Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More contemplative twaddle

It is undoubtedly true that the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. I'm not intending to relate that to knitting, although it certainly applies. Rather, I mean it regarding life in general.

For a long time I've been self-sufficient, partly out of necessity and partly out of a sense that I know what's right, yet I'm finding that not having all the answers is OK. I've understood this all along, of course. Plenty of people are smarter and more experienced than I am on a garden's variety of topics, so why shouldn't I tap their knowledge and opinions to help me make more informed choices?

If the opportunity exists, it's better to be humble and seek the input of others than stumble along on your own. Time and again the readers of this blog have demonstrated the benefits of asking for help, and I guess it's been within the last year or so that I've become more comfortable ceding to the wisdom others possess.

Which is all a big build-up to a mundane matter. I needed to get a new muffler for my car. (I figured I'd go deaf if I were to drive for my upcoming vacation without fixing this.) I'm insecure when it comes to auto repairs. I don't know much about cars. Even if the garage employees are being fair and square, there's something about the transaction that leaves the lingering feeling they've pulled a fast one. (I'm a trusting person. Honest.)

I did the responsible thing and called a place to see what I might expect to pay. It was more than I anticipated, but a co-worker said that it sounded like a typical price. Asking him paid off, though, because he told me to try some place that wasn't a brand name muffler shop. He rattled off the name of an independent, one that he hadn't used, but said that it might be worth calling them. Their estimate came back as less than half of the national chain's quote. Two guesses where I went.

I could have knitted while waiting to get the muffler replaced, but I chickened out. With its voluminous stack of well-thumbed, yellowed magazines, cracked vinyl seat covers, and staticky TV with dials(!), the waiting area didn't feel like the place for me to work on a sock. Maybe next time.



At 9:36 AM, Blogger Doniamaria said...

I HATE doing things like this. At least you're not a girl - they always try to sell me stupid stuff. But, yes, usually the independents are cheaper and more experienced.

My dad said he once saw a girl knitting while waiting on her oil change and apparently she was really good. That, in his eyes, made knitting "cool" and now he embraces my hobby. Dads are weird.

At 2:10 PM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

Although I'm a guy, unless I have a pretty good idea what the problem is upfront--a muffler was easy to diagnose--they could sell me all sorts of unnecessary repairs. Luckily I think my regular mechanic is a straight shooter.

You know, one of the reasons I decided not to knit was because I thought it might affect the price I might pay. ("This guy surely won't know what's up.")

As long as your dad embraces your hobby, who cares what changed his mind, right?

At 8:43 PM, Blogger donnadb said...

I feel very fortunate to have a mechanic that I absolutely trust. It's the first and only time in my life when that's happened. And it came about because I bought tires online and that's the shop that they shipped them to for installation (a great experience, by the way -- I recommend it). Skip's Foreign Car Repair, I salute you! Never go out of business!


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