Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I remember when I was a mechanic....

I was 6 or 7, I'm not sure. A lady in our church was getting married to a nice man, a mechanic. As was the custom, all the other ladies in the church planned a big wedding shower for her in the church basement. Someone had the cute idea to have the presents brought in on a wagon pulled by me, dressed as a mechanic, driving my little push-pedal station wagon. (Mine was a cool gold colour, not the sissy pink in the picture here.)

Mom left me pretty much to myself to pull my outfit together. I put on jeans with holes in them and an old sweatshirt. I asked Dad if I could borrow his tool belt and some wrenches and stuff, and I also asked for a shop beanie, the kind with a little brim. I tucked my hair into the hat, brim backwards, rubbed a bit of grease off the floor of the garage onto my face and hands, buckled on the tool belt and headed over to the church. I think Dad must have carried over the pedal car for me.

In the basement of the church, I ducked out of sight of all the ladies gushing over their little ladies games and tea and fussy little sandwiches. We tied the wagon onto the car in the hallway just outside their meeting room, and I climbed in to wait for my cue.

The door opened and one of the ladies beckoned to me. My stomach lurched a bit, but I composed my face into bored nuetral and drove the car into the room, heading for the table where I was supposed to drop off my wagon load...I could feel every eye on me. There was whispering and giggling, and all those women looking just at me...and I LOVED it! I decided that if I was a mechanic, maybe I should probably fix my car a little. I turned my head to the side to listen to the engine as I had seen my dad doing, then got out of the car, grabbed a wrench and stuck my head as far under as I could. More laughter and whispering! I tinkered for a few minutes, then got up, wiped my hands together in satisfaction, and finished my drive to the gift table, all decorated with pink streamers and pompoms. Could this be my first ever round of applause? I know I loved it.

I didn't stick around for long. Us mechanics feel kind of uncomfortable in the presence of all those ladies...we get worried that we will get them dirty or something. I seem to recall eating a bit of white cake with pink frosting and then heading back to the garage.

8 comments:

Murray's Corner said...

haha, that's a funny story!

Amber said...

Paula the early years - Such detail with the grease. Have you ever done makeup stuff with drama or acting stuff? I could see you being really great at that.

I loved dress up when I was a kid... I pretty much changed into the character of whatever movie I'd watch when I was young... ie. during an intermission while watching braveheart... I put a small, sidebraid in my hair and ran all over the couches... sword fighting. Lots of good times with pot lids, and carboard boxes too.

delynne said...

you were dramatic right from the start! very cute!

Pondering Pig said...

I don't know - I kind of like the sissy pink one. Natalie Wood in the original Miracle on 34th Street would have flipped over it. But of course she would have driven it in her little wool coat and her Mary Jane shoes and never have run a stop light. Unlike some rowdy little greasemonkeys around here.

I love it that you fell in love, not with the smell of the greaepaint, but with actual grease. Good job!

papa herman said...

what a fun childhood memory. and i am sure a fun memory for the bride too.

Kim said...

Oh Paula, hamming it up from the days when you were first able to. There's something about playing a part that is unlike anything else in the world. . . I like the idea of a gold car, I used to always want one of those small motorized cars. They just seemed so very fun.

Take 2 said...

That was the beginning of your very busy acting life. What a cool memory of how you pulled your own costume together and everything.

I love your childhood memories...

Dana :-)

Spoke said...

I love to hear snippets of how/when your confidence in how you act/look began. Bugger what THEY thought, you had stuff to do!