Sunday, December 29, 2013

Remote Control This

I remember being in the mountains of Colorado and one of my uncles coming to our bi-annual family reunion with a new SUV. There was one feature on it that I admired more than the beauty, the good sound system, or any other singular feature. And that was the remote starting ability! I was fascinated by this and thought it to be super cool. I mean, just imagine  pushing a button and watching your car come to life as you looked out your kitchen window. No longer would be the need to avoid those dreadfully cold mornings as this ability was the perfect remedy. Intrigued, I most definitely was.

When we moved to Austin I got a new car and lo and behold, one of the features was…remote starting! Simply hit the lock button and then hold onto the "start engine" button for a solid 5 to 6 seconds and exhaust immediately appeared, sending the clear message that the engine was started. More importantly, that the climate situation inside the car was on it's way to being regulated before I make my grand entrance!

As exciting as I was to be able to do this, Austin is hot. Especially when I bought my car at the start of September. And while I know this function works equally well in the sweltering heat as it does in the freezing cold, it just never held the same appeal to me. Heat I can take. Cold I cannot. And so it went unused.

Well just recently Austin has been hit with what the locals are calling "unusual" cold. I'm talking temperatures have been in the 20's and 30's for a couple of weeks. These locals better not be lying. These temps better be unusual, unseasonal, and un-everything else. Because I hate cold weather and I was promised Austin wouldn't be housing absurdly cold weather, such as this. Despite my disdain for this cold weather, a flicker of excitement ignited when I connected the dots and put two and two together. I'm sure you can see where this story is going. I had the realization- the excitement as I just divulged- that after all these years, I could finally use a remote starter to get my car prepped at optimal temperature for me BEFORE I was in it.

So, standing at my kitchen window, peering at the frost and cold that was practically visible to the naked eye, I called on the directions that had been given to me a couple months previous. I locked the car before holding down the button that demanded magic. Sure enough, right on queue, the engine roared to life. Success! The process alone made me giddy! I finished the gathering of things and kids before we made our way to the car. We braved the 30 foot walkway of blistering cold with the promise of refuge awaiting us just inside the car doors. A short mad dash and pull on the door-handle later and we had made it! I quickly loaded Kaia into her car seat while the other kids loaded themselves. I found my way to the driver's seat and closed the door, leaving the cold behind me and locking it out. I anticipated the rush of warm air hammering me in the face as I knew I had left the fan all the way on.

Imagine my shock when I was met with a wave of continuous cold air, directed perfectly at my face. The next thing to hit me after the rush of cold air was the shock of betrayal. All these years of fascination and anticipation. I mean this was supposed to be the culminating moment where dreams of a child come full circle. Instead, it was the rather opposite affect. I hated the result and I realized that I wasn't escaping the cold but, rather, was prisoner to it now that I was trapped. It was cold outside, it was cold inside. No where to run.

That's when I looked down at the control panel and saw the culprit. The AC button was lit and the fans were merely following the commands of their master. In that moment, it clicked. Yosh had done the rare act of driving my car the night before and felt the need to blast the AC despite the risqué temperature somewhere in the 40's. And in that moment, with that single decision, the battle of the temps that Yosh and I so vehemently fought in the bedroom was now traversing thresholds and showing it's ugly face in my very own car. No only was a dream crushed, but a war also started.

As in to be continued.
Probably for the next 60ish years.

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