25A or 25A?

For anyone who doesn’t know how to change a fuse in their car, get comfy because this is for you.  If you do know, then just enjoy my silliness.

To begin this blog I need to go back about seven years. … When I was 18 years old and in my first year of college I was driving a little black beater car.  It was a two-door, Pontiac Grand Prix (that should really be considered a one-door because the driver’s side door only opened from the outside if you punched it really hard).   It was a decent car that got me around but it wasn’t without its struggles.  I spent a good amount of time hoping nothing would happen to it because I was completely ignorant when it came to taking care of cars.  And now that I was at college, dad was 5 hours away.

One day while blissfully driving to the store, completely minding my own business, my car just started honking.  I swear my hands were not anywhere near the horn!!  I even took them completely off the wheel for a moment (don’t worry I’m excellent at steering with my knee).  Other cars were staring at me wondering why in heaven’s name I was honking, but little did they know I had no clue either.  I just had to sit there and let them think I was nuts.  After a while the honking stopped and I went on my merry little way wondering what in the world my car was trying to tell me.   A few weeks went by without another incident so it wasn’t long before I completely forgot about my car’s little tantrum and thus did nothing to try and figure it out.  Until one morning when I was lovingly informed by my roommate that my car started honking at about 3 am and continued to honk for a solid 30 minutes.  It was parked outside of my roommate’s friend’s dorm who promptly called her to tell her to shut my car up.  Because she’s an angel, she didn’t want to wake me up so instead she sat outside with my car and an RA trying to figure out how to get it to calm down.  When it finally stopped assaulting the peaceful night with its screeching, the fuse had been completely blown and it had awoken almost everyone in the dorms.  Except for me.  I was, however, made to feel very guilty about the whole thing by a lot of people who lost sleep that night.  I’d have felt worse if they hadn’t kept me up every other night with their drunken idiocies.  My favorite guilt trip though came from the RA.  He came up to me in the cafeteria and said, “Would you mind making sure that never happens again?  It was extremely annoying and inconvenient.”  My response?  “Yeah, I’ll be sure to read my car a bedtime story and sing it a lullaby from now on to avoid another freak out.”  I mean seriously?? How on earth was I supposed to know that my car would honk in the middle of the night completely on its own?

Well, if only I had known to check the fuse the first time it threw a fit, I might have actually been able to avoid it.  Whoops.  Lesson learned.   And for the record, once I learned what the fuse was and how to replace it, I opted not to.  I didn’t know a car horn could flip out like that, and I wasn’t about to give it a chance to do it again.

Fast forward to two weeks ago, I’m 25 years old and I’m quite accustomed to living on my own.  Which is good because unlike that first year away, dad is about a 36 hour drive away instead of a measly 5.

One night, recently I had a hankering for a frosty from Wendy’s.  The craving hit and the craving hit hard.   I live in a very small town and the only Wendy’s near me is in another small town about 10 minutes away.  I climbed in my car and set out for my delicious, and obviously healthy, frosty.  I should add here that the car I drive now is significantly nicer than my old beater Pontiac.  It’s a lovely Ford Explorer and all doors open and close properly without having to be punched.

After going through the drive-through, I reached to roll up my window only to find that it wouldn’t roll up.  At first I thought it had to be some sort of fluke so I just kept trying.  I was pulling the little button up over and over but it was to no avail.  I pulled over to the side of the road and tried everything I could think of.  Which really just consisted of turning the car off and then back on again to see if it would somehow change its mind.  It did not.  So I pulled back onto the road and began my 10 mile drive back home with a frozen beverage in hand and 20 degree weather blowing in my face.  Definitely ended up with more frost than I bargained for.

Due to my previous encounter, I figured it was another blown fuse and I was feeling pretty knowledgeable and confident.  I promised myself that I’d take a look at it first thing in the morning.  When the morning came, I opened my car manual to find out where my fuse box was located.  It was an easy find and I was quite pleased with myself.  But when I knelt down on the ground and reached down under the steering wheel, to pop open the box, it would not budge.  Not one… .little…tiny…bit.   Nothing.   I tried multiple times but the only things that would budge were my knees scraping on the gravel and swear words slipping out of my mouth.  After spending a good half hour on it I decided that I’d go to the auto parts store to buy the fuse and then try again later.  Seeing as I was extremely knowledgeable about fuses I figured this would be no problem.  I looked up which number of fuse corresponded with the windows and discovered that I would be purchasing a 25A fuse.  Once in the store, I located the fuses and perused the aisle.  Because I am a young, blonde woman, it usually doesn’t take long in a store like this for a greasy man with horrible grammar to approach me and offer me help.  It’s nice that people are willing to help, but in these situations I feel like these men are just thinking something like “this poor girl, ain’t gotta clue.”  So in these moments I like to have pretend conversations in my mind, in which I would say something witty such as, “well sir, I may not have a clue but at least I have all of my teeth.”

I’ll admit he was quite helpful though.  With missing teeth and missing syllables he quickly located the 25A fuse for me.  I thought, since he was so helpful despite me not having asked for his help, I’d drop a few hints about how I couldn’t get my fuse box open.  I must have worked it in at least 3 times, 3 different ways but he was obviously not accustomed to flirting.  That, or I am not as smooth as I’d like to think.  I was about to start batting my eyelashes when I suddenly remembered my dignity was at stake so I just bought the fuse and went along, determined to get that box open myself.

When I got home, it took another hour before I finally got that dang fuse box to crack.  AN HOUR!!  Keep in mind that the whole time I was kneeling on the gravelly ground, with my neck kinked and head shoved under the wheel.  AND my poor little hands were freezing from the cold, and throbbing from the pounding, scraping, and pulling of that tiny little plastic box.  By this point the fuse that I was trying to fix wasn’t the only one that had blown.  Somewhere in my brain I could feel something pop and I had started to become pretty angry and upset over the fact that I couldn’t do something that should be so simple.  As embarrassing as it is to admit, I was actually starting to fight tears.  But I persevered and fought back the tears.  Because as if this wasn’t hard enough already, I didn’t need my vision blurred.

When I finally got it open, the floodgates opened and I could not stop the tears from rolling.  But at least they were rolling with relief.   I located the fuse that needed replacing only to discover what?!  That I bought the wrong fuse.  Correct number.  Wrong fuse.  Who in the world knew that there could be more than one fuse with the same dang number???? What’s the point????   Annoyed beyond belief, I stormed back into that auto parts store to return the incorrect fuse and buy the correct one.  My previous helper was very amused by my return and even brought a friend with him to help me this time.  I’d be willing to bet girls like me, over confident and a little flustered, are what keep them entertained at their jobs.  They proceeded to give me a lesson on how 25A and 25A are somehow not the same.  Could have fooled me.  After about 10 minutes of this lesson I finally asked, so if 25A and 25A mean different things, then does that mean that $3.99 and ‘free’ can mean the same thing?  Luckily they were smart enough to take that as a hint that I no longer wanted to listen to their logic, or lack thereof, and freed me to attend to my vehicle with the correct 25A fuse.

With already bloody knees, and banged up fingers, I knelt down and gingerly slid the new fuse in its rightful place, turned my car on, and pushed the window button.  What sweet relief I felt as the glass slowly appeared from the abyss inside the door and connected to the top to shield me from the cold!

While I do believe that asking for help is okay, and very necessary sometimes, I was grateful that I remained stubborn throughout this one.  Many times I wanted to cave and call a big strong man to come open the tiny little box.  But every time I talked myself out of it.  And I’m even grateful the clueless mechanic didn’t respond to my feeble flirting attempts.  Despite the fact that I cried over something simple, bruised my knees, and banged up my fingers… I kept trying.  I prayed for help and I pushed along.  And I figured it out.  It may seem small to you, but it was a big victory in my book.

What I hope someone learned from me today:

Always keep trying.

There’s no need to cry over a blown fuse, save your tears for the victory.

And the most important lesson of all: 25A and 25A are very, very different.

fuse-25a

In correct 25A: small, clear, plastic casing.


Correct 25A: silver, metallic casing.  About quadruple the size of incorrect 25A.

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