A Smooth Car Ride From Florida to New York
Abe, my wife Barbara’s father, drove the family from NYC to Miami every winter. He was a man obsessed with efficiency, an attribute that drove him, pardon the pun, to accelerate the time the trip took from year to year. A harmless game, but one that created psychic scars that would effect young Barbara’s ability to trust and awakened in her a desire, which would remain dormant for many years, to gain control over the vicissitudes of life and cars.
In order to save time and reach the goal of beating his previous New York to Miami trip record, Abe established passenger rules. Bathroom use had to accompany stops made for gas and could never be longer then the time it took to fill up.
Food that was brought from home was to be consumed by the four travelers while the car was in motion and of course there would be no stops for any other reason. Abe, was the boss, the excited commander, in total control of the game he played twice ever year. Barbara was the out of control prisoner who twice every year suffered discomfort, sleeplessness and strong disagreeable smells.
It is not surprising given this background that Barbara was driving on our trip back to our condo in New York from our condo in Florida. Although she is indifferent to who drives on local trips she feels most comfortable to be driving on the long hauls. Although this required some masculine adjustment in the beginning I soothed my bruised ego with the thought that it takes a secure man to feel okay with his wife being the driver in the family. My job while traveling in the car is to offer nourishment and directional assistance to my wife which I was doing when our new 2016 Prius going 75miles an hour went onto a rough road surface. The front tire on the drivers side of the car blew up in one loud explosion of rubber but the car never swerved. After coming to a safe off road stop and calmly sharing our good luck I called Geico our automobile insurer and emergency service provider and was told that, even though it was Mothers day Sunday a toe truck would take us to the only open tire store in the area. The young lady was helpful reassuring and competent, which she accomplished by following up with texts and emails until the toe truck actually arrived two hours later and a very friendly and talkative driver took us to the store where our car was fitted with a new tire. After spending a comfortable night in our favorite motel, where we stayed in room 330 our lucky number, we arose to find that the car windshield was cracked. After the tire was fixed the day before and we were traveling to our motel a big truck carrying pebbles of some kind passed into our lane in front of us and although we heard a ping on the windshield, there was no discernible damage at that time. As the trip proceeded that next day the crack we noticed in the morning was slowly but surely getting larger. A check with google reassured us that the double safety glass that was used in constructing the windshield would hold until we got home. While still in the car I had another delightful conversation with Geico and with a glass repair shop that told us that they could replace the windshield, free of any cost the next day at our condo
So what’s the point of this story. Calm, smooth and harmonious reactions and responses yields positive acknowledgements and speeds up satisfying conclusions. I think the intelligence in the universe and people in general interpret cheery energy as a no problem situation and react to upset and agitated behaviors with defensive action. Since we created a no problem reality by modeling a serene almost tranquil demeanor, everything was cool and easy. This is the point and if you add the fact that we as a couple acted that way in concert our story takes on a simple yet interesting attitudinal and behavioral learning.