“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”—Albert Einstein
As the holidays approach, and the weather finally wakes every dark morning with a chill and the occasional snow flurry, I decide the time has come to protect my new electric car parked in the driveway with an outdoor cover as technologically marvelous as the vehicle itself. I waited 3 months for this triple-layered marvel to arrive and feel it’s very appropriate that its stunning, modern fabric will wrap the car in silver lined with fleece for the holidays. But, I’d forgotten how hard it is to get a truly form-fitting car cover installed properly, because I’d never done it alone before. Like the 1950s ski pants we used to be shaken into by a willing collaborator, there seems no way to squeeze the body of the car into this cover on my own. Whatever the impervious outer shell is made of, the cold weather and high winds render it completely non-negotiable and inflexible. But the car stood there, naked, the cover lying in a heap on the ground, and rather than ring my neighbors’ bell and ask for help, I decided I’d better figure it out on my own as I’d be doing it many times in years to come.
I’m going to spare you much of the frustration of this poignant tale because I have yet another to tell and not enough space, but suffice it to say the cover took too much time to put on and had me in a heavy sweat. Figuring out the exact protocol for heaping it on the car’s roof, pulling it down to fit over the sexy aerodynamic mirrors, and then finally over the hood and rear trunk without it recoiling at both ends, since no one was there to hold them down, was a haphazard process at best. I grew angry and panicky as I checked my watch, but I finally completed it and walked into the house, breathing heavily and wiping the sweat from my brow, only to realize my shopping bag was still inside the tightly wrapped car. I had no time to indulge in the self-pity this discovery unleashed, and so raced outside to figure out how to pry the ‘ski pants’ part way off the car, allowing me to see the bag inside and then open only a tiny sliver of the door so the whole cover didn’t need to be redone. How complicated things get when you’re going it alone. I should have asked for help. But the car hadn’t finished with me yet.