From time to time I am reminded that my culture has no coming of age tradition. Some of the effects of this deficit are subtle, some more obvious. This weekend, as I near my 35th birthday I experienced another Man Making Moment. Man Making Moments are different for everyone. I suspect many are like me and derive some significant part of their manliness ideal from their fathers. For me, the image of my dad under the hood, fixing, tuning and explaining our car’s inner workings, has left a mark.
When the AAA guy confirmed my suspicion that the starter had failed on the ManVan I was both anxious and eager. This was going to be a greasy, cramped, and physical repair, but I knew I could do it. Never mind that I had never even heard a story about someone replacing a starter. I grabbed my socket set (thanks again Dad) and crawled under the truck. An hour later I had the starter motor out and Allison and I headed down to Kragen to get a replacement. I was quite surprised when the Nick (the Kragen sales guy) handed me a huge honkin box. Aparently I had only removed part of the starter. The rest of the job was going to be a lot harder than I had anticipated.
Hours later —after dropping a wrench on my face, getting tons of dried grease in my eyes, mouth, hair, and beard, bending and bruising my arms in all manner of unacceptable ways, and nearly breaking my arm with the weight of the starter— I had finally replaced the starter. With a quick look around to ensure my privacy I let out a huge whoop and threw my arms to the sky. Hear me roar!