Chivalry Is Dead


Yesterday I felt like such a damsel in distress when my car wouldn’t start.  I stopped at the gas station after work to fill up even though I had half a tank of gas to go.  The temperature is getting really low here and I did not want to risk my tank freezing.

I hate pumping gas!  This was something my husband usually did for me.  So I felt proud of myself for getting out in the artic cold to get the job done.  However, when I hopped back in and started the car, the engine wouldn’t turn over.  I was shocked and tried again.  No luck.  I was puzzled considering that my car is fairly new.

I sat for a few minutes as I decided what to do.  I remembered that my road side service had expired a couple months back.  Luckily Nicholas was asleep in the back seat and I had not picked Jazmine up yet.  I called my aunt to ask her advice and possibly to get a ride.  She suggested that I try getting a jump until my cousin came back with her truck.  “Are there any men around that you can ask for help?” she inquired. 

It was many men floating about but I felt too shy to ask for assistance.  It was cold out and I really didn’t want to inconvenience anyone.  I finally gathered my courage and asked several men for a jump.  They all claimed to have no jumper cables.  One man said he didn’t know how to give a jump.  No one looked concerned.  I asked a few more men and a lone woman.  No luck.  I was a bit surprised at the apathy and relunctance.  I felt so alone!

I almost started crying at the absurdity of it all.  I just wanted to call my husband who would have double-timed it to get to me.  I felt stuck.  I finally thought to call my uncle and as I was talking to him, the car started!  I drove over to their house and he looked at it.  He checked the alternator and the starter which both tested fine.  He said it could have been that the fuel injection system needed degunking so he put a treatment in my tank.

I felt really thankful for his help.  I plan to get my road service renewed as well, as I don’t want to be caught out in the cold ever again!

15 responses »

  1. I’m a little surprised by this. I know we don’t always have our jumper cables, but we know how to use them. It’s hard in this type of situation to know what to do, since you are used to having your husband.

    Your uncle sounds like a sweet man. It sounds like he is someone you can rely on right now.

    (Although I would also put a set of jumper cables in my trunk.)

  2. Cassie~

    My husband had actually put some in my trunk, but I took them out one day while cleaning out the car! I foolishly assumed that I would not need them since I got a new battery over the summer. Lesson learned!

  3. Car problems are so stinky. I wouldn’t know the first thing to do. I do have a hard time believing no one could help you. That’s just so wrong. I hate to think that common courtesy and chivalry is dead. What does that say about us as humans???? Very sad.

  4. Joy~

    I think it says that we have forgotten to take/make time to help others. Even I am guilty of this. We sometimes have the mentality that if it is not our “problem” then it’s not our “problem” if that makes sense. Sometimes people need us and we need people! Whatever happened to the Good Samaritan?

  5. It’s so scary when something like this happens. I learned the hard way to always keep roadside assistance on my car. I am such at a loss when something goes wrong with my car!

    So sorry that no one would help you. It’s different here in the south- when I broke down, I had no less than 5 people stop to ask if I needed anything while I was waiting on the roadside assistance people.

  6. Road service is very important to have, you need it. When I was single I too, had this service. I did have to use it, here and there. I still have it today, as there are times my husband is not available, out of town for work.

    I am sorry to hear that no one came to your assistance. I agree that people can take the attitude it is not their problem. Someone else can deal with it. In the hussle bussle of life, it does seem to have taken on this attitude.

  7. Morocco, it is too bad you had to go though that situation with your car, and the helpless feeling you must have felt. Your uncle sounds like he knows a lot about cars, it is good to have someone like that in your corner. Even newer cars have problems, so it is good you can call on him when needed, he sounds like a good guy.

  8. I”m glad that it started for you. I ran into that my freshman year of college. Apparently I knew more about how to fix a car than the many males I tried to get help from. I’ve actually taken it upon myself to carry jumper cables on me, and learn how to jump start a car so that I wouldn’t feel helpless again.

  9. I’m so sorry to hear about your experience. Chivalry isn’t completely dead but it does tend to be rare these days. It’s a good thing you were at a gas station…much better than the side of the road where there was nothing around.

    I imagine it is really difficult to want nothing more to call your husband in that moment and know that you can’t. I have to admit my thoughts have drifted to you quite often in the last couple of weeks. I get whiny about various things which have happened or I’m having to deal with while my hubby is away on his long trip. I think of you and wonder how you’re doing and hope that you’re hanging in there and finding some happiness in your day.

  10. How frustrating it must have been! I got a flat tire on a busy road one time last year while the King was out of town. I was on my way to pick up Buttercup and the other carpool kids, and noone even slowed down to see if I needed help! I called my roadside service but they claimed it could take an hour to come. The only person I could think of to call was Buttercup’s stepdad to go pick up the kids for me! I hated having to call him for help, but he got the kids, I got my flat fixed and I check my tires regularly now!

  11. I’m glad your uncle was available to help! I remember once when I was student teaching I got a flat tire on the freeway on the way to the school. I was wearing a dress, but got out of the car and started setting the jack so that I could change the tire. Some guy saw me on the OTHER side of the freeway, pulled over, and ran across the freeway to help me. I was grateful for his help, but questioned his sanity!

  12. Oh my goodness, I’m so sad that no one wanted to help you. My husband and I, both are always on the look out for people in need of help. Although I tend to be more careful about it, being a woman. I’m glad that your uncle could help you.

    I know what a lonely feeling that is. When I was single, I lived 500 miles from any of my family, and I only had a few friends. My tire blew out, and I had to call a tire change service, but before they could even show up, my neighbor stopped and changed the tire for me.

    We can all use a little help sometime…

  13. i’m glad you got help! i keep jumper cables in my car, just in case. that way, all i need is another car and a willing participant =)

    i love chivalry when you need it the most. a few years ago i was at a friend’s house pretty late. i realized i needed gas, and HAD to stop. i got to a gas station and there were three men inside with the station attendant. they were not nice looking. they were stiff and uncomfortable looking. one of them was talking to the attendant and i swear SWEAR i had walked into a hold up. the guy at the counter turned around to leave. he had a bag in his hand. i didn’t know what was in it. he walked passed me and out of the store. the two other guys started talking to the attendant, who had gotten on the phone and was describing the guy with the bag to what sounded like the cops. anyway, i paid for my gas and went to walk outside. i was stuck. i needed gas. one of the two guys, who was wearing a dirty jean jacket with holes and a sleeveless shirt that had seen better days looked at me and said “i’ll watch out for you.”

    and he did. he watched over me while i pumped my gas. i’m getting teary-eyed thinking about it. this guy who i had judged… watched over me.

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