Random Bitching Put Into Perspective

I’m working from home today. Partially because I have the beginnings of a nasty cold, but also so I could take my car to the Nissan dealer to get it looked at. On Saturday I drove through what I thought was a puddle – but it turned out to be the mother of all potholes. Since that point, I noticed when I accelerated, the engine was making a bit more of growl than normal. I figured I’d done something to the muffler, and sure enough, Nissan called me this afternoon and told me the flange that connects to the muffler to the tailpipe (the big long one that connects the muffler to the catalytic converter) underneath had rusted out and basically had a big hole in it.

But of course it’s all one piece. So Nissan’s solution was to replace the muffler and the tailpipe for the low, low price of $1013. (And of course, they didn’t actually have the parts on hand, so everything would have to be ordered). And it cost me $99 just to get this information from them, because that’s how much they charge to put the car up on the lift to look at it.

Um. No.

So, I took it to a local place that does custom work. They’re gonna chop out the rusted part and replace it. For $131, plus tax. It will be done in the next hour or so. Seeing as I’m past warranty anyway, it’s a no brainer, never mind the fact that I could buy a sweet aftermarket exhaust kit for $500 or less if I really needed it. Just irks the shit out of me that the dealer’s stuff is marked up so much. WTF spends $400 on a tailpipe? It’s a couple of stainless steel pipes, yo. That’s it. (Except for the flange, apparently. How convenient.) Hopefully it will work out.

But in the meantime, here’s the perspective part. I use the blog to bitch about a lot of small random things that are going on. It’s a good place to vent, even assuming anyone really cares that much about what’s happening in my life. It certainly isn’t *everything* that’s going on. I don’t talk about politics or religion or my sexual escapades (or lack thereof. *snerk*)

I found out the other day that one of my high school friends whom I’d lost touch with had gotten married and had a couple of kids – their oldest is about Lucy’s age, and then she recently had a little boy. He’s 10 months old.

And he’s got liver cancer, specifically Hepatoblastoma.

And now she’s stuck going back and forth between her home and CHOP, dealing with feeding tubes, dealing with the fact that his hair has started falling out because of the chemo, dealing with a 3 year old little girl who doesn’t understand what’s going on or why her parents can’t spend as much time with her right now.

Cancer is a hot button for me, mostly because my mother died of a particularly horrible form of it about 8 years ago. It’s unlikely I’ll ever really get over it. But how much more wretched must it be to watch your own baby go through something that?

I’m not sure I could.

I’m not even sure what my original point to the blog was, except I find the concept really upsetting. It makes me wonder why I bother to bitch about the small things at all, because compared to something like that, it’s *all* small stuff.

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11 Responses to Random Bitching Put Into Perspective

  1. KAK says:

    I was with you on the "wah, wah, grouse, grouse." Then you hit me with the Hepatoblastoma…just urg, just wow, just… damn it doesn't get worse than that.

  2. paul jessup says:

    Because bitching about the small stuff makes us forget for a little while the big stuff is there. It's escapism, in a way, and it's healthy. Esp to bitch about stuff you have control over.

  3. sarahjayne says:

    I'm so sorry about your mother. My father-in-law is down to his final six months so with stage 4 and I can see the toll that's taking on my husband. I can't imagine having to deal with it happening to any of my four kids. I don't think it's anything anyone ever gets over.

    I was saying to my friend today that it really is the little things just pushing me over the edge lately and I couldn't figure out why. Maybe because the big things are so far out of control I've given up and all I want is the little things to not make me so miserable. It doesn't seem like a lot to ask, given where a lot of people are in their lives lately. 

  4. Danielle says:

    I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's son. It's terrible that something so sad and difficult happens to someone so small. I hope that he reacts positively to CHOP and starts to get better very soon. In the meantime, I'll keep him and his family in my prayers (or my version of prayers, that is).

    I'm also very sorry about your mother. I can't even imagine how hard that must've been. I lost two of my grandparents to cancer last year and even that was tremendously hard for me. It's true that we never quite get over these things. Anyone who says otherwise is lying. But we do learn to live our lives and cherish our memories, knowing that we'll always love them and they us, and the pain does lessen to some extent, as I'm sure you know. It doesn't mean we've stopped loving though.

  5. Danica says:

    Bitching is a part of life, small stuff, big stuff…they all impact us in different ways. A boat load of small stuff can weigh you down just as heavily as one dose of big, bad news can. I believe in venting. Get it all out. Spew until you're empty. That way, you can take time to really think about things with no suppressed emotions left over.

    I'm very sorry to hear about your friend's child. My entire family had to watch my youngest cousin when he was 2, fight leukemia for 2 years. It's not pretty. It's  heart-breaking and you think you'll never be able to smile again. But then after they're gone, you remember their sweetness and the goodness they brought into your lives when they were with you.

  6. LaTessa says:

    That's a tough one….

  7. C.J. says:

    You're right – hearing about something so horrible makes me glad all I've got is small stuff to deal with.  I think I'm going to go cry now… damn, the thought of that little boy is just so sad and awful!

    I'm not much of the praying type – but I'm full of good wishes and good Karma.  Anything and everything within me goes to their family.

  8. mynfel says:

    Heh. And now you can play Freud when you go back through my book…

  9. mynfel says:

    Yeah. That last bit of time is full of suck. My mother went so quickly I barely had time to realize what was going on, but I remember driving home in rush hour on 66 and just breaking down in the weeks before she died – like I was…preparing, I guess?

  10. mynfel says:

    🙁  That's pretty awful too. My husband's coworker had a little boy that died of cancer too, and I remember how heartbreaking his website was. I used to read it every day.

  11. mynfel says:

    Yeah – I've been pretty floored actually. A number of people who read this blog live in the Philly area and contacted me privately to offer any assistance. I've pinged my friend, but it's a really tough call between wanting help and wanting everyone to just leave you alone. (At least, it was with me, so I won't press her too hard.)

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