Saturday, September 27, 2014

Bitchin' Ca- Matrix?

I'm not going to accuse Griffin of breaking my car, but even though it was working fine when we embarked on his driving lesson, about half-an-hour later, after leaving the park where he almost hit a tree, and after a whole lot of lurching and stalling, there we were, stranded in the parking lot of a Jehovah's Witness church with a car that wouldn't start. That's all I'm saying.

I know it wasn't his fault, and I'm not at all mad, but let me tell you, the experience was...well, the experience was an experience. A learning experience, I guess I would say.

Even though you'd think that it wouldn't be since I've kind of been here before.

Like in my long-ago post, I'm Just a Girl, I was once again confronted with a situation I'd normally rely on Glenn for help with, and like in that long-ago post, I'm not really in a position to ask him. Or at least I'm in the position of really, really not wanting to.

So I didn't. Instead, Griffin and I sat around wondering what to do and who to call. Luckily for me, the Jehovah's Witness church Griffin and I were stranded in wasn't far from the house of a former student I know really well, so I was able to get her to drive over with jumper cables, and, well, long story short, thanks to her father being gracious enough to come and help both her and me out, Griffin and I were able to get home.

Lesson number 1, a lot of which I already knew and is rolled up with a bunch of sub-lessons: I'm not as capable of doing a lot of things as I should be (although no matter how capable, jumping a car without an accompanying car is pretty much as impossible as it gets), and I'm way too reliant on Glenn. Still, I'm able to keep calm in a "situation," and although I technically didn't get my car started on my own, I did find a way to get it started. So in the end, I can get things done.


I've never really been concerned with material things, and I think nothing demonstrates that more than my attitude toward cars. I've never been one to care about the appearance of my car, and for pretty much ever, I've judged and scorned people who do. When I see somebody in a crazy big SUV, I generally think that someone's a showoff and an idiot; when someone, like my sister, for example, freaks out about a scratch or micro-dent on her car, I think she's shallow and superficial; if I'm driving and see someone with a TV in their car, I immediately think that person's an ass; when I walk out and see my neighbors, youngish boys who think they belong in The Fast and the Furious, washing and buffing their cars almost every single day, I wonder where the hell their mother went wrong. Way more interested on spending money on things I find enriching like food or experiences, I've long deemed people like the ones above inferior and for years have proudly displayed my falling-apart car as an emblem of my moral superiority:

1. when the roof got mildly dented by a falling tree branch during one of the last hurricanes, I ignored my insurance's call for claims;
2. when I somehow got the faint paint impression of a pole on the passenger side, I pretty much didn't care;
3. when, one by one, my hubcaps disappeared as is a problem for most Matrixes, I was like, who cares? It's not like a car needs hubcaps to drive;
4. when I bumped into a gas station median a few months ago and got a pretty significant dent on the passenger side (not far from that paint impression I acquired years earlier), I wasn't exactly thrilled, but seeing as how I was already missing four hubcaps, had a small dent in the roof, and paint that wasn't supposed to be there on the side, I figured it wasn't really such a big deal;
5. when the passenger side door handle cracked in half and came off in Keifer's hand, I have to admit I was horrified for a second or two, but not nearly horrified enough to spend almost $300 to get it fixed;
6. and when the back passenger side door cracked in half in Glenn's hand last weekend, I paused but in truth, barely batted an eye.

I mean, a paid-off car that I bought brand new that takes me on road trips and gets me to work and to pick up my kids and has room for my dogs and is good on gas, and did I mention the car is paid off, meaning I don't have a car payment and haven't for more than three years and if I keep up with the mechanical stuff might not for three years more?

It kind of makes the cosmetic stuff seem like not such a big deal.

Which brings me to

Lesson number 2: I knew my student drove a BMW, but when she pulled up in the shiny damn thing and parked it next to not just my dented-up, hubcapless, no-door-handled, but also filthy, dusty, hasn't-been-washed-in-more-than-six-months-since-the-last-time-I-went-to-the-oil-change-place-that-washes/vacuums-the-car, the-car-wash-part-wasn't-working car, I have to say I didn't feel very good, and when her dad drove up about twenty minutes later in his truck with the spotless, perfect-looking engine and put his jumper cables in the crud-encrusted, leaf-filled hood of my car, I felt, I think the word is, humiliated. Absolutely mortified. And so it would seem I care about appearances a little more than I like to think. And maybe, just maybe, people who like to have nice things aren't as horrific as I've made them out to be. 


My door handles and hubcaps should be arriving from Amazon some time next week.

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