I am a realist to the core. I have no idea whether my glass is half-full or half-empty. All I know is that there’s water inside and I like water.
Over the past week I’ve encountered some car problems. That sentence should actually read, “Over the past decade I’ve encountered some car problems,” because that seems to be my lot in life. Or perhaps I should just stop buying/driving old cars. It’s a vicious cycle.
In any case, I’ve been able to see both sides of the situations that have made themselves all too available to me this week. And because I’m fresh out of other blog fodder to talk about today, I’m going to tell you about them:
Problem: My car was broken into.
Downside: Stolen GPS, spare change keeper, and a few pieces of gum.
Brightside: Apparently the perpetrator wasn’t a fan of Sweet Mint, since that package was left unharmed. Good news, because that one is my favorite! Also, I’m sure the world has derived great joy from watching me navigate the old school way: post-it note directions on the steering wheel interspersed with trial and error. Emphasis on error.
Problem: My AC doesn’t work anymore.
Downside: Open windows + lip gloss = sticky disaster.
Brightside: I live in Rochester, so I use the AC approximately twice a year. And often less than that, because I actually prefer open windows to AC.
Problem: My car did not sound well when I pulled into the parking lot at Wegmans on Saturday.
Downside: Momentary anxiety that I would not be able to restart my car after running into Wegmans for a few things.
Brightside: Have you ever BEEN to the Mt. Read Wegmans??? It’s beautiful! Problems? What problems?
Problem: My car did not sound well when I pulled out of the parking lot at Ontario Beach a few hours after the Wegmans run…and is that smoke? Oh, yes, that is definitely smoke. Accompanied by a fragrance not endorsed by Yankee Candle: burning motor parts.
Downside: The smoke and burning smell pretty much covers it. The noises weren’t ideal, either.
Brightside: Lack of flames is always a plus.
Problem: I need a tow.
Downside: I need a tow.
Brightside: I have Triple A!!!
Problem: I need to hitch a ride with the tow truck driver.
Downside: Considering my track record with this sort of thing, there’s about a 110% chance that this will not end well. When I mentioned to my parents that I’d call when I got home so they’d know I hadn’t been abducted, my mom followed with, “Well, if he holds you ransom and wants money…we don’t have any…so we’ll see you in heaven!”
Brightside: Not being held ransom. And having a great conversation! He called when he entered the parking lot to find me and said, “Wow, I haven’t been here since the 80’s.” So I said, “Oh, really? How come?” He answered, “Well I’m old and fat now, so it doesn’t really hold the same appeal anymore.” And thus began a very enjoyable 20 minute drive to the mechanic.
Problem: I need to walk home from the mechanic.
Downside: My decision to bring 8 magazines, 2 liters of water, enough snacks for everyone at the beach, and the entire contents of my regular purse in my beach bag for the day lost it’s luster when faced with the prospect of dragging said bag across the city on-foot rather than in-vehicle.
Brightside: Free, unexpected weight training! And on a beautiful day, no less!
Problem: I had planned to stop at the grocery store on the way home to get toilet paper. And because I’m excellent at planning ahead, this had become a dire need.
Downside: I realized this after I had already walked the entire way home…and passed several stores which would have gladly sold me a variety of toiletries.
Brightside: I live across the street from a gas station.
Problem: Gas station toilet paper is expensive.
Downside: I paid $4.30 for two rolls of toilet paper. Let’s review that: I paid $4.30 for TWO ROLLS OF TOILET PAPER.
Brightside: There is no brightside to paying $4.30 for two rolls of toilet paper. That’s just crazy.
And to close: an observation.
These car problems began when I was in North Carolina for Making Things Happen. When I arrived at my hotel I popped the hood…so that I could stare blankly at what was underneath. But in a parking lot that couldn’t have held more than 10 cars, it took 30 seconds for two people to come over and ask if I needed help. One of them offered to check my oil. The other went back to her room to get me a flashlight…so I could stare blankly with good lighting.
On Saturday when my car started spewing smoke and sounding like a dozen cats were trapped beneath the hood I was in a parking lot that held hundreds of other cars. While I was looking for a safe place to park so that I could get towed out, some girl yelled at me, telling me to turn off my car already. Sage advice, there. After that, it took nearly an hour for anyone to stop, which wasn’t a problem because I was just waiting for Triple A to come to my rescue so I didn’t need anything anyway. But the woman who did stop said, “I keep seeing all these big guys walk right past you sitting there with your hood up and I’m like, ‘What the [bleep] is wrong with people?!’ You okay, honey?”
The pessimist would say that people are rude. The optimist would say that nice people can be found everywhere if you wait long enough. This realist says that people are funny, and I love them.