I’m generally a “glass is half-full” kinda person. Rarely, I see the glass as half-empty. Sometimes I don’t care if the glass is half-full or half-empty as long as the liquid in it is wine. I was feeling down about my car the other day, wishing I had the means to get a slightly newer, slightly less duct-taped vehicle. Instead of wallowing in my self-pity (which I’ve been known to do from time to time), I decided to make a list of all the great things about my car. For one thing, it’s running. (Today, at least.) Also, I don’t have a car payment which is really awesome. The more I thought about it, the more reasons I came up with why my car is fabulous. For instance, it’ll never be stolen. In fact, I came up with an entire list of reasons why it will never be stolen. How you frame those frustrating situations and circumstances makes all the difference!
Here’s 15 reasons no one will ever steal my van:
1. When you get the van up to about 45 mph, it
starts to feel like a plane going through really bad turbulence while chunks of rust (and occasionally an essential car part) falls off begins to rattle.
2. There’s a rusted out hole in the door that provides some lovely cross-ventilation, but to a would-be thief, it would probably be a little disconcerting to feel a sudden woosh of air fly in through the closed door.
3. It can be a little difficult to see out the side mirror since it’s been held in place with duct tape ever since the Great Basketball Mishap of 2013.
4. As a would-be crook took off in my van, he would soon be assaulted by the stench that can only come from a 12-year-old van that has hauled teenage boys to hockey and football, that has survived several cross-country trips with six kids, that has housed a package of onion rings in 90 degree weather for a week before they were discovered, that currently contains water-logged beach towels and a few bushels of sand, and that has had shrimp lo mein spilled on the carpet. I predict it wouldn’t take long for the thief to jump ship.
5. The first time you attempt to stop at a light, you’ll undoubtedly notice that you need to actually put your foot through the floor and drag it along the pavement Ý la Fred Flintstone in order to slow the vehicle. Most thieves probably don’t wear the Kevlar shoes necessary to stop this van.
6. The air conditioning is broken. Unless you count the rusted-out hole in the door as air conditioning. It gets hot in Florida. This is definitely a theft deterrent.
7. Because the air conditioning is broken and/or because of the eye-watering stink, the thief will probably want to open the windows. The windows work approximately 50% of the time. It’ll be a real bummer when the thief pulls up to McDonald’s to order some chicken nuggets and can’t roll down the window to get them. It’ll also suck when it rains and the window won’t roll up because when it rains in Florida, it’s like standing under the giant dump bucket at the water park.
8. The radio only gets two channels: the Spanish station and the Lawrence Welk station. If you flip really fast between them, you can hear “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” with a Latin beat.
9. If a thief tries to drive away in my van, they could only go a maximum of two miles without having to stop at a gas station because that’s how many miles to the gallon the van gets. I doubt most thieves would be amenable to spending $100 in gas every two miles.
10. This van is about as easy to park as a river barge. (Note: Ive never actually parked a river barge. You probably don’t even park a river barge. You probably dock it or something. But I’m trying to find a fitting analogy here so work with me.) I’m positive that parking my van is akin to docking a large vessel which means you have to cruise around the parking lot for at least 20 minutes, searching for a chunk of two-three open spots together lest you bash in the cars on either side of you. It gets tiring real fast.
11. Every time you step on the gas, the glove compartment flies open, spewing an assortment of cassette tapes. Chances are the car thief would be pegged in the head by a projectile Veggie Tales tape rendering him unconscious. It’s okay if he sustains a bloody gash though, because the glove compartment also houses 382 napkins from various fast food establishments because you just never know when you might need to sop up a bleeding head wound.
12. The check engine light is pretty much always on. It hasn’t prevented me from driving the van, but it might just deter a criminal who’s afraid of the engine blowing up or whatever the check engine light indicates.
13. The windshield wipers need to be replaced. Right now, they don’t so much clean the windows as they just smear the love bugs (Floridian creatures that look a little like lightning bugs, fly around while mating, and eat the paint off your car) around in a streaky, bug-guts, sort of way.
14. Sometimes my big ole Chevy Express is mistaken for a church van. I’m not sure, but I’m guessing a dude who just stole a car would probably not appreciate a load of youth singing “Kumbaya” climbing in the back of the van as he’s trying to make a hasty getaway.
15. You can’t really blend in with this van. The police would spot it immediately what with all the neon pink duct tape and the fact that it was personalized by my daughter when she was three and gouged everyone’s name into the paint with a nail she’d found on the sidewalk. As proud and impressed as I was that she spelled everyone’s name correctly, I recall being less than thrilled with her choice of medium to express her newly found writing skills.
I bet after reading all that, you’re wishing you had such an awesome, amazing gem of a car, aren’t you? Okay, well maybe not. But the next time you get down about something beyond your control, reframe the situation. Make a list of the positives. Remember that someone else always has it worse. And always, always find something to laugh about.