Today, kids, we’re going to learn two very important words. Ready? Here they are:
Activating these two simple words into your already-exhausted mommy brain will save you innumerable headaches and frustrations.
I’ve had a post swimming in my head for the last several weeks about minor mistakes we’ve made with our house, all of which were a result of our lack of attention to detail – which is incredibly frustrating because attention to detail is something I’m actually good at. For example, every single one of our cabinets was drawn out and annotated with dimensions and details and labels. We poured over these drawings and studied them carefully before signing off on them and sending them back to the cabinet maker. Yet when the cabinets were built and installed in precise accordance with the drawings, a few of them were slightly…off. Beautiful, yes, but not exactly as we pictured them. Because we didn’t pay attention to the dimensions and details and labels. Some of them we were able to fix. Others we weren’t. And it’s fine. They’re still beautiful.
We’ve repeated this mistake of inattention several times, though with every mistake, we’re that much more careful with the next set of drawings, the next spreadsheet, the next decision. Some of the mistakes are correctable. Some are not. And that’s fine.
So you’d think we would have learned this lesson well. We thought we had learned this lesson well.
We were W-R-O-N-G.
Remember the Loser Cruiser? And how we took her in for body work so I could drive her for another 111,000 miles without complete humiliation? And how I’ve been driving Bucket for the last two weeks?
At last, after two long weeks and two Major Weather Events, the Loser Cruiser was ready to come home. Paar-TAY! Wooooo!
If cars were high school students in a cafeteria, the old Loser Cruiser would be sitting between the girl who chews her hair and the guy who thinks he’s Spock and speaks fluent Klingon.
The new, freshly repaired Loser Cruiser would be sporting a brand new pair of Jordache jeans and trying to sit with the cheerleaders, laughing at all their jokes, hoping to get invited to their parties…but really, underneath it all, she’s still a Loser Cruiser. The Lexuses and BMWs and Cadillacs would just roll their eyes at her and try to be as nice as they could be (or not), but secretly they would wish she would just go back to the Klingon table.
Not unlike my own high school experience.
(Maybe that’s why I have such a love-hate relationship with my car.)
The Loser Cruiser just wants to grow up to be a Honda Pilot and be able to sit with all the other cool, clean, sporty cars. That’s why she went to the body shop.
The stupid, inept, what-were-you-thinking body shop.
The one that only fixed one side of the car.
The rearview mirror is no longer held together with clear packing tape, and the big ol’ dent in the rear bumper is fixed, and all the scratches on the passenger side are buffed and painted. The right side of the car looks brand-spankin’ new and beautiful and as perfect as the right side of a Loser Cruiser can possibly be.
The left side?
Still scratched. Still dented. Still mangled.
Still sitting at the Klingon table chewing her hair.
And remember what I said about paying attention? After we made the Drive of Shame back to our garage, we pulled out the preliminary estimate, which itemizes the work to be completed.
On the right side.
Guess we (“we” meaning “not me”) missed the big capital letters that say RT.
So we-not-me is going to call the body shop on Monday morning and see if our-not-my mistake can be remedied, and since no one at the body shop had the cotton pickin’ sense to ask us if “repair all the scratches and dents” really did mean “just fix only one side,” we-not-me is hoping that they will at least comp us for the cost of renting another Bucket while they repair the second side of the hair-chewing Klingon Loser Cruiser.
Poor Bucket. She’s sitting with the kid who picks lint out of his belly button.