One night after volleyball…

… around 10pm a cop pulled me over.  I knew I wasn’t speeding b/c I saw the cop, so I wasn’t sure what he was pulling me over for.  The cop comes up… he’s a young looking guy… probably hasn’t been a cop that long.  He shines his flashlight in and says, "Good evening, sir."… I’m thinking, "sir??"  Sheesh… I don’t get all dolled up for volleyball but I wouldn’t consider myself butch looking!  He quickly corrects himself and almost timidly tells me my headlight is out. 
so, friday I avoid going out after work so I don’t have to drive at night w/ the headlight out.  the plan was to over the weekend buy replacement bulbs and install it myself.  I think subconsciously I wasn’t convinced i could actually change the headlight myself b/c i ended up staying in all weekend… did 3 loads of laundry, vaccuumed my whole house, cleaned both bathrooms and ran a load of dishes…
driving to work this morning, I knew things would come to a head tonight b/c I had a board mtg and couldn’t stick to driving during daylight hours.  So… i do a little investigation… open the car manual, open my hood (was kind of surprised I had to go through the hood to change the bulb and it was probably the first time i’ve opened the hood to my car… maybe ever).  It look simple enough but as I drove to work and approached the toyota dealership probably a mile from my house, I eyed the Toyota dealership service entrance longingly… how easy it would be to just pull in, pay whatever they’re gonna charge just so I can avoid doing it myself. I don’t know how much they would charge for something like this but whatever it was, it seemed worth it. stuck to my guns and passed the dealership.  then i see the fred meyer and I think, maybe i’ll drop in a buy the bulbs and then play the girl card at work and get one of my co-workers to change the bulb for me… then i realize i left the tools in the garage when i did my little investigation….damn.
after the board mtg & dinner, at 10:30pm, i hit fred meyer on the way home and buy the bulbs–2 of them b/c I figure i may as well replace both.  I get home, let the engine cool down and then rolled up my sleeves.  Bulb number one required only a flat head screw driver… took about 5 mins.  Confidence riding high.  Bulb number two.  This one had bolts…. step 1. identify the tool that would enable me to remove the bolts.  hmm… good thing I’ve got the car tools thinh bought me I don’t know how many years ago.  I actually did know i needed a socket wrench (though admittedly i had to google to just now to know that it’s called a socket wrench…it was the wrench doohickey in my mind)… Step 2. put tool together.  I got the right size… i’m holding the "socket" and the "wrench" and I’m trying to put the two together and it’s just not fitting.  I don’t know how many times I twisted and turned and angled the thing… i’ll bet an observer would get an equal kick out of watching a kid try to fit a square block into a round hole.  i think to myself… looks like there’s a piece missing and voila!  low and behold a piece labeled adapter!  now we’re rolling… Step 3. unscrew the bolts… lefty loosey, righty tighty… i tried turning left but nothing was budging… maybe it’s rusted shut?  maybe i just need more muscle.  then, i figured, "this light still works; i’ll just deal with it when it goes out."  but my stubborn nature takes over and i am determined not to let this thing defeat me.  so in a stroke of "genius" I notice a doohickey on the top of the wrench. I twist it to one end and try again… no budge.  Then I twist it the other way and well what do you know it worked!  It was smooth sailing after that…
So about half an hour later, i turned on my headlights and gazed proudly at the two headlights i successfully changed all on my own.  I even gave the headlights a wipe down w/ the antibacterial wipe i was using to clean my grimey hands.  ah… the beauty in the shimmer and shine of their gleam… they were quite a sight to behold. 
I can proudly say that I now know what a socket wrench is and how to use it.  And 5 years from now when my headlights go out again, and i dust off my all-in-one car tools kit, armed with my knowledge from tonight, I’m sure I’ll have the distinct pleasure of discovering again just how a socket wrench works.  =)

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