For a long time I have wanted a scooter, both for practical and whimsically romantic reasons. So I bought one. It is both wonderful and whimsical, almost always practical and makes me wildly happy….most of the time. Sometimes it does not make me wildly happy and it has forced me to learn new things and venture into experiences far outside of my comfort zone.
(I wrote this bit a while back)
“A few weeks ago I bought a scooter with a broken battery and possibly some other problems, but maybe it’s because I’m the kind of person who said to the fella selling it, “Wow, this is perfect. It’s totally badass but also something Audrey Hepburn would drive. I’ll take it!” Because that’s what I look for in a scooter. I ended up going with a faster kind of scooter (a Yamaha Vino 125cc) because it seems like it would be safer to actually keep up with traffic on the roads or be able to speed up to avoid precarious situations, but it also means obtaining a motorcycle license, so last weekend I signed up for the class. I was admittedly terrified going into the weekend. Pretending to be Audrey Hepburn and imagining Gregory Peck on the back of my scooter as I buzz around Rome (or Austin) is one thing, but riding a genuine motorcycle? Scary. I had nightmares of terrible crashes or just standing there while the bike dropped to the ground next to me and they were all “PICK IT UP!!” and I was all “IT’S TOO HEAVY!!” and then they all stared at me as I struggled with a million ton bike until I woke up.
As it turns out though, I’m kind of awesome at motorcycles. They are not entirely as complicated as I imagined, I didn’t drop or crash a single one (or even come close) and I totally get the thrill. Because it is such a thrill! And I passed my class (with flying colors!) and felt like a total badass!! BECAUSE I AM A TOTAL BADASS.
Except there was still the situation of my adorable scooter –sans battery.
Still high off of the thrill of my class, or the maybe the fumes from the bikes, I decided to take on this battery situation myself. I also didn’t have anyone else to call. No matter, I could do this! I didn’t need some handy boy to do it for me! I googled the manual, busted out my tools and within no time, had that sucker switched out! HELLS YEAH!
But it still didn’t start. And despite how awesome I was feeling about my mechanical abilities, I had this terrible feeling that maybe it was because I didn’t actually know how to turn on my own scooter, which is different than a motorcycle and I felt totally embarrassed sitting in the middle of my parking lot not turning on my scooter over and over again. I consulted my manual and made some adjustments. It sounded like it wanted to start, but it wouldn’t. It couldn’t. Then I called my mom crying, and once she had helped me pull myself together, I asked her to pray to all of the magical fairies and unicorns with me and I gave it another go. It sputtered and revved and then it rumbled and started!!”
Then I spent the summer riding around with a giant goofy grin on my face. BECAUSE SCOOTER!!
Except, on occasion, my scooter still doesn’t like to start, and praying to all of the magical fairies and unicorns doesn’t always work. So I learned how to replace the spark plug (after googling what a spark plug is and still only vaguely understanding it) and it wasn’t so bad and I thought to myself, I AM SO FUCKING HANDY! And it felt good to feel so fucking handy!
A few weeks ago I was out riding in my neighborhood when a good portion of the handle that is responsible for connecting the clutch and brakes suddenly came loose. My investigations while pulled over to the side of the road found that the metal had completely broken, which doesn’t seem like something that my manual or a youtube video was going to help me with. Certainly not all the magical fairies and unicorns. Fortunately, I had taken to carrying a screwdriver in my seat and I was able to sort of wedge it loosely back into place. I am also a total cheapskate and had repaired the ever growing tear on my seat with black duct tape. THANK GOD! I tore bits of my classy repair job off and began wrapping up the handle and made it all the way home. I’m muthafuckin MacGyver!
My scooter is still being held together with duct tape. I reinforced it when I got home and I don’t venture further than the grocery store a few blocks up the road. One of these days I will leave my job before 5:00pm and take it to the welders to be permanently patched up and she can go back to being my practical and whimsically romantic scooter that I will ride while imagining Gregory Peck on the back.
As frustrating as all of these breaks and tears have been, I have also sort of loved them. I might have at one point thrown my screwdriver across my parking lot and screamed, “WHY DON’T I HAVE A FUCKING BOYFRIEND TO DO THIS FOR ME??” because sometimes it would be nice to have a boy around to fix broken things and open that pickle jar that is still sitting unopened in my cupboard. But I also like that I have learned how to do it myself and discovered that I am more handy than I ever gave myself credit for. I never would have learned if there’d been someone there to do it for me. The satisfaction of being able to change a spark plug or battery or successfully duct tape my clutch back into place is as giddy inducing as when I am cruising down the road with the wind in my face. She looks a little worse for wear, but then again, sometimes so do I. It makes us a little bit perfect for each other.
And someday I’ll make my boyfriend bring me a cold beer while I am fixing up whatever the current ailment of my scooter and he will pray to all the magical fairies and unicorns with me when it almost wants to start but can’t.
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