The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

What I Learned From WD40 March 4, 2013

Tensioner in place on a model year 1999 7.4L a...

Tensioner in place on a model year 1999 7.4L automotive engine, tensioning the serpentine belt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello all.  Something happened the other day that got me thinking.  Now I realize that me thinking is more often than not a dangerous proposition, but just go with it.  So in an effort to be all independent and self-sufficient and grown up and stuff, I decided to fix a problem without asking for help from anybody.  I had a squeak in my car engine.  I had a squeaky belt.  I had a squeaky serpentine belt.  And what, boys and girls, do we do when something squeaks?  By golly, we squirt that sucker with WD40!  I had bought some not long ago for the purpose of de-squeaking the bedroom and bathroom doors, and the garage door, and…ok, don’t laugh, but some stupid thing I saw on Facebook said something about using it to keep the bathroom mirrors from fogging over.






So anyway.  I was getting ready to leave for work and I thought it would be an opportune moment to de-squeakify the belt on my car.  I sprayed the belt and all the various little pulleys until I didn’t hear anymore squeaks, and suddenly, there was a clank and a thunk and there was the belt, wound around the motor mount, having slipped right off its little wheel.  (Which is also my current mental state, in case you’re interested.)






I called my dad, who didn’t think he could do anything about it and called the shop for me.  I was pretty aggravated about the whole thing of course, because it seems like there is ALWAYS something going on with my car, and I’ve already put quite a bit of money into it, and I really didn’t want to have to throw away any more!  To that end, I talked to someone who volunteers at my church, a lovable old coot who thinks he can do anything.  He was convinced he could fix it and save me some money.  Well, long story short, it turned out he couldn’t.  I ended up taking it to the shop, and it’s still there.  They’re also installing the new headlights I bought on Amazon the other day.






But the whole thing got me thinking.  It all happened because I was trying to be grown up, self-sufficient, and independent.  Read:  I didn’t want to have to ask my dad what to do about a squeaky engine belt, and I figured WD40 is good for that.  But really, what’s wrong with getting help?  What’s wrong with asking for help?  Where did I get the idea that being a grown-up means you never need anybody?  Is it such a bad thing in today’s society to be dependent upon others?  So I thought about it, and I decided that maybe the idea came from how I felt through several years of receiving food stamps, state medical coverage for the kids, etc.   I always felt a sense of shame about it, always overhearing comments and perceiving peoples’ attitudes.  On a similar note, I also have a lot of conflicting emotions when I find myself wishing I had a man in my life and then feeling a vague, feminist guilt for not being completely thrilled and content being on my own.






But the thing is, I think sometimes people have the same conflict about God.  We need Him, but for some weird reason, we don’t want to.  We forget that it’s ok to need God.  That it’s not a bad thing to pray, to ask God for what we need, what we want… thanks to a little cultural indoctrination, we have internalized this idea that it’s a really bad thing to need help, that to be a woman, an adult, we have to do things on our own, to figure things out on our own.   But thanks to a little injudicious use of WD40 and a tendency toward stubbornness,  I was able to learn a little something.  Being an independent, self-sufficient adult does not mean we will never need help.  We will always need our parents and our friends and family, and there is nothing wrong with that.  And we will definitely always need God, and that is the way it’s supposed to be.






Until next time,







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