Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Owning My Ignorance

Last weekend my car told me that it is about time for the oil to be changed. Isn’t it lovely that my car can tell me such things?

I mentioned this to Tom as we sat around the kitchen table enjoying some pizza with Alyssa, Olivia and Jeremy, Tom’s oldest son.

I asked if we trusted the WalMart oil and lube center to change the oil in the car.

Tom and Jeremy shared a look and agreed that no, we do not trust the WalMart oil and lube department to change the oil in this newish vehicle.

Tom told me to call our local Chevy dealer and schedule an oil change. While I was at it, he said, I should also tell them that we need to buy a bracket to affix to the front of the car to hold the license plate. Ohio require license plates on the front and rear of vehicles.

Jeremy mentioned they’d do a 78 point inspection while the car was on the lift for the oil change.

Tom asked if we’d be charged for that.

Jeremy, a mechanic, laughed and said, “No, it’ll be ‘free’. But it’s only free because they’ll tell all the things that need to be either fixed or replaced.”

Tom told me to ask about that when I called and see if it would be something they’d and then add to the bill.

At this point I asked, “Will they change the oil even though we didn’t buy the car from them?”

Tom and Jeremy again exchanged a look and then Tom laughed. He looked at me like I was a little bit stupid and said, “Yes, I don’t think they care that we didn’t buy the car from them.”

Now, see, this is where I’d normally lower my head, be embarrassed that I didn’t know something that was OBVIOULYS common knowledge and try to disappear.

This time, though, I said, “Hey, it’s a valid question. I don’t know how these things work. I’ve never owned a car that was nice enough to need to have the oil changed by a certified dealer.”

I was owning my ignorance. I don’t know this stuff and because I don’t know, the only way I can learn about it is to ask. I wanted to model that for the girls. I want them to not ever be afraid of asking a questions just because they might look stupid.

Tom, to his credit, stopped laughing and admitted that it was understandable that this wasn’t something I might not know. He then asked if I wanted him to call and make the appointment and ask about the bracket for the license plate.

I nodded gratefully. I hate calling for those kinds of things.

But you know what? I don’t know everything and I fully admit that. I want to be comfortable asking about something I don’t know. I want this for my girls too. I want them to feel free to ask about something they haven’t yet learned.

One reason I love the character of Beca in Pitch Perfect. This girl never one apologized for not knowing something. She owned it and asked, out loud, in front of however many people were around when she didn’t know something.

I want to be that girl. I want to ask without fear of shaming. And I want that for my girls. And when someone tries to shame me for not knowing something? I refuse to own that shame. I will own my ignorance but there is no shame in not knowing something you haven’t learned or been taught. Not all knowledge is common and it’s okay to ask about something you don’t know.

It really, truly is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your posts. And today's adds a particularly humorous that there are things we NEED NOT know! We consider the oil change, tire pressure checks, other things like that to be the husband's area of expertise...and we know they love us enough to want us to be driving around in a car which will protect us....taking us places we need to go....and bringing us back home. But...I have to say to Tom...I boought a license plate frame from the dollar store three days ago and Roy put it on the front of the car. TN does not require front plates, so I wanted the Ameerican Flag along with the eagle o the front. :) Just want to again tell you I love your posts and I love the memories you are preserving because of the posts! Love to the family! See you in July!