(Gavin) We hate cars/car parts/car maintenance and repair/Pepboys. Below is a lengthy explanation for this. If you don’t have time for that, here is the “short attention span version” of the story: Newish car part fails+5.5 hours of waiting+$140=We hate cars/car parts/car maintenance and repair/Pepboys. (Fast forward to the last couple paragraphs for the “moral.”
The Long Version:
Last Friday, we waited 3.5 hours outside the Apple Store in Charlotte to take advantage of “tax free weekend.” It was a long day. Little did we know, that was a mere warm-up for what awaited us this Friday.
On Monday night, we noticed that the brake lights on our Sentra were not working. Noticing that the tail lights and blinkers were still working, I got on the internet and did some Googling and soon deduced that the problem was most likely something referred to as a Brake Light Switch (similar to the one pictured above). I found a diagram on the web and went outside and made sure said switch was not loose. That was about as far as I was willing to go. I was happy to see that the brake lights then did work. But, alas, this fix was only temporary and within a few days the lights were not working again. No amount of Switch wiggling would bring them back.
Considering the problems that could arise from this brake light debacle, we decided to get it fixed. So I made an appointment with the local Pepboys for 8 AM Friday morning.
So today Shalaine and I assuming this would be a quick fix decided to go together. Right before we walked out the door, I stopped and asked Shalaine: “Are you sure we don’t want to drop it off and come back home?” We both decided that since it shouldn’t take long we would just wait. This was the crucial error to which we would look back throughout the day.
The “Brake Light Switch Incident” as it will now and forever be known, lasted 5.5 hours!!!
First, I explained to the gentleman behind the counter at Pepboys what I believed the problem to be, but since they are car experts and I am not, they had to run a $50 diagnostics test. This test revealed that the problem was in fact exactly what I had thought, the Brake Light Switch needed to be replaced. As it turns out, this item is not a “High Fail Part.” And so there weren’t any of them lying around. So they had to call around and find one. They found one at a NAPA in Belmont, NC, a town nearby. They arranged for a NAPA man to drop this off while he was out making other deliveries. Time passes. I grow a beard. NAPA man arrives. NAPA delivers. NAPA man brought the wrong Brake Light Switch. And NAPA store did not have the correct one in stock.
So, more phone calls. Eventually, Pepboys clerk finds a switch at a Nissan dealership nearby. (This was approximately the 3.5 hour point and the Pepboys clerk informed us that since they were getting it from a dealership, the part would be more expensive AND it would take an hour to be delivered.) More time passes. A bird has now nested in my newly grown beard and her eggs are hatching. The miracle of life! Finally, the part arrived at 1:05 pm. Our car was ready at 1:25 pm. $140 bucks is the damage!
What did Shalaine and I do during the 5.5 hours we had on our hands? We were quite creative:
-We sat outside on a bench in front of Pepboys for hours.
-We brought our Lord of the Rings books and read. (I’m reading Fellowship of the Ring and she is reading Return of the King.)
-I listened to music alone a little and we shared one set of headphones and listened together to Loudon Wainwright III, Joe Henry, and Miles Davis.
-We talked about lots of things. That was nice.
-We walked to Micky D’s and ate a small breakfast. (Pepboys is located in a shopping center with several stores and restaurants! This was the silver lining.)
-We walked to Bestbuy. It hadn’t opened yet. So we walked to Office Max all the way across the shopping center and we bought some of our favorite pens, which we are currently out of: Bic Ultra Round Stic Grip (Blue ink).
-Shalaine walked to Wal-Mart and purchased water, gum, and sour candy.
-A friend called me to ask if I could help him move some furniture in Charlotte. I had to break his heart with a “no.” (Sorry, Daniel!)
-We walked to Chili’s and ate a small lunch.
-We joked and laughed at how ridiculous and funny the situation was.
As bad as it sounds, and as much as it caused us to hate cars, etc. We actually had a fun time. Although, we sometimes get impatient while waiting for an oil change for 45 minutes; we really didn’t get that impatient today, surprisingly. We were relaxed and cool as cucumbers. It must have been only because of the Lord’s help that we were able to be patient so long. We joked that this event was going to be good for our sanctification; but I believe it really was.
We have to remember that God is in control and that if we are stuck sitting in front of a Pepboys for 5.5 hours, there must be a good reason for it. Even if we never learn what the reason might be. We struggle so much with wanting everything in life to conform to our plans, but life just doesn’t work that way.
Something as simple as a car repair can remind us that we are not the Creator, we are the creatures, the created ones. That is always a good thing to be reminded of. We forget it so often.