Sunday, March 13, 2011

Stupid Car Alarms

Surely I've complained many a time before about how we have this car alarm that we don't want and can't seem to get rid of on our Honda CRV. My mother-in-law gave us the car because she hated the alarm so much that the benefits of trading us for our Honda Civic that was half the value of the CRV was worth it to her just so she could maintain her sanity. I completely understand her frustration since the siren goes off at the worst times for the most random reasons. The worst times being when I am trying to be really quiet unloading bags from a weekend trip or groceries while the kids are asleep in the car. And stupid reasons being that we opened a door thirty seconds after opening another door, without first pushing the unlock button to disarm the alarm, and the car screams at us with horns blaring and lights flashing as if to say, "Don't touch me!". We can't win.

I've tried to get it disarmed and have a plan to take care of it myself with limited guidance from an online mechanic's suggestion, but I haven't had the time to start dismantling my dashboard and was hoping our mechanically inclined neighbor would be available to supervise. Since that hasn't happened yet, I am even more upset to learn that someone was in our car and stole a few items from it this past week. It doesn't bother me that someone took a few things since they didn't damage the car and the coin purse and tool kit they took weren't of any value to us. What irritates me most is that we never heard the car alarm. If the sirens went off, we didn't hear them. (Maybe I did since I thought I heard an alarm in the middle of the night, but it didn't sound like our alarm at it shut off too quickly. I can only hope the thief managed to disarm it permanently. In that case, I would have given him more than just the empty coin purse and the tool kit.) The alarm seems to only work when it wants to and it didn't want to when it would have actually been convenient for us.

We aren't sure what exactly happened. We assume Rick forgot to push the lock button when he used the car last but either of us could have bumped the keys and unlocked it accidentally. It was parked on the street right in front of our house in clear view of our front window which means two things. First, if we did bump the unlock button, it would have been in range to unlock the car. Second, the thief stole our stuff from almost right under our noses. Even if we didn't lock the car, the alarm typically arms itself and will sometimes lock the car for us as if to say, "Hey, idiots! You forgot to lock the car. Don't worry. I'll take care of that for you." That's when you find yourself in a situation where the keys get locked inside the car and you're in for way more drama getting the car unlocked again than you would have been if the car had just left itself unlocked. You can only hope you don't have the kids inside when it does decide to belittle you.

This all makes me reflect back on a time when we didn't have to lock our cars. Life was a bit more simple then, or at least a lot different. I think parenthood must have been easier or at least a little less stressful then too. I just can't imagine how it could have been much worse than it is today. Surely "the good ol' days" were different from today's parenting. My hope is that all of these technological advances will one day actually advance us in a way that makes parenting easier.

Moral of the story: Car alarms can do more harm than good. Consider that fact when shopping for your next automobile.

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