Oh, to be an ostrich…

This popular metaphor is believed to have originated with observations of ostriches that appear to bury their heads in the sand to avoid predators. Some people think this behavior results from the fact that ostriches are so stupid that they believe burying their heads will make them invisible to predators. In other words, if they can’t see the predators, then the predators can’t see them.

For humans, it is more the idea that if we hide our heads from the problems we’re facing, they will eventually go away on their own.

Perhaps it’s partly because of my unending lack of patience (it keeps getting worse as I keep getting older), but I’ve always had problems dealing with “ostrich” people. I understand people who are in denial that a problem exists (my mother was sometimes the queen of denial), but if you know there is a problem that needs solved and you choose to ignore it, how does that help?

And yet, for the past several weeks or so, I have been trying to be an “ostrich” person. There is a problem going on in my life that I’m having difficulty in choosing how I want to solve, knowing the logical way that seems the choice to make is 100% different than the emotional choice I want to make. I’ve spent so much of my life ignoring my emotional desires because it’s the way people wanted me to behave. And in my head, I know that my emotions aren’t nearly as important as logic, but the logical solution is a lot of work – and expense – and energy – that I just don’t think I can do in a way that will make me okay with ignoring my emotions about it.

Okay, I’ve been vague about the crux of all of this because I’m pretty sure anyone who reads this will think that my emotions are silly. Rationally, I know that they are, but I can’t stop from feeling them.

I have a 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser that I purchased, used, in 2012. At the time, I didn’t need to replace my car, but I was driving a much older car that I wasn’t truly enjoying driving. I saw this car in an ad and my first thought was, “Oh, I like how that car looks.” For the next month, every 5 or so days, I would check to see if that vehicle was still available, and each time, I felt the same way about it. I finally decided to drive to the auto sales place where it was located and looked it over. At six years of age, it had just over 40,000 miles, one owner, no reported accidents or recalls, no scratches, under the hood looked clean, etc. I took it for a short test drive to see how it felt, and then I returned it to the lot. I liked everything about it, but I told the salesperson that I wasn’t ready to pull the trigger that day. For several days, I started looking seriously at other used cars, searching for something to make me feel like this car did. After about a week, I went back to the lot, told the salesperson I was interested if we could make the numbers work, and eventually, I bit the bullet and said “yes” to buying it. I took out a 5-year loan for it and paid it off in 3 years because it was affordable.

Ten years later and I still have a very strong emotional relationship with this car. I’ve put just about another 40,000 miles on the years I’ve owned it, and it’s never needed any service beyond the normal wear and tear service when driving a car. It made several trips to Florida, especially after my mom died, and annual trips until after January, 2015, my dad passing away in March of that year. It’s made a couple of trips to South Carolina to visit friends. It is the most comfortable car I’ve ever owned.

Sadly, it is now on life support. It most likely needs a main fuse panel (dashboard is dead and it no longer starts, but it’s not the battery). However, that part is nowhere to be found! Obviously, the manufacturer doesn’t make parts anymore for vehicles that old, and even contacting junk yards has yet to prove successful. My mechanic suggested taking it to a dealership because maybe someone ‘attached’ to Chrysler may have better luck. That involves getting it towed, and I haven’t read good reviews about the nearest dealerships’ service departments. Plus, what do I do if they can’t find the part or find it within a reasonable amount of time???

Logic tells me that I need to call one of those places that takes cars in any condition for cash and buy something else. And I’ve been looking, but I don’t want to have to ‘settle‘ for something that I won’t be happy driving (my Cruiser has spoiled me!) And at my age, when I travel less than 2000 miles a year (at last inspection, it wasn’t even 1000 miles in a year’s time), I don’t want to buy something expensive, but neither do I want to buy something with super high mileage on it or as old as my Cruiser is. The worst part is that I don’t have my dad to reach out to any more for advice and his opinion. And I’d like to find one within 20 miles, so that my “test drive” can be to my mechanic’s shop, since he did offer to do a quick look under the hood and around the body for any concerns. There is one car dealership nearby, and I’ve been checking it online every day. I did see a vehicle on the site on a Friday and went to the lot to look at it on the following Monday, but it had been sold on that Thursday before and the website just hadn’t been updated.

Meanwhile, I am without a working vehicle. I had to cancel a hair appointment and a nail appointment both for this week. My bestie was fortunately going to the grocery store after work on Tuesday and picked me up to take me along. What I got will get me through two to three weeks, and the Rite-Aid I can walk to is where I can get milk if I need it.

I don’t want to give up on my Cruiser – my hopeful being telling me that I should try every option to see if it can be repaired – my logical side telling me that I’d just be throwing good money after bad. But, I love her!!!

I want to be an ostrich! I want to stick my head in the sand and wait until this problem goes away! Having said that, I’m working towards a solution, but only a little bit each day because it just makes me anxious and sad. Keep me in your good thoughts! And hey, if anyone wants to give me a working car, let me know!