I drove home on a beautiful shiny sparkly hot day. The road stretches ahead and I remember the reason why I bought this car in the first place. As the salesman busily tried to sell me the car that was within my budget, I spotted the purple and silver car behind him. I saw it as soon as I drove in. I test drove the ordinary one first. There were no gadgets or playthings or sat navs or blue tooth music devices. It was nice but it was ordinary. The purple and silver car stared at me as much as I stared at it. There was no contest. How much is that one, I say, dreamily. It didn’t really matter how much it was because I knew I was going to get it (the pain of that decision kicked in about 3 months later!).
You see as soon as I test drove that one, I pressed a tiny button and the roof disappeared in one swoop. I was driving a convertible. Sold!
So, I was driving home from work and as normal I have my ‘Thelma and Louise’ moment as the road stretches towards Denbigh (rather than Mexico) and I press that button. The blue sky eeks through second by second and before you know it the wind is messing my already messy hair. I’m practically on a movie set and the journey home becomes significantly brighter.
That is until there was a clunk. That is until the lights on the dashboard started to flash. That is until I remembered. You shouldn’t open a convertible roof when you’re driving 60mph. I pull over and the roof is mashed up. It’s stuck fast. I push and shove and shout and swear a bit. It won’t budge. And by now in a few minutes the sun has decided to do one and it starts to speck drops of rain.
I’m really frazzled. I drive on in such a stomp wondering how much my ‘Thelma’ moment is going to cost me and I almost start to whimper as I’m already a bit fragile and anything extra to deal with is just one thing too much! What am I going to do? I’ll freeze in the winter. How many layers will I have to wear now that I am driving a permanent convertible??
I drive less enthusiastically for many minutes and then from the corner of my eye I spot a garage that I’ve not been to before. I drive past as I’m not confident enough to just walk in and say – hey can you help me, I stupidly have broken my convertible car because I’m so impatient. I get to the roundabout and decide. No. I will go in and ask for help. The reception is full of men in navy boiler suits with oil on their faces and hands. Funny that.
I sheepishly say, I wonder if anyone can help me and go on quietly to explain what I’ve done. A smiley man about my age comes out and has a go. Nope. No budging there. He looks at me with a look of ‘no idea sorry’. I look back at him with a desperate ‘please help me’ look. He says ;come on then let’s have another go’. He spends the next twenty minutes millimetre by millimetre edging the angry roof while getting me to press the by now tired button. Hey presto. It’s done. Yay, the sky has gone, the button regains consciousness and the roof is safely closed.
Thank you so much I say. I have to refrain from hugging this man in a boiler suit that I haven’t ever met before. It’s fine he says. What do I owe you? Nothing, he says. Wow. Thank you so much I say again and head off without any thought of Thelma or Louise. Or Mexico.
A few weeks later I pass the garage and I remember this kindness and I think I should’ve gone in with something to say thank you and at that moment I drive to Tesco and get some Thorntons and drive back and drop them in. I imagine that mechanics don’t get many boxes of chocolates from the look on their faces. I drove off and I think I felt happier than they did about making the effort to say thanks.
So with this in mind I’d like to say a few more thank yous!
I want to say thank you to you who let me talk freely about Tes although it might be painful to hear. Thank you for telling me that I inspire you despite my protestations and for telling me that you look at your life from a different more positive perspective. Thank you to those who trust and confide in me. Thank you for still texting me from afar and just asking, how are you? Thank you for making me laugh, not just a chuckle. A real belly laugh. Thank you for the hugs. Thank you for helping me even though you hardly know me. Thank you for fixing things I’m no good at fixing. Thank you for coming over unannounced to drink tea. Thank you for making it known how much you value me. Thank you for being so generous. Thank you for your honesty and thank you for loving me despite my flaws. Thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for letting it known I can ring any time. Thank you for talking about normal things. Thank you for not avoiding subjects. Thanks for sharing those photos. Thanks for sharing your ideas. Thanks for your enthusiasm. Thank you for leaning on me and making me feel useful.