One of Man’s Greatest Pride and Joy

This may seem a little on the sexist side, but I only know one side.  Let me tell you that there is nothing more satisfying than when you’ve worked on your vehicle with a job well done.  I’m not just talking about oil changes or fixing a flat, (one of the cheapest things to do) no, I’m talking about getting in and working on the mechanical stuff.

Let me give you an example, When I was eighteen, I had this beautiful “85 Dodge Daytona.  I loved that car, that was a great vehicle for a kid to own.  Why?  Because you could literally Fix ANYTHING on it if you wanted to get deep enough.  A learning car for sure.

One day I had an issue with getting my window to roll up.  This was before broadband when you could only get online by tying up the phone lines untill someone picks up the phone and disconnects you.  So we had to look in these wonderous creations made with paper that had information actually typed on it called a book.  This was no ordinary fix your car for dummies book, this was a take your car apart and rebuild it kinda book specifically for Dodge Daytonas.

Anyway I looked in this book and found out that there is an actual plastic track that had simply snapped.  So I went to dodge bought the track and replaced it.  This was also after I had replaced the hatch back lock in the parking lot of Dodge.  In retrospect that may have been a slap in the face to the Dodge technicians, but what the hell.

A year or so later I grew up a little more and traded in that car for something more sensible, practical.  I did it without blinking.  Why?  Because I had something else to take pride in.  I had a good woman.  She made me want to grow up just a little bit more.  A couple of years later I had a son.

Now at this point of the story I should tell you that I traded my Dodge for a Ford. It was against my better judgement but it’s the car my wife, then fiance wanted.   Although it had died before it was paid off it was a decent car.  To be fair, I was using it for work while I was repairing copiers so technically the job killed it.

I did install a remote start in it though.  It felt so good to be getting back into the workings of a car again.  This time with live wires!  I was having an issue getting it to start.  So my wife suggested that I have my brother-in-law help.  Heres what I heard, (ladies just trying to help you understand why guys might go bonkers at this point.) “OBVIOUSLY, you’re not man enough to fix it yourself so have a real man help you.” Ouch.

Don’t get me wrong, this is what I understood “another set of eyes couldn’t hurt”.   I knew what she meant but still, ouch.  That’s okay though, he couldn’t figure it out either.  I finally figured out where I went wrong and fixed it.  It worked. That moment I was MAN.  I didn’t have to roar, I had the fierce gaze of a warrior.  Smaller men feared me and women adored me…I was MAN.

Cars nowadays aren’t so easy.  Now it’s mostly computerized.  Screws aren’t the only things holding the interior covers on.  You need special tools to even replace a headlight.  My car now I have to practically take off my fender to replace the headlight.  I miss the old cars because they were easy, they made more sense.  I keep thinking that one day I might attempt to salvage an ’85 Daytona, and rebuild it.

That’ll have to be in the distant future.  I have my other pride and joys to take care of first.  For a man, working with your hands is an awesome thing.  A real man, one with integrity and love will gladly give his hands for his family.

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