Pay it forward

I don't know if he was trying to pay it forward, or just being plain nice. I felt as though it was only appropriate for me to do something nice in return, for someone else (and him too).

Living in a new place not near either of my parents means no more calling dad and asking him to fix things for me RIGHT away. It means I have to up the ante when it comes to being a big girl and figure out stuff that I never have had to conquer before. Okay, so yes I still make the cry for help phone call until I realize about halfway through my babbling that exerting my worries are will only lead to a "its okay. Everything will be alright.Take a deep breath. I wish there was something I could do, but there isn't." -- ohhhhhh I have heard them all too much lately (and I am thankful, because I am growing as a person, of course who doesn't like the supportive love from the parents on occasion -- I love it).  I will be completely honestly...sometimes it totally sucks that no one is around anymore. I find myself 'freaking' out about the smallest things often, but then I find myself completely satisfied when I figure out my life hiccup all alone.

There is one hiccup that I am dealing with right now that I have been working incredibility hard on my end to create a communication path, but the company I am dealing with has just proven to be a GIANT failure. It is frustrating to put so much effort into something and get no response -- I guess you could say in some respects I am used to it (or never doing good enough).

The second hiccup that I had to deal with was yet another Syd problem -- if you know my vehicle you know that it is constantly delighting me with problems. My advice to you, never buy a jeep. Yes, they look awesome. Yes, they are a complete money pit. Yes, Syd has been a decent car for the last 5 years. Yes, I would be more than ecstatic if I was finally given that new car that has now only become a figment of my imagination. Driving home for Huntington last weekend I was pulled over in downtown. I was informed by the police officer (whom was surprisingly nice) that both of my taillights (and brake lights were out). He gave me a 'fix it' ticket and I was on my way. Of course, fixing things cost money, and when you have no money you most likely face a problem of fixing what is broken. Funny how that works, eh? Luckily, a VERY small check graced me the other day where I was able to go and afford a quarter tank of gas and dinner last night. I have lived in LA for close to 3 weeks now and haven't been able to go grocery shopping -- pretty over it. Well, at least I look good...haha! The next thing I needed to tackle was the ticket. I headed to AutoZone, which is right up the road from me, and picked at their heads for what the problem could potentially be. Of course, it was the bulbs. Well, it WAS until I got home and realized that the bulbs in my taillights were still fully intact. Great. All I could stress about at this point was the fact that I had to drive home from school at 9 pm the next day. This morning was devoted to figuring out the problem. I headed back to AutoZone and returned the bulbs, and picked their brains a little more. The idea of a sensor being out became the new potential problem. I was given an estimate for the price to replace just the part. I was looking at well over $100 -- that is a lot when all you have is $4 in your account. The young man behind the desk must have seen the worry on my face and the flustered attitude that I was carrying around and he said 'hold on, come back here with me'. I followed him behind the counter and back to a phone. He dialed a number while shoving a Dorito into his mouth at the same time -- he rambled off some Spanish and hung up. He said 'okay, this is what I did...' and went into explaining how he had called some friends to get me a free diagnosis so that we could figure out which part I needed to purchase. He scribbled down some directions on the back of a receipt with a permanent marker and I was on my way. Broadway Radiator, hum, okay...where the hell is it? I must have passed it 3 times confusing it with a junk yard. As I pulled into the small drive way a group of older men sat around on a well used floral couch, the all looked up as when I opened the door. I had been instructed to ask for Juan when I got there. I did. An older man stood up and waddled over to my car. He flipped a few switches and spit out a few words to his co-workers, all of which I didn't understand. They started taking parts and pieces of my car apart and all I could think of was how Spencer had explained to me the week before what a 'chop shop' was -- for a second I thought I might have been at one -- only, they didn't need to steal my car I was dumb enough to bring it to them. I was wrong -- don't judge a book by its cover. I kept my phone grasped in my hand and followed the mens every move around my car. After some contraption was hooked up to my battery and it started beeping, small talk was quickly made and I realized these were good people. I was at ease, well at least as much as I could have been considering the situation. My taillights were ripped out of Syd and the 'problem' was found -- how to fix the problem was an entirely different problem. The electrical throughout the car was fine (thank goodness), the taillights, not so much. Grand! New taillights? Are you kidding me? That is going to cost me an arm and a leg. At this point I just wanted to drive Syd into a river, or better yet a lake and leave her there and take my chances with walking around downtown L.A. I don't know if these men were magic or not but all the sudden the lights started to flicker! Who knows what they did next, but soon I was back in business and I had lights again. They did this all for free. It was my turn to pay if forward -- I will admit, I am still working on it. I immediately felt the urge to bake them cookies -- that was the nicest thing that crossed my mind at the time. I baked the man at AutoZone cookies as a thank you for calling his friends. I baked the older men from the auto shop cookies to thank them for fixing a problem that was hunting me. Everyone was more than pleased. I later on received a random text message from the AutoZone man thanking me, and how no customer had ever done anything like that before. I am glad that I was able to make someones day, and I am thankful that I was able to be touched by such a nice group of people, who I would have normally never given my attention to. I am glad that I was able to solve this by myself at the end of the day.



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