Monday, July 11, 2011

Brake Failure: Stop Safely ASAP

My car has been mocking me a lot lately. Personally I think it over warns me. It’s sort of like a car that cries “wolf.” It’s a Volvo and really like it but I can’t just assume it’s always right. I mean…it is right when a headlight burns out. Of course I have mixed feelings about that warning too. Usually people don’t know they have a headlight out until they get pulled over for it. NOT ME- I have to know the second it blows. This would be considered a gentle reminder to a normal person that she should make sure she stops and picks up a bulb. Again…I don’t have the ability to let things go. I have to stop everything I’m doing and take care of it right that minute and for the entire ride down the street to the auto parts store, that warning screams at me from my dash “DIPPED BEAM”…I find that very upsetting.

As for this “brake failure” thing…what the heck is up with that message? I come from a family that used duct tape to cover up the check engine light when it was on. I don’t think that’s supposed to be the “normal” response, but nothing ever caught on fire…well…once…but it didn’t happen that often. The point is that my brakes work fine. My ABS is another story…but the brakes themselves are fine…

So what did this warning message trigger in my mind you may ask? Well…it reminded me of all the times I have complained that I’ve given friends advice and they have completely disregarded it. I need to “brake” this down a little bit. What are the reasons that I am not heeding my car’s warning?
  • Obviously brake failure isn’t going to be cheap if I take it to the dealer 
  • I would have to borrow a car or get a ride from a friend- I’d be completely reliant on someone else.
  • I don’t believe it’s really broken.
  • I actually know it’s broken and I really don’t need anyone telling me that it is because I have no intention of fixing it.
Interesting…so it appears that I have an awful lot in common with some of my friends who have ignored my advice on occasion. When it comes to relationships, the excuses for ignoring a giant red flashing message compare to my dashboard quite nicely:

  • If I was giving my 2 cents about a guy that I don’t think is ever going to pan out, my friend would weigh out the cost- If she chose to believe me, she would have to give up the one thing that, though a huge negative factor and life stunting relationship, is the one thing that gives her enough “nothing” to feel excited about for the few minutes a day she gets said “nothing.” So what if the “stop safely asap” message is correct this time?…it hasn’t happened before…She’ll take care of it when she absolutely has to…maybe from the bottom of a lake or something…
  • She would have to eventually allow someone new to drive her around…ie: dinner, movies, etc…the early stages of dating always suck…
  • She knows it’s keeping her frozen and broken but it’s too hard to let it go for fear of the outside possibility that the person just might come through for her just after she lets go. It would just be easier to ignore the problem for now and hope that in a few years, another person will present himself once this current one has gotten married to someone completely different.
So it makes complete sense…people do what they want to and pretty much only heed warnings if they are convenient for them. Brake failure: Stop safely asap. Exactly how many warnings will I get until that one time that my brakes actually do fail?...don’t know yet…There might be a lesson to be learned in this though. People will eventually find out their own answers to the open ended questions of their lives. Maybe warning lights and well meaning friends are set in front of us to help save us from catastrophe or perhaps they are holding us stuck in full view of what just might happen one day. Would it be better to just drive until the brakes go out completely knowing that we’ve lived right now to the fullest? Does everything have to have a happily ever after attached to it? Maybe some people just don’t worry that much about what is ahead of them. I wish I was that cool. I think I’m going to go tomorrow and have my brakes checked.