I’m not sure the exact moment I reached the “F it” point with my car, but I can easily identify the factors that contributed to the mindset.
I think it started with the broken trunk that refused to open without a complicated and tedious routine that involved simultaneously twisting a key, wiggling a latch and saying a prayer. I would only engage in the routine on those rare occasions when I needed to carry some large object that couldn’t be fed through the doors (okay, or when I “needed” to carry an insanely large amount of plants). It simply became too difficult to open the trunk to clean out errant receipts and other detritus that seems to accumulate in a car.
And then the leather seats (that elicited a disappointed “Oh, Lisa” from my mother upon hearing about my new purchase) started to crack at the point where the seat belt cuts into their previously-oiled hides. And once the orange foam guts started to spill, it seemed superfluous to condition the remaining leather.
The “F it” attitude intensified as my life disintegrated. The car and I were both jettisoned from our safe and secure life, leaving its metal frame exposed to the elements instead of protected in a garage. As the silver skin gained dimples from the repeated assaults launched by storms and the paint faded under the glaring intensity of the sun, I grew to care less about cleaning the exterior.
I realized recently how complete this attitude has become when my neighbor backed into my car, displacing and cracking the bumper, and I honestly replied “Don’t worry about it” when he came to my door to confess.
I knew it was time to break down and buy a new car once the “F it” attitude extended to the mechanical systems. When the needle indicated an overheating engine a few weeks ago, I found it difficult to summon even the small amount of energy and money needed to replace the malfunctioning thermostat.
Today, I’m working on cleaning out and cleaning up my car in preparation to sell it. It’s strange. The motions bring back memories of carefully maintaining the car for the first ten years of its life. Even though I no longer care, I remember when I cared very much. I just can’t summon that feeling any more.
Because that’s the thing with “F it” points. Once they’ve been reached, there is no turning back.
And the only thing you can do is walk away.