So last week my best friend and I were in one of our favorite spots in the US. Scottsdale, AZ. First off, if you haven’t been there, you owe yourself a trip. Camelback mountain, Cougars, Old Scottsdale, Beautiful Resorts, a fake waterfront, 70 K college students running around and Gilligan’s (22’s in paper bags, and a midget bar) are just a few of the absolute gems located in this suburb of Phoenix, AZ. But this story could have happened anywhere in the world, it just so happened to be in one of my top 5 spots.
My best friend is an extremely well traveled, well-educated, handsome, fit, funny, biker. A catch for any lucky lady I'd say! We have known each other going on 9 years, and are currently sitting across from each other staring at the Vegas strip as I write this piece. As far as love is concerned, he considers himself a hopeful romantic rather than a hopeless one. But this blog isn’t entirely about my BFF, it’s about America.
This girl was trash… Well, let me rescind that comment. She was trashy, and not anywhere near the same league as my friend. But she had a great body, and a great… well… she was kinda dumb and wore a lot of makeup. But as we say in the South, she was “Sweet.” Anyway, it’s not that she was anything special, it’s that she was there, and he wanted to take a girl on his bike, have a great meal, and get balls deep into some good... conversation with a girl from AZ.
So the plan was on, she agreed to a date and he was excited. In fact, I hadn’t heard him so excited in quite a while. We got back from work around three and hit the pool at our cut-into-the-cliffs resort. They were supposed to meet at 7, and un-benounced to her, he'd made reservations at the nicest restaurant in 40 miles, a town car was lined up for them, and he'd even ironed a new shirt that he'd been saving for a special occasion. But in came the text (no call). She couldn’t make it. Tired was the excuse, a bad one at that.
He was devastated, I laughed my ass off. "I told you so" lingered on the tip of my tongue but I never let it go. It was the classic blow off, and he never saw it coming.
Now usually this would be the end of it. But he saw something in her that I obviously didn’t. Must have been something, maybe her teeth, I don’t know? So they made plans for a motorcycle ride the next day, and that next morning she canceled on him again. Plans for dinner, she ruined those too. But she promised and swore up and down that it wasn’t her fault, (she really liked my BFF). She would make it up to him on day three. And she finally showed up after work for dinner.
It was already dark so they got in her car to head out. The apologies started, conversations ensued about their days, and then… the check engine light came on:
BFF: You know your check engine light just came on…
Girl: Yea, it kinda goes on and off.
BFF: Um, you know that usually means that
something's wrong, have you had it checked?
Girl: Uh, no, because it goes on and off.
I figure if it was a real issue it would stay on, or I would
This was the straw that broke the camel's back for my friend, and the subject to this extremely long winded blog set-up.
Before you get too curious, the car did not blow up on the way back to the hotel, and my friend did not get his heart broken by this “Sweet” girl. However I didn’t even realize it, but I was getting a good look in the mirror from this little excursion.
The check engine light scenario is one I’ve seen with girls many times before. And it’s not about a lack of knowledge about the car they drive, or in the overall mechanics of a motorized vehicle, it’s about a lack of caring of the little things. The on and off check engine light is just a little thing and for the short term it probably doesn’t mean a whole lot, but it will eventually lead to a full on check engine light, and in this day and age, with highly smart computerized cars, check engine lights mean serious problems for your car.
Once the big light stays on, you very possibly have major problems. Problems that are going to cost you a lot of money, money you could have saved if you had paid attention to your early warning signals in the beginning.
And just like in any relationship, if you don’t deal with the little issues as they come up, they will all culminate into such a big issue, that you'll be in a situation where you're deciding whether or not to should fix the car, or sell it for much less than you think it’s worth.
My BFF should have recognized the problem when the first symptom crept up to the surface, but he let problem after problem occur until there was no other solution than to drop the entire situation, and kick that poor “Sweet” girl to the curb.
Do you have a check engine light going on in your relationship? If so, deal with it. I know it’s much easier to push all the problems and arguments off into the depths of your mind until the next scheduled checkup, but by that time the light will be on full time, and you might have a fatal problem on your hands. Don’t sell your relationship for scraps when a little more TLC along the way could save you a trip to the junkyard.
Our Grandparents always said: “If it’s still good, why would I want to get something new?” We don’t think that way anymore though; We need a new TV because it’s clearer than our non-broken one, a new computer because it’s faster than our already working one, and nice clothes because our non-damaged ones are out of fashion. Are we doing this with our relationships too?
We jump into relationships too quick because of having a few things in common and a cute factor. We hide our real feelings for the fear of being too vulnerable to our “partner,” and when the real problems come out, we’re too quick to break up, or divorce a situation that could have been fixed if we'd only dealt with the little problems as they had occurred.
Next time, fix the small inconvenience before it grows into a relationship-ending problem. You’ll thank me for it later… And I thank my BFF.
WJNTY - Seth