My car’s check engine light came on last night as I was driving home from work. Of course. Stanley (name of my car) has managed to drive from Kansas to New Jersey, then back and then back again. I took my car into the shop where I was greeted with, “It’s been a long time!” Yep, they know me at the repair shop.
It turned out to be a fairly simple fix and not the dreaded transmission failure that I feel may still be in Stanley’s (hopefully very distant) future. As I left the mechanic said, “It was good to see you. See you again soon!” Fantastic.
Then I wondered how much I rely upon my car. I drive it to and from work. Just me, no carpooling. And really, this semester I could walk at least to a nearby bus stop to get to work, but I find it easier to drive. I use the drive to think, sing along with the radio, and learn about the world. (It’s the only time I listen to NPR, from which I get most of my news.)
But could I not do the same things while walking? I would be forced to wear comfortable shoes to work, and then be able to get rid of all the shoes I have that are cute and yet painful and no good for walking in for more than 5 minutes at a time, if that. I would have to carry a backpack to haul student papers around; no more feeling off-centered and sore with my over the shoulder tote bag. I could have even more time to listen to my tunes, though singing along might get me some weird looks.
So why am I so relieved that my car is up and running again?