My New (Temporary) Relationship

A couple of weeks ago my car broke down, and for a week, the mechanic kept promising to fix it, but all sorts of emergencies got in the way, and he had to take care of those cars first. Emergencies? My car is the only one I have, and during the time it wasn’t working, my 97-year-old father had to go to the emergency room, doctors, and again to the hospital to take care of a medical crisis. How much more of an emergency could there possibly have been? Still, they did fix the car. For a couple of days, anyway.

Two or three days ago, the accelerator cable got stuck when I was out doing errands, and I had to drive back to the house at 5 miles per hour in second gear. I called the mechanic, thinking I’d try to make it to the repair shop, but he said to go home and he would come out and look at the car. I got back to the house, and waited. And waited. And waited. He never came. Never called.

The nknightext day I called him again, and he said he’d stop by after he finished for the day. Again, I waited. And waited. Made sure I had my phone by me so he could call if he couldn’t make it. Never came. Never called.

So this morning I called him again, and asked if he had forgotten me. He admitted that he had. He promised to come by in an hour or two, and said he’d call when he was on his way. So I made sure I had my phone. And I waited. And waited. He never came. Never called.

Finally I left to go to check on my father (luckily the hospital is within walking distance), and on my way, it occurred to me that this little contretemps with the mechanic seemed remarkably like a relationship, always waiting for him to stop by or call.

I know all relationships aren’t like that, but enough of them are to make me glad that my foray into online dating didn’t work out. I can just see me, sitting by the phone or the door the rest of my life, waiting for calls that never come, for visits that never materialize. Ouch.

Luckily, this particular relationship is a finite situation. One day the car will be fixed and I’ll have my life back. And that will be the end of waiting for men folk who so easily forget that I am alive.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

3 Responses to “My New (Temporary) Relationship”

  1. Malcolm R. Campbell Says:

    I seldom believe people from car repair shops when they say they’re going to call, stop by, get it for me wholesale, provide a loner that actually runs, or are paying me for all the time I lost while the car they fixed wasn’t working yet.

  2. rami ungar the writer Says:

    If this were my car, I would be calling after the first hour to see when he was going to come by, and then threaten to go to his competition if he didn’t show up. And if I thought I could get away with it, I’d withhold some of his pay for keeping me waiting.

  3. beccaswope Says:

    You need to fire that mechanic and find another one. This guy must not be in business to help people but just to waste their time. I have some experience with goof-off mechanics, believe me. You need to call around and get another one. Anybody who does this is basically passive-aggressively jerking you around.

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