Defending Fun

“Fun is my Chinese neighbor’s middle name!” – Rocketman

I know what the title says.  Stay with me.

My car needs its oil changed.  The yellow sign turned on earlier this week with a self-important series of dings:  Change oil soon!

I used to have OnStar.  I got cool messages on my dashboard all the time like “Right rear tire is low” and “don’t run with scissors.”  But OnStar is expensive and for those of us who lived before the age of power steering, it seems a bit excessive. Everybody has cell phones now. And I mean, if you can contact them anytime, who’s to say they’re not listening in the rest of the time?  Like “BigStar” Brother?

Anyway, my car is only 4 years old.  It’s a lovely Saturn Vue, destined to become a classic since the Saturn plants went kaput.  That being said, I am not a car person.  Fortunately, my husband is.  This hearkens back to the days when we had a VW bug.  He learned how to put in new brakes, work on the idle, you name it. He acquired a mechanic’s book and went from there.  No question about it:  the Volkswagens were designed to be easy to use.  Everything was a lever or a goofy huge button, making our bug feel like a road-worthy toy.  What never gets mentioned is that everything in the beetle model is *behind* the engine, which you have to remove in order to tinker.  Kinda like removing someone’s brain every time they have a splinter.

Ruby and I went to the store to purchase the new motor oil.  I got a 5-quart container which we each took turns lifting.  My girl is small but wiry.  She could lift it, proud smile on her face.  That container will become the receptacle for the spent, sludgy oil when Jonathon drains it.  Waste not, want not.

I started to think about how we all need a mental oil change now and then. Oil, in this case, symbolizes motivation and zest for life. The warning signs appear:  apathy, waspiness.  Danger!  Grumpiness ahead!  Too much routine, bill paying and work make Jill snarky.  We need to get out of the familiar and into the new and unexplored.  No mechanic skills necessary.  Let that sludgy, old attitude go.  We can gain much needed perspective.  Girls, and boys, need to have fun. So watch those funny cat videos.  Drag out the high school yearbooks and thank God you no longer look like Dorothy Hamill.  You have my permission.

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