Monday, November 12, 2012

Minivans and elections

The other day, I left the office and walked to the parking garage. As I approached my beloved minivan, I thought it looked a little dirtier than I left it. As I got closer, I realized someone had scratched the side of the car when they were pulling out of a parking spot. I immediately freaked out, wondering how much my deductible would be, what kind of person does that much damage and doesn't leave a note, etc. As I backed up to assess the damage and possibly cry, I realized nobody actually scratched my car. Because this was not my car. It was a silver minivan, parked two spaces in front of my car. It wasn't even the same make, model, year, ANYTHING. It had all sorts of stuff hanging from the rear view mirror, while mine did not. There were no car seats in the middle row, while mine had two. And ohmylord, it was only similar to my car in that it was silver, a minivan, and parked next to mine (and in my defense  it was kinda blocking the view of my minivan).
It was suddenly very hilarious and embarrassing. Like what if the actual van's owner saw me inspecting their car looking so incredulous? And then the relief set in: of all the reasons I'm hemorrhaging money, auto body repair would not be one of them. The crazy thing about it was how it made me realize, once you make an initial assessment, how much contradictory information does it take for you to reconsider that assessment? And how often does that contradictory information make you think, not "maybe I'm mistaken" but "maybe somebody else messed up!"? It seemed timely, given that this happened in the middle of election stuff: a good time to step back and reflect. It made me pause to think, how many other things in my life, upon closure inspection, are not my minivan after all, i.e., what I originally thought they were?
Totally unrelated: Last night I started reading a REALLY fascinating book on sleep problems. I feel like most sleep literature is like cry it out or wait it out. But this has MORE ideas, you guys! And stuff that you can use on kids of all ages and developmental stages. Luckily our sleep has been a lot better lately, I just sort of stumbled upon this book (recommended by my brother's girlfriend who is a behavioral therapist for kids). And even without any current sleep issues to solve, this book is making me really excited. More to come...

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