Friday, April 3, 2015

It Takes A Village...

In a stunning move that can only be explained as an unlanced brain abscess or a monumental intelligence cavity, I bought a car.  I have never before done something like this all by myself. 
It was deeply unnerving.  I became disoriented.  I seemed to have no recognizable center of gravity…or cognitive brain function, for that matter.  I went around bug-eyed and anxious, with apprehension tantamount to colon-blow.

Ordinarily I live my life in tranquil tedium and devoted sobriety, peacefully belching during digestion, serenely beyond the reach of deep thought or great ideas.  But lately I began experiencing a nagging little viscous slime trail meandering through my mind that perhaps, just maybe, it was time to replace my 11-year-old automobile. 

Oh, perish the thought!  La La La…I’m not LISTENING!  I love that car.  And the vision of going through the whole car-buying process left my little gray cells bruised and limping.  How daunting an undertaking. Personally, I’d rather do 8 seconds on a bull named “Asteroid!”

However, I soldiered on.  My first task was to decide what kind of car I wanted.  I toyed with the idea of a Subaru.  They’re the ones with the beguiling ads that claim love is what makes a Subaru a Subaru.  (I think they’re idealizing the product they represent.)  But I was befuddled by the thought that selecting a car based solely on the concept of love might reveal me to be a woman with a fiesta of mental maladies which would invite ridicule.  No, I had to assume some measure of greater competence on my part.

So, I thought about a Jaguar.  How cool would that be?  Tremendous horse power and a sleek design, engineered for stilletoes and power cosmetics.  “Automobilus horribilis” – for “the mad grandma of Holladay.”  A cougar in a Jaguar!  That’s me. The concept had a certain narcissistic appeal.
Ah, but then I thought better of it.  My grandkids have already considered me a member emeritus of the chronically confused, charmingly, endearingly imbecilic. 

So, after solemn consideration, and not wishing to heap any intentional depraved humiliation upon their curly little heads, I myopically opted for a new version of the vehicle I’ve driven for over a decade.

In order to prepare for what I can only compare to a day in the Roman coliseum, I decided to talk to friends who had just purchased cars.  But not just any friends.  They had to be recent widows, ladies whose circumstances most resembled mine.  And they were most encouraging, like cheerleaders at a geriatric convention.

Then I broadened my circle of counselors to include people outside my realm of circumstance to better establish a more rounded perspective.  So I sought out friends who were happily married, friends who were having marital difficulties, those who had just quarreled, and a few on the brink of divorce.

I got so caught up in my research, I resorted to cold-calling perfect strangers, the moronically bizarre, and men from the prison work release program.  (I have no capacity for embarrassment.)
And then, in an act of utter incongruity under the circumstances, I went in for ear surgery.  I was prompted in part by the fact I couldn’t hear if the digits being quoted were the salesman’s cell phone number, or the price of the car.  Talk about aggravated sticker shock! Happily, the anesthesia released my feeble mind from the great burden of actually making a decision.

As soon as cognitive function resumed, and I stopped drooling on my pillow, I asked Brodi what she thought I ought to do. To buy or not to buy…that is the question. Her reply was cryptic and succinct:  “Mom, just buy the DANG car!”  (Those acquainted with Brodi know “dang” is just an approximation of her actual word choice.)

It all seemed so simple.  I girded up my loins (with my best gird) and I did just that.  All by myself, I. BOUGHT. A. CAR.

It is white and compliments my naturally platinum hair…a definite selling point.  And it has every technological miracle.  It beeps a warning for intruders in my blind spot, impending collisions with hormonal teenagers and distracted geriatric drivers, and sends an alert if I get a cavity or need a pedicure. 

It has blue tooth, red flags, and pink flares to indicate the findings of my latest mental competency hearing.  It even has a tiny robotic extension with a single flange to simulate obscene gestures, so at no time do my hands need to leave the wheel. 

So far, I can start it, stop it, and drive it.  I’ll learn the other stuff later. 

I was especially happy that in the Great Ledger of recorded decisions, I SCORED!  And somehow I had not disturbed the larger order of the universe.

I did it!  And I did it alone…uh, with a little help from my friends…my many, many friends.
Gee, I have so many blind spots.

In reality, it took a village…a very big village.  It is the height of hubrus to believe we can do this life alone.

We all light each other’s lamps. It’s how the village is illuminated.