Monday, January 10, 2005

Just when I thought we had come so far...

So there we were at Advanced Auto Parts, John, a nice employee named Ray, and myself trying to fix the perplexing problem of having not one, but both headlight bulbs burnt out at the same time. In order to properly replace the bulbs, one must pop the hood and unscrew a star-shaped socket with a socket wrench. This is no small task, since the parts are all in hard-to-reach places. About 20 minutes into this, a beat-up Chevy minivan parks in the space next to my car, and a rumpled thin woman with long straight red hair and a little kid hop out- he looks about 9 or 10 years old. His name is Zachary- I know this because his mother calls him at least 20 times. He immediately sees us and, captivated, strolls over, despite his mother calling, exasperated, "Zachery, come on. Leave the people alone!". He asks John and Ray, who are concentrating on removing my left headlight, what the problem was, and how they were going to fix it, in the slightly annoying little kid way. But obviously, the kid does know stuff about cars. They are nice enough to him and answer his questions the way anyone would acknowledge a slightly annoying little kid, and he too settles back, standing next to my right headlight and begins to watch the menfolk. Ray drops the socket wrench, and it clatters to the ground right near Zachary's feet. He picks it up, and I extend my hand so that I can hand it back to Ray, or at least put it in a place he can easily grab it. The kid looks at me with a look that said, "You fool," then with the wrench in his hand, walks around me, goes over to John, and hands him the wrench. At that time, Zachary's mom comes out with another clerk, and tells him, "I don't know what's wrong with this headlight. My son over there took a look at it and told me to bring it here." Considering this information, and how the woman sort of strikes me as one of those overly permissive low boundary parents, I began to suspect that Zachary was probably the little king of his castle, and this type of treatment of women was not new to him.

Okay, yeah, he's 10. And probably he sees me as an enemy because as a 10 year-old, he believes the natural 10 year-old belief that every female on the planet excluding his mother has a terminal contageous case of cooties. And John thinks I'm overreacting. But damn, don't they teach these kids anymore that, yes, GIRLS, no matter how pink or icky or cootie infested, also are able to FIX CARS??? Has this kid grown up in a sexist bubble where Dora The Explorer, Hey Arnold's Helga, and hell, even Harriet The Spy, are simply not spoken of? Plus, where are this kid's manners? If I was a 10 year old kid, and let's say I was in the lingerie section of Montgomery Ward, and a man happened to be standing there with his wife as she buys bras, and if let's say his wife dropped a bra, and it landed at my feet, and the man came over and extended his hand to take it back, I, being the polite and respectful-of-my-elders child that I was, would have handed it to him, despite the fact that it was definately not a traditionally a man's item, then turned around and ran away before I could laugh, because at age 10, bras and boobs are funny things, but that's a different story for a different time.

Sigh, I just thought we had just come so far.

By the way, we did fix my headlights.

No, I think you answered your question yourself hon. Since Ray and I were paying more attention to the headlight than the kid or his mom, I missed the part about her not having a clue on what's wrong with her headlight (which from the looks of things it was just burned out) and that her 10 year old son knew to take it to the auto parts store. I think some people just shouldn't be parents. If you can't grasp the concept of a burned out lightbulb, god knows how you are rasing your kid. Like Micah sometimes says that certain people he sees or meets sometimes make him wish they would pass a law making you get a licence to have children. I think this would be one of those cases.

Love You,
That would piss me off, too. In fact, it does.
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