Complaining And More Car Hijinks (Originally Published September 11, 2010)

It’s been a busy week in the Mitch family. Little Mitch had his first Chuck E. Cheese birthday party. That place is great, it’s like Vegas for kids, without the hookers and $0.99 margaritas. Then Little Mitch started his first day of school, yes I cried, but he did fine. He’s doing so well in fact he’s already complaining they won’t let him play with a caterpillar game. The funniest part is that you can tell it’s just gnawing at him that he can’t play with that game yet. I should probably tell his teacher that he will absolutely not drop the caterpillar game issue until he gets to play it, when he locks onto an idea it’s like laser beam focus, but I want to see how long this plays out. I give it two weeks before we get a call from his exasperated teacher about the caterpillar game. 

Complaining is a genetic trait he must have inherited from me. I don’t complain for the sake of complaining. I just feel if you don’t like something you may as well be honest and say you don’t like it. I’ve said this before in past blogisodes and its a personal mantra for me, if you don’t like something just say so, don’t pretend you like something when you don’t. Just be careful not to offer your opinion when not asked, then you’re just being a blowhard A-hole, which I’ve been called on more than one occasion. But is it really an insult when you’re self aware enough to know you’re an A-hole? I’ve admitted in past blogisodes I’m a recovering A-hole. In fact I’m on step twelve of my twelve step A-holes anonymous recovery program. 

Step 12: “Had a spiritual awakening (Holy Crap, I WAS an A-hole!) as result of the past 11 steps we tried to carry this message to other A-holes (Listen, you’re being an A-hole of epic magnitude, I didn’t want to bring it up but you left me no choice Great Grandma), and to practice these principles in all our affairs (Don’t be an A-hole…don’t be an A-hole…don’t be an A-hole…don’t be an A-hole.)” 

I know that this complaining trait of mine can be seen as being negative but I feel the opposite is just as bad, my mirror universe doppelganger; The People Pleaser. Mrs. Mitch is such a people pleaser someone could kick her in the groin, give her a wedgie then steal her lunch money and she would apologize to her attacker. What really gets me is her sunny disposition on life. She always looks at the bright side of things and it pisses me off to no end. “Damn it woman! Your four year old son decided to break my $150 framed movie poster attempting to ‘fix it.’” For some odd reason I can’t explain when I get really mad I refer to Mrs. Mitch by gender and Little Mitch becomes solely her son. “I know, isn’t it wonderful how curious he is?” she would cheerily reply. “Did you see that little old lady butt in front of us in line at the deli? That’s pretty brazen!” “Well, she probably didn’t see us, you know those seniors don’t have the best eye sight and hearing. She probably didn’t realize there was a line.” She would sunnily respond. “Really? As she jumped the line she told us to ‘suck it bitches!’ while flipping us off…” 

In fact, even tonight we had a minor verbal skirmish about the upcoming first car purchase we will be making soon, very soon, before the snow falls hopefully. Mrs. Mitch is really excited about our first car, she won’t stop talking about it with everyone. She’s talking about it with friends, family, coworkers, random strangers, telemarketers, rambling homeless people, and even our rabbi. Which is extremely odd seeing as he’s been crashing on my couch for the past two weeks and we’re not Jewish. 

I on the other hand am doing the complete opposite. I am not excited in any way and I try at all costs to avoid talking about our first car with people. Why am I not excited? Mainly for the fact that I am merely looking at a car as another commitment I need to add to my financial plate. I also avoid talking about the car purchase because I have learned one important life lesson. The minute people find out you’re shopping for a car it seems every damn person “knows a mechanic” who’s selling a car, or knows someone who’s selling their car, or knows “a guy” who’s good with cars or has an opinion on what you should or should not do about buying a vehicle. Cars, timeshares, STD’s and kittens; everyone has one they want to unload on you. 

I am experiencing car advice overload. I hit my limit. I can’t take anymore. It’s like those stories of prisoners being tortured with non stop deafening Barney’s “I Love You” song and Van Halen’s “Panama” being played 24/7. Except the latter song wouldn’t work with me, “Has the prisoner cracked yet?” “No, General. I don’t think the torture is working; he keeps playing air guitar and screaming ‘Rock! F-Yeah!’ It’s been seven straight days. He rocks hard sir. Very hard.’”  

What is it about the car experience that everyone feels the need to express an opinion to you about them? I assume it has to with the fact that nearly everyone has a car, but nearly everyone also has a refrigerator, but they don’t express opinions about them. “Oh, you’re in the market for a fridge? You know, I know a ‘fridge guy’ who’s really good with fridges. It was used by a little old lady who only refrigerated on Sundays to go to church.”

So far the advice that made absolutely no sense to me is the person who told me I should buy a certain brand of car “that’s cheap; it’s only $40,000.” I literally plotzed. The last time I dropped forty thousand dollars on something I got five years of university out of the deal and eventually a degree. Five years later I’m still paying that off. I look at cars as utility tools. Something to get you from here to there. A fridge is a utility tool also, but people wouldn’t pay forty thousand dollars for a refrigerator, that would be ridiculous. But forty thousand for an engine and four wheels doesn’t seem ridiculous to some people. If I paid forty thousand dollars for a refrigerator that thing better fix me a martini when I get home, massage my feet as I sit in my easy chair complaining about my work day, and put out like a drunk sorority girl in mexico on spring break later that night. 

I just don’t understand cars, I guess.

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