Sunday, July 30, 2023

Old Dog - New Tricks

It served well!
Aging provides an opportunity to coast with all that is familiar and to complain about all that is changing. Questions arise as to the necessity of change. Frustrations erupt when cornered by others prodding me to change. Can I not be left alone to gracefully slide into decrepitude?  Chided by an adult child, as well as decoding the cryptic intimations of my spouse, a new (well, it has 3,000 miles on the odometer) vehicle was purchased. The last time I drove a new transport away from a dealership was three decades ago. 

Air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth, and rear defrost are necessary. "Less that needs fixing," was my antiquated mantra. These words also help weave the thin shroud disguising my economic rule of mass depreciation as soon as four wheels leave the boundary of the dealership. The old belief patterns had served, as well as saved. All of the labor to solidify this mindset was quickly cast aside. The mission or possibly the obsession for new imprisoned me. I finally submitted to my captor. So much for sliding gracefully into decrepitude!

Along with air conditioning, Bluetooth, and rear defrost comes: dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure

Words, not letters.
alerts, heated seats, automatic high beams, and forty miles of electric distance. Little hatches adorn both upper rear panels. One allows for a fuel nozzle. The other allows for the alien looking charging plug. The old fashioned "glove box" contains thick bound manuals with minuscule print and drawings explaining the features. It was strongly suggested to download the app in order to increase access to features and updates. Decrepitude was not found in the app!

I did not expect so many internal changes, either. My head is on a swivel looking at the multitude of circumstances which can damage this wheeled wonder. I obsess over keeping the colorful graphics in the proper areas which indicate maximum mileage. I ponder how often to wash it and where to wash it. And the most satisfying, yet disturbing change: I am honing defensive driving skills anticipating the action of other drivers. My initial, internal verbal response to the other driver is, "What an a**h#le!" It is now morphing to congratulate myself for being aware. Instead of cursing, I applaud myself for the insight into the behaviors of others. 

This may be my last vehicle purchase. The investment in extended warranty and service/maintenance contracts should enable a long term relationship with this vehicle.  It also spells the end of a meaningful relationship with the repair shop mechanics. By the time the contracts expire I will either no longer be driving or I will board a self-driving ride-share to my destination. At that time I will once again consider my slide into decrepitude!


Cartagena, Columbia

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