Today we will discuss the intertwining emotions of spite and acceptance. Also, duct tape.
It took me years before I ever fixed anything on my car with duct tape. I knew I shouldn’t. I knew it was the start of a slippery slope. But then my old Volkswagen’s door mirror just kept sticking in a weird way and bending in the wind and coming loose after I tightened it and tightened it and oh shit it broke in half in the middle of a road trip.
I was mad, sure. I was even a bit spiteful, feeling like the car didn’t deserve a proper fix. If it wanted to break inconveniently, I’d fix it slapdash. Part of me felt like teaching my car a lesson.
That might not be fair. I just didn’t care anymore, and I didn’t have any parts to fix it properly. Out came the duct tape and the mirror was set in place just fine.
This was the start of my acceptance that I’d never get the car in perfect order, that it would only continue to rust and creak and rattle until it fell apart in my hands. It was an important moment, and one I will not quickly forget.
And it came back into my mind today, when we looked at GM’s almost-spitefully inconvenient automatic seat belt system for the 1990 Lumina.
Reader Sjubbdubb put it well:
Indeed, there is a moment when you just don’t want to bother doing it right, and you know it will bite you in the ass, and you just keep going ahead with things anyway. Those of us who know it, know it all too well.