I was on that errand of all errands: find boots for the winter! Boots must be comfortable, pretty, and if possible, warm and waterproof. On my way home from work I dash into Macy’s quickly to return a pair that didn’t quite pan out. When I get back out into the parking lot (after browsing the boots, bags, and clothes), I find that my car’s lights are on–but nobody is home. Cough chug chug. No engine turn over. Argh.
I have a full emergency kit in back, ranging from a shovel to a tow-cable, so I rummage around for my jumper cables. They’re hand-me-downs from my father, a gift upon my achieving that great milestone of middle-class American life: getting my own car. I find the cables and yank them out. Looping them around my arm, I notice something odd: there are only three alligator clips. Three clips, and a frayed tassel of copper wire. Sigh.
I rummage around a bit more, but no luck. The missing clip doesn’t show. Great. It’s cold, I’m stranded, and I don’t even have boots to keep me warm.
I stand in the middle of the lot to flag down evening shoppers. There aren’t many. An elderly couple would love to help me dear, but they don’t have cables, do I? Um, not really. Well then, very sorry dear. They’d love to help, they really would, but they were afraid they couldn’t. Good luck, though.
Luck did good. A teenage girl standing in between the double doors was picked up by her father. Both frum. I approached the car and explained my problem.
“Do you have cables?”
I squirm. “No.”
“I don’t have cables in this car. But I live only five minute away. I can come back with them.”
Sounds good to me!
I retire the car and entertain myself with the child’s hobby of making parents feel guilty and worried at the same time.
“Remember those cables?” I texted my father. “Well one of the clips is missing.”
“Pretty sure they were all there when I gave them to you,” he texted back. But he hadn’t even hit send before my mother was calling to find out if I was okay, if I was cold, if I had roadside assistance, was I sure I wasn’t cold, where was I, how did it happen, could it happen again, maybe I should subscribe to roadside?
“Don’t worry,” I soothed. “There’s a nice Jewish gentleman going to get cables to give me a jump.”
All worry on the other end of the line dissolved into a deep interest. “A gentleman?” I hear my father call from behind my mother. “How old is he?”
I roll my eyes and grin. “Oh, I would say about 50. He was picking up his daughter.”
“A daughter?” my mother doesn’t miss a beat. “Maybe he also has a son?”
“Moooother,” I groan, conceding the round.
“Just giving you something to post about.”
So I did.