cars that are easy to get along with, and people who aren’t

The car’s settling in nicely. I’m especially appreciating the things that work exactly as they’re supposed to, like the keyless entry. (As long as the key is somewhere on me, even if it’s in a purse inside a backpack, the door unlocks as soon as I grab my handle. They were intelligent about it too – you can set it so that all doors unlock at once, or only the driver door, for added safety.) I also really like being able to drive up, turn 90 degrees, and enter a parking place. You’d think those things would just go without saying but so often they don’t; the BMW I test-drove was finicky about its locks, and on my old car I always had to swing wide first because it had way too wide a turning radius. Then there’s the things that work perfectly, but you have to figure them out a bit first, like how to get the roof to open a crack vs all the way, or the radio/phone/nav system, which is fairly intuitive, but just does a whole lot of stuff. So I’m learning all that stuff, which is fun.

There are only two small annoying things, so far, are that I can’t just tell it to make a phone car, because that was a more expensive option I didn’t get – but I can just push a button on my iPhone and tell Siri to do it, and the call still goes through the car, so that’s OK. And you have to hold the button on the built-in garage opener for a while before it works – it works perfectly, just apparently likes to be held as it’s waking up. I sympathize.

I’m not complaining in a first-world-problems sense, because these aren’t problems – it’s just that, especially as an engineer, it’s annoying when designs don’t quite work as they should. I feel the need to need that because I seem to have been annoying people all over the internet – well, all over Ravelry, really, lately. We are pretty OK financially, and lots of people aren’t and I do try to be conscious of that. I have seen people gloating about their lives, and it’s ugly, ugly, ugly. On the other hand, I’m not going to just completely not talk about the details of my life – but it was an unfortunately choice to use the word “frugal” in the title of a thread about the decision whether to buy a car on the lower end of luxury or a decked-out but more normal car. (I think the problem was that, since Ravelry is set up so that you usually just look at the title of a post before you click on it, some people were expecting more useful money-saving advice.) And there’s someone on another group that seems to want to not only tell me I’m wrong all the time but that I’m WRONGWRONGWRONG and probably evil. The thing there is, I am wrong – or at best either thinking or writing unclearly – some of the time, but attacking everything I say is a pretty good way to get me to ignore you. (It’s possible on Ravelry to set a person to Ignore so you can’t see anything they post – but I’m a moderator on that group so I don’t think I should. Plus, I do want to get corrected when I’m wrong, I’d just prefer not to have someone else’s morals thrust on me or to be attacked. It looks like a few other people are starting to see it and circle wagons, though, which I appreciate.

And that’s the other reason I’m not stupid enough to gloat about my life: it’s got plenty of good parts, with being happily married leading that list, and bad parts as well – notably, not much of a social life. But it does have the effect of making me really appreciate friendly gestures like that, or even more tenuous connections. In Oregon, you don’t pump your gas. I went to put gas in this car for the first time this morning, and the attendant I see there all the time, an older guy, recognized me and asked if I’d gotten a new car. I only get gas there every couple weeks or so, and it’s a very busy station, with several attendants working there at any one time, so I don’t know if he has a freak memory for faces or what, but I always love being recognized as a friendly regular out of all proportion to the actual contact.

ETA: I got a really nice compliment from one of my fellow mods on how I’d handled the whole situation described a paragraph back – much appreciated since I felt like I was just bungling through it being insensitive.

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