bulb?


Kellan said...

Cute post! My husband is always working on cars (right now it is a 1967 Mustang he is fixing up for our girls) and I know this whole ritual - not that he ever sends me. I used to date an auto parts store guy - thanks for bringing that memory back (woo-hoo!). This was a fun post - see ya, Karen.

Jennifer said...

How smart is that... you dont have to be stupid, just act it. Unfortunately in my house, I can't be nor act stupid, otherwise there will be issues as to how things are fixed etc. etc. LOL. I dont know if I blogged about this or not, but the night before my husband left for Honduras (actually 2.5 hours before we were to leave for the airport) he was trying to fix the toilet that was stopped up thanks to a couple of combs and a couple of little kids. He was trying to tell me that you don't need a wax seal because he didn't know what it was and he could fix the toilet (it had to be taken out back and alot of work was done to get those stupid combs out of the toilet) and if it wasnt for me, there would be no wax seal ring thing on the toilet now. I would be slowly killing myself with all the gasses that come from underground. But because they do thinks different in honduras than here, he only knows the honduras way. (for instance, laying ceramic floor tile involves cement - here putting cement on the kitchen floor - not so good) sigh. oh to be able to act stupid some days.

Karen said...

Jennifer - it's wonderful that you were blessed with tons of common sense. What with being a single mom to that brood while trying to live in two different countries, you need it.

The Sports Mama said...

I've learned a handy tip from our local Checker Auto Parts.... and I don't think I actually told my husband. :)

If you call into the store to ask them to grab the part and set it aside for you to come and pick up.. you save 10%.

How cool is that? I get to save money by asking them to do something I would have had to ask them to do when I got there anyway, but this way I don't look so much like I don't know what I'm asking for! :)

Karen said...

Sports Mama- that's wonderful! I wonder if it's just Checker? Saving money, saving time AND looking great while doing it scores big in my book.

Madame Queen said...

I went back and read the post about your last trip to the AP store -- no WONDER you're on their "do not mess with" list! I couldn't believe that you were able to find a silver lining in THAT cloud!

I need to figure out what I need to act stupid about. Unfortunately I think it's too late for most things -- laundry, dishes, yardwork, etc. Dang.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Who knew Lowe's employees could be so helpful? One just opened down the street from our house. I may just stop in and see if they can offer me any wise advice like you got.

Kellan said...

Hey Karen - Thank you so much for the Anniversary wishes - take care and see you soon.

Karen said...

BB's Mom - Lowe's is a love/hate relationship in our house. Our local Lowe's wasn't open until a month before our new home was finished being built - by us. We drove an hour to the next nearest Lowe's EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT. Frequently through the week and weekend as well. Talk about your romantic date.

Zoe said...

i often play the i'm stupid but really not card with my hubby. i have said it before and i will say it again i donn't do manula labor...or dirty jobs...aside from raising boys.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Lowe's is an all love relationship for me. I frequently pass by a really close Home Depot to go all the way over to Robinson for some Lowe's love. Mostly I'm mad at Home Depot because of the chaos that was our kitchen remodel, but it doesn't help their case that the employees are all so rude.

I'm totally tapping you for tips if we end up building. Why learn from your own mistakes when you can gain wisdom from others?

Be Inspired Always said...

I do that too. My husband thinks he has the pants in the family, but I just make him believe that. If he had the house it would be a mess. LOL


Karen said...

BB's Mom - Home Depot is on my black list. At one point they refused to do returns for me because I didn't have the receipt. When you're purchasing thousands of dollars worth in a day the least they can do is return $10 here and there. Lowe's rocks at returns.

Jennifer said...

I love Lowes and Home Depot. That is a scary store for me - as well as Micheals. Scary because I can go to the store and spend thousands of dollars (at a home improvememnt store anyway, hundreds at Micheals) on stuff that I do not need. I live in a rental, why do I need 4 pedastal sinks, but if I had the money I would end up with tons of things that i wouldn't need, LMAO. And at Micheals, I would come out with crap that I have no clue what to do with, or what to use it for.