I left the house this morning with the battery warning light on in my car. I stared at the glowing red symbol and thought, “you don’t matter.” It stared back and said, “you’ll be sorry,” as I struggled to pull my common sense back to my side of the argument. My battery light had been flickering on and off for days. I had my battery tested and its function was normal. I was on my way to Medford for a doctor’s appointment. It was 7am. I had my coffee, my tunes, and my paper-clipped bundle of coupons for Costco from my mom. I was ready to check off my Medford to-do list as fast as I could: get in, get done and get out.
As I was heading over the pass, listening intently to a comedy sketch by Jerry Seinfeld on my iPod, Jerry’s voice suddenly plummeted – it sounded like it was being sucked through a vortex – then silence. I thought my speakers went out… how annoying. The red battery light (Yes it was still on. I know. Idiot was slowly being etched across my forehead.) shone on unflinchingly, taunting me with its sarcasm: “It’s your speakers. Right.”
When my car did a few awkward lunges through road construction before Ashland, I decided to pull over, rolling my eyes that I was conceding to a battery light! I left my car running and made a few phone calls, trying to scrounge up a ride, but I only reached my cousin in Ashland who offered me her… bike? No thanks. My gearshift was locked and that little red light was still blaring, brighter than any red light should be allowed to blare. Then, somehow, the menacing light blinked off and my car shifted into gear! With caution I pulled out and drove on old Highway 99 to Medford. I made it to my appointment, a little late, and eventually to Central point to get my alternator fixed. Somehow I felt a little triumphant that the red light telling me the battery was dying wasn’t 100% accurate. Turns out the alternator was draining my car battery while it was running, but the battery itself is as healthy as a horse.
So besides being late for my doctor’s appointment and having to wait an hour and a half at an old fashioned burger place in Central Point - where I eavesdropped on two strangers debating politics through a cheap glass partition adorned with ghastly orange and yellow spiral shaped illustrations of citrus slices - I really was inconvenienced very little.
I headed to Costco to take advantage of the coupons and then headed home, pretty much stress free. There are three morals to this tale:
#1 – Things generally seem worse than they actually are.
#2 – Pay attention to your car’s warning lights.
#3 – It’s pretty stupid to have psychological arguments with inanimate objects. (They usually win.)