The brakes started acting funny on my car Thursday evening. “Funny” in a I-can’t-drive-you-anymore way. Super. Good thing my parents have an extra car and freely let their children borrow it whenever there are issues. Normally the issues are not mine though.
Chris got up this morning to take the car to have it looked at…and the whole brake system needs to be replaced because someone put something other than brake fluid in the brake fluid spot. And it’s going to be between two and three grand to fix…
My first reaction was Wal-Mart messed my car up. I know, I know, lots of people have strong opinions about Wal-Mart and their takeover of consumer America, making it cheaper and blah, blah, blah. But I go there. All the time. And while I’m grocery shopping, they change my oil and give my car a tune up every three thousand miles. I’m religious about it. Take care of your car and it’ll take care of you. I’m sure that’s something my dad said once. Ugh.
So I’m looking at the paperwork from my last oil change and it doesn’t mention them touching the brake fluid. So I just call and ask them if they top it off when they change my oil. Apparently, they are not allowed to. Hmmm.
So I still want to blame Wal-Mart, but then I start to think. Chris and my dad changed my brakes months ago–everything went smooth. But about a month or so ago, I told Chris the brakes felt funny. So he went out in the garage for a little bit, came back in and said the fluid was low and so he topped it off. But everything else looked fine.
All of the sudden I feel sick. Chris…I come to this realization as I’m sitting in the living room, just getting off the phone with Wal-Mart. I tell Chris what I remember. The look on his face says he already knew. He says he knows what brake fluid is. I think how pointless it was for him to just say that. I don’t say anything though, there’s no need. He messed up. Big. And now it’s going to cost us. Big.
I am eerily calm about this mess. My brain tells me I should be upset. That’s a lot of money and, well, that’s just a lot of money. I want to be mad. It is his fault. But I keep thinking back to the end of November.
We’ve been needing the two large trees in our front yard trimmed for a while and Chris finally agreed to have this guy do it. Half way through the job he tells Chris he only accepts cash so Chris runs out to the bank. When he gets back, I tell Chris the guy isn’t really doing anything that we asked and he (Chris) needs to make sure the job is done right before he pays him. Not even five minutes later, I look outside and the guy is driving off and our trees aren’t trimmed. Long story short, Chris didn’t stand up for himself and the guy drove off with our money…and we still had trees that needed trimmed.
I was so mad. I don’t even think I can type how mad I was. Let’s just go with furious and know that doesn’t cover it. This all happened ten minutes before we were supposed to be at Target for our family picture (just try to look like a happy family when you are furious…no, really, try it–it’s hard). I know Chris felt bad about that and it was nowhere near $3,000. And I didn’t let that one go for about a day. Using that math, I’m going to be mad for about a month over this one. But that just seems exhausting.
So I’m trying to just breathe. There is nothing we can do about it now. Since this has happened he’s already randomly rubbed my back, started the laundry, and cleaned the bathroom. I know he’s sorry. Really sorry.
In the grand scheme of things this really doesn’t matter. Just turning on the news and seeing pictures from Haiti makes this seem pretty insignificant. Not even a bleep on the radar of real-life suffering. And then there’s God telling me to relax, it doesn’t have to consume you. It will be fine. You will be fine.