You know, as a wife and now a mother, I really to want to avoid the title of constant nag. So I try my best to just be cool, man. What I’ve learned is that one must choose her moment to tell her partner that his way is not the workable way.
Take for instance when Dave decided that the day before we left for this trip, he would give the Baby Bus a much needed oil change with the help of Asleep at the Wheel bassist Dave Miller.
“Don’t you want to take it to a pro…to someone who knows about changing oil in this very specific European type vehicle?” I asked.
“No,” Dave said “It will cost too much money and besides I should know how to change the oil in our traveling machine myself”
“Fair enough.” I said, though I still thought I was right.
Or let us look at Thursday ‘round noontime, when the check oil light suddenly lit up the dash with it’s cute little oil can symbol.
“Don’t you think we should pull over and try to find a mechanic who can make sure you didn’t make any oil change missteps?” I asked
“No” Dave stated most emphatically, “No one knows how to work on these vehicles, and besides, I can probably figure it out and fix it. I should know how to fix our traveling machine myself.”
“Fair enough.” I said, even though I thought I was right.
So I played with the baby while Dave replaced the O-ring, reset the filter and the oil cap, poured more oil in which ended up being too much oil which he then had to drain out again. And the oil was still leaking. But did I say anything? I most certainly did not.
One hour later, we stopped to check the oil. Lo and behold we has lost almost two quarts!
“Something must be wrong with the engine!” Dave exclaimed, “It certainly isn’t anything oil change related. The leaking keeps happening, but I’ve done everything I can to make it right! We must have blown some kind of gasket!”
“I’ve got an idea.” he said. “ We’ll make an appointment for tomorrow morning in Orlando at a Sprinter Dealership. It’s only nine hours away under perfect conditions.
We’ll drop the Baby Bus there, rent a car and drive to the gig in Palm Beach. For now, it looks like we’ll have to stop every hour and fill up the leaking oil tank! Let’s go!”
“Don’t you think we should have a mechanic look at the engine and make sure it’s not a simple case of an oil change gone wrong?” I asked
“No,” said Dave dismissively. “Like I said, no one works on these vehicles, and we’re just going to waste time waiting for someone to tell us they can’t help us. To Orlando!”
In that moment, I realized that I was going to have to risk being a bit naggy. My husband was in the grips of Do-it-yourself dementia. I needed to shake him out of it.
“No.” I said kind of loudly and maybe a tad bit hysterically, “Before we inch our way to Orlando we’re stopping here and having someone look at the engine!”
“Fine,” he said exasperatedly, rolling his eyes when he thought I wasn’t looking.
So we found a nice mechanic to look at the engine.
“It looks like your oil cap is on wrong,” he said, reaching over and screwing it on the right way.
And we haven’t had a problem since.
Sometimes there are no sweeter words than “I told you so.”