My Car Doesn’t Speak To My Phone Anymore

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Technology — such a marvelous thing! My car, Ruby, used to talk to my iPhone and play Pandora or my downloaded music through her speakers. It was so cool. She also would handle incoming phone calls for me.

A while back Ruby and my phone broke up. I’m not sure who started the altercation which ended in Ruby refusing to acknowledge my phone’s presence in her life, but what’s done is done.

I’ve had them both in for counseling at my local Toyota dealership and they tell me Ruby won’t even talk to their computer. She would need a ‘Brain’ transplant for her bluetooth system. Whatever disagreement they had completely rattled Ruby and her ability to communicate with the outside world vanished. I can have her fixed, but it will cost me nearly $900.

It made me sad, because I used the music playing feature of their communication relationship daily. Multiple times a day. And while I don’t often talk on the phone while driving — it did come in handy on long trips to chat with a someone when I got bored with the highway.

That’s all over now.

I know what you’re thinking. I have other options. I could replace the radio, as the dealership advised, but here’s the down side to that. I would lose my back up camera which is attached to my console. Or I would lose the controls on my steering wheel because I would have to choose a feature. There isn’t an after market stereo replacement available at the Big Box Stores that has both and even that comes in around $700 with installation. A custom stereo place could do it — for about $1500.

I could just trade her in.

But no. I love Ruby. If you’ve read about my motorcycle, you will understand my tendency to lean into older things with character. Ruby has said character. We’ve had adventures together, her and I. She’s mechanically sound and simply beautiful. She’s got another good eighty thousand miles to go on her before I get concerned about her inner workings. She doesn’t owe me a cent in that department. She is nearly paid for!

So I dug out my old CD collection and tossed an assortment in her console and that is what we listen to these days.

A few points about this experience.

I got past the ‘I can just fix this’ mentality pretty quick after I saw the estimate and weighed my options. I determined I was going to have to adjust my life to a new reality and live without a pretty vital part of my daily routine. Form a Plan B and make it work. Music is important to my sense of well being. I had to sort it out.

I remembered how life was before technology ruled the day and that we all managed just fine in the ‘dark ages’. In fact, it was fine not to answer a phone call while I was driving. Let it go to voicemail. I’ll be home in a few minutes and I can call back. I spent most of my life driving without a phone, so yes. I can do this. I can be ‘unavailable’ for a change. Having that ‘me’ time in my car gave me a new sense of freedom and peace.

I have found my budget is happier as I’m spending less on new music. I’m not downloading anything any more. When I’m home I have Pandora on and no need to buy music. If I happen to be shopping any way, I might buy the occasional CD — however the impulse iTune down load is a thing of the past.

Reconnecting with some of the ‘old’ music I loved reminded me of who I was in my heart and soul. I remembered why I bought those particular CDs, went to see those particular bands, and sweet moments attached to special songs. Listening to new music and expanding your horizons is great, but remembering where you came from also needs a part of your heart and mind.

Listening to my ‘education’ CDs was incredibly enlightening. I had heard them dozens of times over the years but tidbits I had forgotten or maybe I just wasn’t ready to hear floated to the top and were eagerly absorbed this time around. I felt centered. Loved. Guided.

Maybe down the road we’ll talk about that ‘Brain’ transplant again with the folks at the dealership. Or maybe one day they’ll tell me it’s covered under a recall — one can always hope. For right now I’ll go old school and flip discs in and out of my CD player. Actually touch the music I’m listening to instead of just touching a screen.

Takes me back…

Self discovery in progress, stay tuned

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