I had plans to have a quiet evening last night. I promptly left work at the end of the day and was going to go to my Gentle Yoga class to stretch, chant my ‘Om’s,” and take time for namaste meditation.

Unfortunately, my car’s engine did not want me to relax last night. While I was driving home, having my usual conversation with my mom in Flo-ree-da, a little red light started to blink.

Blink, blink, blink.

It looked like a genie bottle with a drip coming out of the spigot. “Uh,oh. Uh, oh,” I said to my mom, “Gotta go, gotta go, a red light is blinking in my car.” “Okay,” said my mom. “Be careful and take care of yourself. Call me later and let me know what happens.”

I hate when red lights light up in the car that are not supposed to light up. I don’t know ANYTHING about red genie bottles, especially red genie bottles on my dashboard. I started to get scared as I drove home, hoping that my car would not heat up or start smoking. Luckily, I made it to my driveway without any fire or smoke. I quickly opened the glove compartment and pulled out the car manual and searched for the meaning of the little red genie bottle.

Oh, good, I found it! Page 62.

Then I read it! “If a little red genie bottle lights up, immediately stop the car and pull over. There is a problem with your oil and if the little red genie bottle is on you could do serious damage to the engine of your car.”

OMG, OMG! I could have ruined my engine. I hate when things go wrong with my car.

I quickly called the Honda service department and asked the service rep what to do. “Check the oil level, if it is low or leaking and you have driven your car while the little red genie light was on you could have done serious damage to the engine.” (That’s the same thing the manual said I thought. What a smart service man he is.) “I think you may want to get the car towed to our service station,” he added.

Towed, towed, towed!

My poor sick car. (Actually, before I called Honda or the Geico Emergency Service to order the tow truck, I called my boyfriend L and asked him to come right over. Actually, actually, I called him twice to come RIGHT over now, now, now. Such a nice boyfriend. He did. He did. He did come RIGHT over and helped me check the oil dip stick – which was bone dry. Uh,oh. Oh,no. Uh,oh. Oh,no…this was not only distressing, it could be dangerous to my engine.)

“You know when your blood pressure is not working right in your body, it’s pretty serious,” said E, the nice Honda service rep when we arrived at the service station. “It’s the same thing with your oil, it’s the lubricant in your car and if there is no oil it is not a good thing. It keeps the engine going.”

Yes, E, the nice Honda service rep was very smart. He knew a lot more about cars than I did…and more than I will ever know or understand. I was glad to leave my sick car in his hands. Of course, I was very worried about my car’s engine too.

I called my mom back once I arrived home and told her what happened.

“I could have ruined my engine, I had no oil in the car,” I said.

“Don’t you have the gas attendant check your oil every time you get gas?” asked my mom. “I always used to have the oil checked…all the time,all the time,” she said. “Judi, why don’t you have your oil checked?”

I proceeded to tell my mom that these days I’m lucky if the gas attendant pumps gas into my car. They don’t wash windows or check oil. Maybe they did 20 years ago when my dad was alive, but not any more.

“You’re right,” I replied. “You are absolutely right. I will always check my oil from now on,” I answered as a dutiful fiftysomething daughter should answer her mom.

The Honda service rep called this morning. “Good news,no engine damage,” he said, “Your oil gasket was loose and we fixed it, changed the oil, put a few hoses in and your cars running like new.”

“Aaaaaaaaah,Ommmmmmmm,Aaaaaaaaah,Ommmmmmmmmm,” I clasped my hands in namaste prayer and breathed a big sigh of relief. My car’s engine is safe and sound and still running.

And so am I.