Sunday, January 29, 2012

I don't like that answer!

      Wednesday morning I went out to the garage to get into the car to drive to work.  I put my things in the trunk and, as I was walking to the driver's door, I looked down and noticed that the rear tire was flat.  At that point, my day began to deflate as well.  Luckily I had a "Plan B" for getting to and from work (that didn't involve a bicycle!).  Triple-A came and swapped the flat for the spare, and my wife took it to the tire shop, where she was told "The puncture is in a place where the tire cannot be repaired.  But it may be under warranty if you can tell us when and where it was purchased."
       I didn't like that answer!  It's not because I thought that the shop was playing a game with my wife, but rather because it didn't fit into my schedule for the week.
      Yesterday, I returned to the shop, receipt in hand.  I got a further explanation on the damaged tire ("Okay, I believe you!").    I agreed to have the tire replaced and was ready to go while away an hour while the work was done when the manager said, "Wait, let's see if I have those in stock."  It turns out that the answer was not only "No", but that NO-ONE in the country had them (this is/was a snow-tire, and inventories are depleted, and nobody is restocking in the middle of January).  "What are my options?" I asked.  It seems that the best idea the manager could come up with was to do the seasonal switch-over early (that is, replace all four tires with my summer set).  Coloradans know that we can expect snow over the next several months, and sloppy snow at that.
      So, I didn't like that answer!  Not only were we going to have to drive with less traction beneath us, but my schedule for the week took another body blow!
      This morning, I went to a different shop, hoping for a different answer.  "Perhaps THEY will have a different patching system," I thought.  "No," was the next shop's answer as well.  I didn't like that!  It's a vast conspiracy against my schedule!
      Well, no, it had nothing to do with me.  The folks at both tire-repair shops were simply telling me the truth.  I can hear Jack Nicholson shouting at me "You can't handle the truth!"* I certainly didn't want the truth!  The truth was going to be very inconvenient; it was going to interrupt my life in uncomfortable ways.
       But that is the way of individual truths or capital "T" Truth.  Our lives will be interrupted, inconvenienced, changed with our encounters with that which is true.  What my most recent run-in with it showed me was what was at the root of my resistance:  my control-freakism.  And, for me, that was the take-away:  when I find myself resisting some news I don't want to hear, I should first seek the source of my resistance.  Most often, I suspect, the resistance is an indicator of something I need to change.



* The quotation is from the early 90's film "A Few Good Men".  It is reportedly one of the most famous lines in film!

**  By the way, I finally DID get an answer I liked.  But it took compromise.  At my suggestion, approved by the tire-guy, I'm only swapping over the front tires, so I still have snows on the back for the rest of the season!  It will, however, have to wait until tomorrow -- another blow to my schedule!

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