Thursday, August 23, 2012

How Many Hallings Does it Take to Open a Trunk?

My sister is back in Pittsburgh.

Which is to say, my sister is back in Pittsburgh!!!!!

And I am super excited to have her here.  She came out with my parents yesterday for her final year of school, and moved into a house with some guys named Hank and Frank. (No, I am not kidding.)

Anyway, today we drove out to Ikea to pick up a mattress for her, so that she wouldn't spend the next 9 months sleeping on a futon cushion on the floor. Oh college...

And when I say we drove, I really mean that I drove, thanks to a zipcar reservation.  I have been a member of zipcar for a couple of years now, and I love it.  It wouldn't be practical if I needed to drive somewhere everyday, but for the city dweller I am who absolutely needs a car only once or twice a month, it is the perfect solution. If you live in a city, and don't want to buy a car, sign up for zipcar, its great. (Disclaimer: Zipcar has never paid me. Though if they wanted to give me some driving credits for talking nice about them I wouldn't say no...)

The thing about never owning your own car is that being a good driver is one thing, but actually being good with the logistics of cars is quite another.  I wouldn't say I am an extraordinary driver, but I've never been in an accident and I can drive a manual transmission, so I'd say that's at least above average in America.  When it comes to cars though.  I am so clueless.  To the point that it's kind of embarrassing.

For instance:

- I got my license in 2004.  It wasn't until 2010 that I ever pumped my own gas. I still hate pumping my own gas. I find the experience completely overwhelming every time.

- It was June, of this year in 2012 that I learned how to put air in a tire. On a date no less. (Apparently, my vehicular incompetence wasn't a deal breaker.)

- I parallel parked to pass my drivers test, and I've never done it since. Never.

Between my ineptitude at tasks we consider teenagers adept enough to handle, and the fact that when you rent a zipcar you find yourself in a new model of car you are unfamiliar with - hilarity and frustration often ensue when I need to do things, like, say, open the trunk.

We're back at Ikea now - remember how this story started about a trip to the happiest place on earth?  I've pulled up to the front so that we can load my sisters newly acquired mattress, expedit bookshelf, and houseplant. (oh college...)

"Can you pop the trunk she asks?"

"Sure," I said.

Except I couldn't.

I looked down next to the drivers door where the trunk lever usually is, but there was only a lever for the gas.

I hit the unlock button, but the trunk still wouldn't open.

I pulled another lever, and heard a pop, and thought "success!" Until I realized I had actually popped the hood and not the trunk.

Finally, I crawled in the back, to grab the emergency-if-you-are-kidnapped-you-can-get-yourself-out-of-the-trunk handle. You know, the one that glows in the dark?  Except that there wasn't one.

Finally, I grabbed the manual out of the dashboard, desperate at this point. Meanwhile, my sister, who is generally better than I am when it comes to cars, is laughing at me, but also can't figure out how to open the trunk.

For the record, we are two college educated women, who can run far,  move furniture themselves, navigate public transportation all over the world, and even speak other languages. But we can't open the goddamn trunk. I felt like a failure to feminists everywhere.

We eventually got the stuff in, by just shoving it through the open back doors, into the trunk.  I mean, we found a solution. All's well that ends well, right?

Though, for the record, I will NEVER buy a Mazda 3 Hatch.


  1. That's great you use a Zipcar rather than throwing all the money at a car you'd barely use. My prior roommate stated his intentions to never own a car and it really blew my mind at the time but he was an avid cyclist and loved the lifestyle. Enjoy having your sister in the 'burgh!

    1. Thanks Katelyn! Zipcar has been terrific. I suppose that someday I'll grow up and will be a car-owner, but its working out really well for right now. I don't cycle as much as I should - once I outfit my bike (Gladys) with a basket, I'm hoping that will increase my cycling habits.