In Which It Is My Own Darn Fault
Speaking of stupid things…
I have no air conditioning in my car and I’m boiling and sweating by the time I get to work. So I guess what I’m saying is I’m boiling in my own sweat. Lovely.
And it’s my own darn fault. MY OWN. DARN. FAULT. You can tell how irritating I find that because of the capital letters. Please tell me I’m not the only one who
does stupid, ridiculous, crazy things makes bad decisions now and then.
The thing is, it was very late. I got off work at 10pm, then I went to the grocery store (how much do I love the Wegman’s let me count the ways), then it takes another 40 minutes to get home from there, so. It was very late. And it had been storming off and on all evening, with lots of heavy wind. And the last stretch of road before my house is a big hill, fairly steep and it’s long. And I had gotten almost all the way down this hill when I suddenly came upon a tree that was laying across the whole road. And it wasn’t a huge tree; it was a smallish tree. And it frustrated me. And I did something really, really stupid.
I ran over the tree.
The worst part is that I thought about it. Not for very long, mind you. But I didn’t just say, “Oh, there’s a tree, I think I’ll drive over it.” I considered backing up…and then I considered how hard it is for me to see out of my back window, and how steep the hill is, and how people drive so crazy fast on these back country roads, and how it would feel to be in a horrendous car accident. I considered turning around…and then I considered how narrow the road is, and how deep the ditches are, and how people drive so crazy fast on… You get the picture. Did I mention it was late?
Why oh why do I do stupid things? Why do I do things that I know better than doing? It’s almost on impulse…except for the fact that I gave it thought. What’s a mixture of giving something thought and then following an impulse anyway? Is there a word for that? Because honestly, I just don’t know what I was thinking. I guess I just chose the simplest thing to do, which is drive over it. Not smart. At all.
The interesting thing is that on another night I probably would have just turned around. I suppose a lot of what we do simply depends on the mood we’re in. I wasn’t in the mood to really consider the entirety of the situation and make a rational decision. And now I’m suffering the consequences of no air conditioning. Not to mention the money it cost to fix the radiator. Oh didn’t I mention that yet? The radiator:
The radiator took about a week to start leaking. So I had it replaced. That’s when they found out the condenser coil was jammed into the radiator. That’s when I found out that I would have no air conditioner this summer. But it was still cold then, so I didn’t care as much. I put off caring until now. Now I’m boiling in my own sweat. Now I care.
I would have gotten the air fixed already, except for two reasons. One is that I believe in negative consequences; I think they’re necessary. I figured I did something rash and so I should suffer. That’ll teach me! Perhaps we can learn without there being major repercussions, but our mistakes teach us through negative reinforcement, even if it’s just a minor discomfort or embarrassment that we feel. Consequences help us remember our mistakes because they make an indelible impression; the harder and worse the consequence, the stronger the impression is for you not to make that mistake again. The second reason is that I have no money. (Which is a consequence discussion for a whole other day.)
I don’t think I would have learned any lesson at all if I had not damaged my car. If the same situation occurred again, I probably would have thought, “Well, it worked last time.” And I would have done the same stupid thing. Again. Of course, I only call it stupid now because of the negative consequence attached to it. If it had worked, I may never have thought about that tree again.
♣ ♣ ♣
As I was driving home from work today, I was thinking about how I needed to finish “the post about running over a tree”. Amazingly enough, I suddenly came upon this:
I thought about going through, but I wasn’t ready to suffer the consequences. Again.
OH, have I been there! Beautifully expressed frustration 🙂
Wish I could find a picture like you did for my post that hopefully I will put together now that I have electricity again. My pictures really don’t capture the calamity we’ve had around here like yours does!
I really did drive up on that tree on my way home yesterday, so I got out and took some pictures with my cell phone. I figured I wouldn’t get run over in broad daylight on a flat stretch of road. Luckily there was a driveway right behind me to turn around in.
That’s terrible about your electricity! It’s been out all this time? I’m glad it’s back now! You can take a picture of the ruined food from the warm freezer, the pile of clothes that need washing, the candle stubs… We rely on electricity so much, but we don’t think about it until it goes out.
I saw a woman drive over a ladder on Interstate 64 once. Was that you?
Seriously though, that stinks. The worst part for me would have been explaining it to any man. They get so righteous over little mistakes like that.
LOL! No, not me.
I once backed into a woman – I didn’t notice her pull in, no headlights, her trunk was open which blocked other lights from outlining the form of her car, and I had the rear view mirror tilted (so you can see, but it keeps the glare down). So totally an accident on my part (consequence = I look now, even when I don’t think anyone’s back there) My ex-husband gave me a ration of shit like you would not believe.
When he later wrecked our car (and someone else’s) while drinking and driving, it was not his fault. I was supposed to just let it go, because…it was not his fault.
Now I don’t have a husband to explain my little mistakes (like running over a tree) to. That’ll teach him!
Okay, I told the repair shop what I did, but I ommitted that the tree was already there. If it sounded like I couldn’t stop in time, well…that’s not my fault.
We’ve all been there! My ex once drove through a flooded intersection in his little Honda. Somehow he made it through, but the water came up to the windows and flooded the interior of the car. Since it’s hot and humid where we live, it never dried properly and smelled HORRIBLE until he finally got a new car. We all hated riding in his car afterwards, but like your ex, he never fully admitted he’d done a really stupid thing.
Once he also locked the keys in this same car–WITH THE ENGINE RUNNING–at a sold out Rangers baseball game. The kids and I went on up to our seats to wait for him to get someone to unlock his car, and while we were sitting there, we heard them announce: “WILL THE OWNER OF THE HONDA CIVIC, LICENSE NUMBER ******, PLEASE RETURN TO YOUR CAR. THE CAR IS LOCKED, WITH THE ENGINE RUNNING.” The entire stadium erupts into laughter and my precious little son says, very loudly, “MOM, THAT’S OUR CAR! THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT OUR CAR!” I wanted to melt into the seat.
(Sorry for the profusion of CAPS; it’s just that kind of story.)
No problem, it WAS a caps kind of story! I love to laugh at work – especially like now when I’m doing something that makes my eyes squint!
I like how this is turning into what others have done dumb, even if it’s a little ex bashing. It makes me feel better about my dumb thing. I mean, I’D never drive through a puddle up to the windows. At least I haven’t yet.
Don’t beat yourself up over this. You’ve learned from your mistake, the car’s getting fixed, all you can do is keep looking towards the future.
Very true! It doesn’t do any good to dwell on these things anyway. I’ve been thinking about you lately and trying to take a page out of your book – keep looking up, be happy, don’t dwell on the negative!
Ever notice how time slows down right before you do something stupid? As you’re doing it you already know “This is dumb!” Then after you get knee-deep into it you are absolutely sure “That WAS dumb!”
Glad to see at least the trees are getting a good laugh out of it by falling down in your path again!
Oh,yes! And I always have that moment when I desperately wish I could turn back time. Sometimes I do a little mental pleading along the lines of, “that didn’t just happen, I didn’t just do that, please say I didn’t just (fill in the blank)”.