Thursday, December 30, 2010
Another one bites the dust.
Calendar day to month to now year ready to be ripped away and added instead to the pages of history. National, personal. A decade gone into the not-so-new millennium.
We inch closer to that infamous 2012 where things are supposedly going to get "all shook up" and the world as we know it a thing of the past.
But if you think about it, the world as we know it is already a thing of the past. Each year bringing new and seemingly unimaginable things. Each new gadget invention making life easier (in theory), each new day bringing new lives and losses of others.
And again the time for resolutions. For lessons learned to turn themselves into mantras for the impending year.
So as I looked back on my resolutions of last year, I must say I didn't do so badly. I can check them off as a success and I can try to wrack my brain on how to make some things happen in 2011.
I will pretend yet again to be resolute. (And whether or not they actually happen is a matter for another day)
I will try to be less reliant on others in 2011. I doubt this will happen as people seem to tell me over and over I am a lot to handle. Not sure if that's complimentary or insulting. But my flair for being a damsel in distress is hopefully being put behind me. No more will I have to call my boyfriend, brother or neighbor that I am on the side of the road like a wounded animal. Having a new car to start off 2011 should hopefully make all distress calls a memory. In theory.
I will try to get myself as out of debt as I possibly can in 2011. Now granted, I realize that this is a difficult task giving the fact I don't make as much as I put out each month, BUT having a roommate moving in for New Years and a second job of sorts I am hoping I can at least function like a normal adult, if only for a brief period, and get my credit in check. I mean, it wasn't as bad as I thought in the first place since they gave me a brand spanking new loan for a car, but still I owe money and I want that stupid monkey off my back. We'll see how that goes.
I will try not to take the people I love for granted 2011. I know that sounds awful, but I can guarantee I don't do this on purpose. I hate feeling like I expect things from certain people, and I don't really. I am ridiculously grateful for my family and my boyfriend and his family and my friends. I am resolving to make more of a conscious effort however for them to KNOW how much I appreciate them and do what I can in return. I'm one lucky bitch.
I will try to see more of my friends in 2011. I feel that in 2010 with kid activities and low fundage I have let my friends fall by the wayside. Now some have dropped completely off of cliffs in a matter of speaking, and sad to say that some I cut out for my own sanity's sake. But others, those tried and true who understood that life had other things for us all this past year, yet stuck around anyway. Dropped a quick email or phone call, even a text message letting you know they were there. Double dates with our significant others? Yeah, let's get together now and then shall we?
I will try to be more diligent with organization in 2011. Ok ok, I admit it. I am not the neatest person on the planet. I mean I don't do like dirt/grime type disorganized crimes, but I am a clutterer. I save things that mean things to me, some that seem ridiculous to other people maybe. BUT I will have places for them. Stored away out of site and not say all over my living room. I will make sure my new car isn't a storage unit on wheels, I will keep it nice and pretty. I will also do my best to do the same at home. I said TRY.
I will cook more meals at home in 2011. Sounds like a simple thing really. Go home from work, grab child, and make dinner. It's harder than you think! You get home and get lazy. Or grab the kid from your mom, who is already cooking so you figure why not just eat there. Or just throw together some sort of microwaveable concoction, not a meal really or a pinnacle of healthy eating, but something that passes as dinner. I actually like to cook. I do, I just need to motivate myself to do it more often. To branch out and try more than the handful of staple recipes I know by heart. Hell I even need to start making my own coffee to take to work every day with my snazzy new Keurig machine.
I will try to lose 20 pounds and have abs of steel before 2011 is over. Yeah this one is never happening but I figure you have to put in that whole I will lose weight and get in shape resolution in there to complete the cliché or it just wouldn't count. And I know I used it as a resolution last year too, and that I DID lose 20 pounds. Couldn't hurt to drop a few more and tighten up the old squishy areas now could it?
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
And just like that it's over.
Ready to pack up and haul all remnants of Christmas like the Grinch who stole Christmas. St. Nick has dashed away all.
All the stressing about shopping and money and staying up all night wrapping pretty packages that are ripped to shreds in a fervor of excitement, gone in the blink of an eye.
No more worrying about who you can or can't get what. No more lists to sift through and wonder if you can pull it all off.
The tree is nearing petrified state even with incessant watering and the lights are starting to sag. The outside lights are covered with the remains of the 2 feet of snow from the day after Christmas blizzard that attacked Massachusetts.
I was so anxious leading up to Christmas. So worried about money and harried about the ability to make sure my son had a good haul from Santa.
By the skin of my teeth I pulled it off.
I spent time with my family, with little to know drama. It was almost like living in a parallel universe.
Christmas Eve with the Boy's family, so wonderfully accepting of me and of Dylan. They have made us feel like a part of their family and it was a nice feeling. To be loved and welcomed by a group of people who don't have to give a rat’s ass about you if they didn't want to, but they do.
Gifts given and hugs shared. And of course the look of surprise as my Love opened his gift, the one he wasn't expecting that I was able to pull out of my ass. That I was able to trick him into thinking he wasn't getting. Score one for the ruse.
Christmas morning I was awakened by the pitter patter of little feet, flying into my bedroom.
"Mama! Santa came!!!"
Followed by him jumping into my bed for a quick cuddle as I tried to wrap my brain around the fact it was already morning.
Off to the living room to ogle Santa's spoils. It's truly a feeling of holiday cheer to watch a child tear into box after box, wrapping paper flying like pieces of a winter storm as they dig in to their prizes.
He was so happy.
I felt for so long this season that I would have a very disappointed kid come Christmas morning, but to the contrary he exclaimed it was the "Best Christmas EVER!"
The 2010 year is inching towards its demise and what a year it's been.
Aside from a few minor hiccups, the year has been great.
I have a new job, and a permanent one at that. I have an amazing man in my life that I love and who loves me back. And now a shiny new car instead of a flaming pile of junk on wheels.
I'm hoping that 2011 can only bring better things. (I know, who IS this optimist?)
Bring it on.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
So after sitting in that dealership with my brother last we left me, and test driving again and crunching more numbers, again, we left with the hope that something would eventually pan out.
I left again discouraged to not have any definitive answers, nor keys in my hand.
Another week of dependency on other people to cart my carless ass back and forth to work. Another week of feeling like I was abandoning my child, who was still thankfully spending night after night at my mother's so he was able to go to school.
The Boy and I strategized.
We called dealership after dealership. We priced out what was possibly possible. We finally settled on a car to strive for.
4 dealerships were given my information. Everything about me. Name, rank and serial number. Data was ran and numbers were crunched. Initial offers were given and rebuffed.
I felt like a slick Wall Street trader. Granted I was being fed the information to say much like Cyrano de Bergerac, but nonetheless, the words flowed (with many, many, many post-its in front of me for notes) from my mouth and I sounded like less of a novice.
MSRP's, Invoice Prices, Holdbacks. Terminology I knew nothing of was littering my daily conversations. Haggling like an old woman at a yard sale.
I said my thank you’s and let them know I was being rewarded with better promises at their competition. I felt almost powerful. These places fighting over me like a pack of wolves to a single piece of deer meat.
I was narrowing the search. Had brought my battle down to 2 dealerships.
This was a stressful process. Yet another week in the making.
I finally get the offers. One hands down winner was chosen, but I was of course prompted to sound laissez faire about the whole ordeal. "Oh ok, well I did get a good offer from the other dealership so I have to do some thinking before I make my final decision".
Inside I was jumping for joy. Was I really approved?? Was it really a reasonable sounding offer? Holy shit!
The only hurdle I had left was my trade. My Ford Carcass, ready to ignite again as soon as the battery was reconnected or attempted to drive. They had all given me trade idea's sight unseen.
Boy were they in for a treat.
Now came the next struggle. How the hell do you get a car that bursts into flames when you drive it 45 miles to the dealership with the promises of taking it away from me and giving me a shiny new replacement?
Idea's were toyed with.
Rent a trailer from U-Haul? But then I would need to find someone willing to tow a car 80 miles round trip. Volunteers? None.
Get it towed was the only possible solution. The dealership gave me the song and dance that they "don't do that" and I was on my own getting the vehicle there.
Bastards. (Of course we later learn, thanks to knowledge in such areas by the Boy's father, that they likely had the ability to do this, but wanted me to suffer. Assholes)
So I figure, well I have roadside service on my car through my insurance, I can get it towed under the guise I need it serviced again. Seeing as a call had been placed it was on FIRE with the last 2 weeks this wasn't out of the realm of possibilities.
I make the call. "I need my car towed; it's dead in my boyfriend’s driveway"
"Ma'am, we are only authorized to cover the hook-up and the first 5 miles, as there is a Ford Dealership that should be able to repair your vehicle. You would be responsible for the remaining 40 miles of yoru requested destination, at $4 a mile."
"Well you told me you would tow it like 100 miles when it caught fire a couple weeks ago, why are you only going to go 5 miles now??"
"You had filed a claim before and it was towed under the claim. This being a roadside service call, we are only authorized the mileage to the nearest manufacturer dealership."
Fuck me sideways.
I started to cry to the woman, hoping she would take some sort of pity on me, find a loophole. "It's the week before Christmas; I can't afford to pay close to $200 for you to tow my car. The reason I need it towed to where I am asking is because I know someone there who is willing to fix it extremely cheap and if they can't, it's at a dealership I can trade it"
The woman puts me on hold. "Ma'am we can do the first 20 miles, but you would have to cover the remaining 25."
In my head I work the math (ok not in my head as I am math impaired, but using the calculator on my cell phone), it was still $100. Money I certainly didn't have extra.
I told her thank you. And she told me the tow place would contact me, etc.
I immediately called the Boy, who was at work while this ordeal was going on. I got him up to speed.
"They want me to pay $100 to get it the extra miles to the dealership"
To which he responds "You don't have $100."
More ideas were thrown out, and I took to the internet for a solution. I posted the need for someone with AAA to come to my rescue via my Facebook status. (ah the wonders of modern technology). Of course, much to my chagrin, it was a fruitless effort.
The person would have had to be there with me to get towed, and others had exceeded their tow limit for the year (What? A limit??). I appreciated the ideas and declines, and racked my brain on what the hell to do.
I had until 5pm to get to the dealership. It being a Sunday, I was pressed as it was to get a car before Monday so I could get to work of my own accord.
The tow guy from my insurance calls. Great. Now all I can think is I am going to be forced to dish out $100 I didn't have right before Christmas to get this pain in the ass car out of my life.
I ask him if there is any way it can be cheaper. I relay to him my plight. Being a single mom the week before Christmas. As sure as I was that it had fallen on deaf ears, he told me that he had to come out anyway to show proof he tried.
I sighed. Ok.
When he got there, he assured me he wasn't able to tow it through my insurance anyway because the plates weren't on it.
My plates were sitting on my coffee table 40 miles away. I didn't know what to do.
The man, toothless and heavyset had been riding in the tow truck with what I assume was his wife or girlfriend. An interesting pair, but who was I to judge?
He let me know that he wasn't able to tow it without plates, and put a call in to his headquarters that I couldn't afford the tow anyway.
Then, something amazing happened. Something that has (briefly) restored my faith in the human spirit.
He told me he was going to call in my car with his personal AAA. He had friends with other tow company's in the town I was in and he would put the call through one of theirs and they would tow me up to 100 miles.
Dost my ears deceive me??
A total stranger, offering a good deed the week before Christmas?
So he chirped into his Nextel and made the calls. Arranged the tow and filled out the AAA slip with his information and left it in the car. I felt obligated to tip him for his generosity, since I would have had to pay a ridiculous amount to get towed.
He balked at my offer and said "No don't worry about it, you don't have to do that!" to which I replied, "Well YOU didn't have to do what you did and I appreciate it."
Holiday greetings were exchanged, and he lumbered into his flatbed and roared off into the distance.
Soon I was riding shotgun with what I can only explain as a redneck gangster. Some sort of backwoods-wigger thugging out to the mainstream hip-hop that bellowed out of his orange iPod mounted on the dashboard.
I occupied myself on my cell phone playing a vigorous game of Angry Birds, trying to calm my nerves as we made our way to the dealership. His bizarre attempts at small talk every few miles were thankfully quelled by my avid texting.
My brother had to meet us at the dealership with the plates, and thankfully he had been able to get into my house to get them.
We timed the arrivals perfectly as my brother rolled in just seconds after the tow bed was being lowered.
I grabbed my plates from him, gulped and walked into the dealership to meet my fate. Excited and nervous. Excited at the thought of my new car, which had been pulled up front and center for me to drool over. Nervous that they would look at my current car, laugh and tell me to shit in a hat.
As I walked in and shook the hand of the man I had been dealing with by phone for a week and sat down, my brother thankfully came inside to join me. I had feared he would take off, but I was happy he decided to stick it out with me in the dealership.
Texts back and forth to the Boy about what was going on and side conversations with my brother helped the time go by, though didn't help my nerves. It was surreal.
Paperwork filed and signatures signed with a flourish. I lay in wait.
Finally after what felt like a decade, he walks towards me, keys in hand. KEYS IN HAND!
It was in slow motion it seemed in my head. Probably the longest 20 feet I had ever witnessed someone walk. But there he was now, in front of me. Keys in hand, ready to give me them and let me leave the lot with this brand new beautiful vehicle.
Another man comes over to teach me how to use the features in the car. The FEATURES!!! I had Bluetooth and gadgets and all kinds of buttons and lights in there! I had power windows and locks and keyless entry!
I was the proud owner (well I will be after 6 years of payments, but I digress) of a band spanking new 2011 Kia Soul.
Joy to the World!!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
So let's recap.
Last we heard from our Heroin (me, for all intensive purposes) I had been ravaged by fire (ok slight exaggeration) and rescued by my love. I had gone from the depths of vehicular despair to the hopeful promise of a light on the horizon.
As I sat Tuesday in the chair of the car dealership, being late now and banks being closed, we had to take our hopefulness and mosey on back down the road south, headed for home.
The promise of a call the next day with assurances of ease and convenience, we left. Still uplifted and positive that I, yes I, the vehicularly challenged would soon be given the keys to a shiny new car. The first new car I had ever been introduced to.
Naturally, we went to Hooters for dinner, because serious discussions call for serious atmosphere.
Burgers digesting and conversation semi shouted above the hustle and bustle of the scantily clad wait staff and the boisterous and drooling sports watching clientele, we discussed the situation.
On the road again, we were optimistic of what the next day would bring.
The week had gone on and on with calls back and forth. Haggling with banks and salesmen to get a reasonable cost and an affordable monthly payment.
This wasn't a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am kind of ordeal. No instant YES, but no outright no either. This, my friends, was Limbo. A sort of car-themed purgatory.
So as the days wore on, I was forced to be picked up and driven to work by a fellow employee who thankfully lived somewhat near the Boy, whose house I had been essentially stranded at the majority of the week.
The wheeling and dealing and process of the whole new car thing had been ongoing through the week. Random updates that weren't really updates at all were made. "We're trying to get you the best deal possible", "we're waiting for a call back from the bank" blah blah blah.
My patience and anxiety levels were wearing thinner by the hour. Stomach in knots for days on end, just wanting a resolution. Wanting to know for sure, one way or the other if this was actually possible, or some string-a-long tactic meant to test me somehow.
Friday night, I finally got a ride from work to my own home. I hadn't been there since Monday and had been tiring of interchanging parts to the same 2 outfits at work all week.
As I bade farewell to my coworker and turned the key in my front door, I was greeted by my Christmas tree on the ground and a bevy of shattered glass ornaments.
I burst into tears.
The stress of the whole car thing paired with the sight of sentimental, irreplaceable ornaments in millions of pieces all over my living room was enough to send me right over the edge.
I called the Boy, completely defeated.
He gave me the usual assurances, that things could be worse, "It's only glass", etc. “Time to make new memories.”, "They were only objects.” All things that should have been comforting, but piled onto the anxiety I had been harboring all week fell on deaf ears.
My brother begrudgingly brought my son over to see me, as with the hellish week I hadn't seen him at all. He also came wielding a replacement stand for the tipped tree.
We struggled and squirmed with the tree, but got it sort of in the upright position. Crooked and harried now by the tumble it took. Ornaments and garland disheveled and tilting to one side. My once beautiful tree, verging on Charlie Brown status.
The next morning, I spent my time helping to honor fallen soldiers with Wreaths Across America. Wandering in wintery cemeteries to place wreaths on the graves of those who served in every war from the Revolution to now in my home town.
If Karma was out to get me, it certainly wasn't from this life, but perhaps in another I was a real son of a bitch.
So the Boy picked me up after my charitable morning, as he had taken Dylan to his skating lesson and then we headed to Wal-Mart to get yet another tree stand, since again my tree was on the verge of falling over.
Another day of struggling and straining to get the tree in the upright position, the kids playing somewhat nicely outside, we passed out from sheer exhaustion. For him physical, for me, mental.
We awoke with a start to look at the clock, and realized I was to be to my waitressing gig in 20 minutes. I hustled around the house, throwing on make-up and taming my hair from the winter hat I had adorned all morning, threw on my uniform, my arms still covered in bed scars from sleeping with a sweater on. My arms now looked cable knit.
So I spent the night slinging drinks and being jovial, hoping to make a few bucks.
And then we arrive at Monday. Picked up by my brother and driven to work, I sit and again wait for the call from the Dealership.
A few calls and call backs later, I am approved!! I made arrangements to get picked up from work to go sign the papers and get my keys. I called my insurance and transferred the information from my dormant vehicle to the VIN of the new one they had given me. I was excited; I was jumping out of my skin.
The Boy arranged to meet us with the plates from my old car, so I could easily get in and drive the new one home. We met at the bank so I could deposit my funds to easily write out the check that would lead me to my new vehicular fate.
My cell phone alerts with a call from the dealership.
"Yeah we just noticed a slight thing, since you got approved from this bank and not that bank, you lose $1000 in rebates so now you need to come up with another $1000 down."
My heart sank.
"What?? I can't do anymore than I told you, I had to beg, borrow and steal to basically come up with what I did in the first place"
Apologies are thrown, it wasn't their fault, it was the bank, etc. All I heard was what the kids in Charlie Brown heard whenever an adult talked. Tears streamed down my face.
A suggestion was made to take the words of their original deal to another dealership, one who liked to compete and beat the one I had been dealing with. Couldn't hurt right?
Yeah, that's 2 hours of my night my poor brother and I won't be getting back. More numbers crunched, and test drives taken and they wanted my first born child essentially. SO much for competition.
So now I am again in Limbo, or still in Limbo for that matter. Waiting for word that something will pan out. That options will be weighed and something will eventually work out.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
There are a few certain inevitables in life.
Everyone will be born, everyone will die, and if it can go wrong it will usually find a way to do so.
Murphy must have been a distant relative, since his law has been applied to my everyday dealings for quite some time.
Yesterday started like most for me. Got up, begrudgingly and snuggled happily in bed for a while. Finally kicked my own ass out of bed got dressed and headed on the highway (you're welcome for getting that song stuck in your head) gingerly to work.
Suddenly there arose such a clatter (ok ok, so I was dying to use that line, being it the holiday season and all)....
As I drove mindlessly down the road, my car started making this rattling noise. I mean, my car and road noise were long pals, not the quietest of vehicles in its 7 year life span. But this, this was a new noise.
My heat had yet to kick in (since I had a temperamental temperature gauge, it was in and out on most days, a royal pain in the ass on frigid New England morning) so I figured it was something to do with my radiator.
Like any smart woman would do, I called my boyfriend.
"Um, hi. My car is making a weird rattling noise". His response, "Do you think you can make it to work?" Followed by me saying "I hope so. I just shut off the heat, hoping maybe that was it. If you get a call that I am stuck on the side of the road however, don't be shocked."
We bade our farewell and I continued on my merry way.
The rattling not only continued, but got progressively worse. Now as I made my way winding down the long, uninhabited road towards the highway, the noise got louder. I turned the radio down, craned my neck to listen more attentively. I would step on the gas and the noise would get louder, let off, still rattled but less.
The line of agitated morning commuters now trailing behind me must have been thrilled with my snail’s pace and rev-and-go test driving.
While all this sounds like it lasted a while, within a 2 minute span of my hang up with the Boy, the engine stopped and I coasted to the side of the road. I called him back; let him know that I had just officially died.
"Are you serious?!?!"
As I sat I noticed smoke coming from my hood. Ok, I figured I had over heated. A pain in the ass yes, but not the end of the world. I told him I would pop the hood and take a look and then call him back.
I got out of the car, the annoyed trail of cars now whizzing behind me. One lone truck pulled behind me.
I told this to the Boy, to which he asked "Is it a murderer?"
So out of the car, I head to the front of the car and attempt to pop the hood. Once open, I see my engine engulfed in flames.
That's right flames.
The woman in the truck, (who had stopped) had previously driven past me, saw the flames shooting out from under my car, and turned around to pull behind me to assist.
I panicked, slammed the hood down and shouted to her my car was on fire as she grabbed her phone and dialed 911. I grabbed the keys, my purse, my belongings, Dylan's car seat and of course my coffee and RAN to the lady's truck.
A nice older gent who had been taking out his trash across the street also came to the aid.
Within minutes what looked like a plumbers van pulls up, only to see it was a member of the Fire Department. He was moments later joined by another suited Fireman and a police officer.
Happy frickin Tuesday.
So there, frigid and numb by the cold, I stood and watched as these men re-opened the hood I had slammed down and run from. The fire had luckily put itself out by then, but they ogled the engine.
Some sort of wire shorted and arcing and lit oil in fire was the theory.
I called the answering service for my job. "Um hi, this is Apryl from the office, my car is on fire soooooo...yeah ."
Message left, I didn't know what to do next. I called my Boy back and told him roughly where I was. The lovely trash-taker-outer (whose name we now know was Joe) told me to grab my stuff and come warm up in his house.
I told the Boy this (using Joe's phone since mine had died, naturally) and he asks "Will you be in the basement? Bound? Dead?"
(Clearly we have high regard in the trusting of strangers...)
So in with Joe and his lovely wife (whose name oddly also began with a J but who I am blanking on now) and we joked and chatted away until my Knight in Shining Minivan arrived.
He and Joe, far more mechanically inclined than I could ever hope to be, chatted about the possible cause of the fire and we loaded my rescued stuff into the van and headed back to the Boy's house, thankfully semi nearby.
I made the call to my insurance company, not sure if this was claim worthy or at deductible level, but called none-the-less. I knew I had rental insurance, just not sure how it worked.
It is useless as I found out. Had I been in a collision, a fender bender, they would set me up no hassle with a rental car. I could go about my day to day life seemingly uninterrupted. However, since I had my car catch on fire, well that I had to pay myself, wait to see if the claim gets approved, investigated and then maybe get reimbursed.
Yeah go fuck yourself on that one.
I agreed to have an adjuster call and check things out on the off chance it was claim worthy. Could they that day?? No of course not. They did however set me up with a tow.
So, since it had seemed like a fixable issue at the time, and seeing as the Boy once was mechanic to giant military helicopters, we opted to tow it to his house and see if he could easily (and hopefully cheaply) diagnose and fix the problem. (Thankfully he had yesterday and today off)
He jetted off to meet the man with the tow truck, and a little while later I could hear the BEEP BEEP BEEP of the back-up alarm and the clanging of chains from the flatbed that brought the Fucus into the driveway.
Once there, the Boy assures me that I am a disaster of a person (so loving, yet true...) and proceeds to again pop the hood of the white metal mess outside.
Things become unbolted, Googling is done, and what seems to be the issue is found (we hope) and out came the tools to work it out. A piece of something that upside down looks like an oily mess of a pan to my non-mechanical eyes is now resting on the kitchen counter.
A gasket thing is then inspected and seems to be ok. Perplexing since that "should" have been the problem.
Back out to the driveway he reassembles the parts and then takes the car around the block. No more rattling noise it seems. He gingerly pulls back in and asks me to drive it for another lap around the block, see if I hear anything odd or how it feels, me obviously knowing the car better than him.
Apprehensively I got behind the wheel, the smell of burnt something or other still floating through my vents. It was nerve racking, but there was no noise.
Back in the driveway, he again pops the hood, car still running. Seemed to be ok.
Seeeeeeemed being the operative word.
Ok, time for his lovely assistant Vanna (aka, ME) to get in the car as his head poked into the engine and rev the gas. Hmm. Ok.
So I sit, scootch the seat back allll the way up and hit the pedal. Ok, so far so good.
"Do it again"
"Ok, one more time."
And again, the engine bursts into flames. Clearly hell bent on killing me, or itself, and now my boyfriend.
"TURN IT OFF TURN IT OFF!!"
I jump back in and pull out the keys. He's blowing frantically, trying to put out the fire.
So again, I place a call to 911.
"Hi my car is on fire in the driveway”, state the address and listen intently as the sounds of sirens and big red fire trucks get closer.
The Boy puts the car in neutral and rolls it down his hilly drive, so if it finally decides to blow up, it's at least not near the house.
As my flaming Fucus backs itself into the driveway, the frigid cold wind gusts just right and shortly puts itself out just as the red flashing lights stop in front of it.
Again, suited firemen, this time wielding a caravan of vehicles with them including the Hazmat team, circle the dead-end street.
They make their way to my smoking car, extinguisher ready and again ogle the engine. This time, they disconnected the battery and pretty much forbade any more activity with the car.
They laughed at me and told me I broke a record, having to file 2 of the exact same reports, in two different towns in the span of a few hours.
I always wanted to break a record. Some one call Guinness!
So now, no chance of fixing my car, I again make a call to my job. I let them know about fire number 2 and that I would certainly NOT be in that day.
Full of stress and anxiety, the Boy and I racked our brains as to what to do. I needed a car. We didn't know anyone with a second vehicle I could borrow for a few days, didn't have the money to rent anything, and certainly didn't think we had any money to buy a car.
We were thinking of some sort of pre-owned cheap something or other that may be able to get me by for a few months.
The Boy, in a stroke of genius, called his father who works at a dealership, just to see if there were any cheap (and by cheap we mean pretty much a rent-a-wreck status) cars I could finagle. Not really, so defeated we hung up.
How bad WAS my credit? Oh terrible. At last that's what I had come to believe for the past decade. I had assumed it was atrocious and never gave it another thought. I was stuck with a horrendous interest rate for a piece of shit car that I over-paid for in the Ghetto because it was so bad....right?
A point and click here, and a few keystrokes later and we find out thanks to the power of the internet, that it's actually not so bad. It's not super fabulous, but it was actually kind of ok.
We needed to test this theory. So back searching the interweb we apply for a small credit card. Each piece of info I entered, I followed with a silent "Yeah Right" in my head. On to the final page, I hit enter. APPROVED!
What?!?! Who are you and what have you done to my credit score??
"If you can get approved for a credit card, you can probably get approved for a car loan, it's worth a shot right?"
Another phone call to Daddy Dearest and we had given some more of my coveted financial info to someone to see what it looked like. Again, thinking some sort of basic cheap pre-owned something or other that would get me by.
"Can you come in tonight?" was the next call.
"Um, we'll try."
So off to load his poor kids (one of which was home with pneumonia during the whole "my car on fire" ordeals) into the car so their oh-so-generous grandmother could babysit and we could high tail it to his dad's work.
(My child thankfully already being babysat by my dear old mom)
So into traffic we went. Tail-lights illuminating the long drive as they flashed in front of us until we pulled into the dealership.
So we sit through the rigorous and lengthy process of talking to a sales guy, giving out more personal information and then laying in wait to hear the verdict. Just to even SEE what kind of previously owned something or other they MAY be able to hook me up with,
So off the man goes to obtain the keys of the car they want for me, the one they think fairly confidently they can get me into.
We look out the window with each car that passes through, wondering what sort of vehicular future awaits me.
Suddenly, a brand new 2011 beautiful car pulls up. Shiny and still plastic covered. And what do my wondering eyes should appear, but the sales guy we had been talking to!
Today I sit in wait, wait for the 100% go-ahead that I am going to be in a BRAND SPANKING NEW CAR for the first time ever in my life.
Cross every appendage you have people; I need all the help I can get!
Friday, December 3, 2010
T’was just weeks before Christmas, and all through the house
the clothing not laundered, not even a blouse.
The stockings were still in a box in the kitchen,
In hopes that I’d get off of my ass and stop bitching.
The dishes were piling up high by the sink,
They need to be done before starting to stink.
And in my procrastination I’m ready to snap,
Have ransacked my brain for so long I could nap.
While people I know are out shopping for gifts
I wonder if I’ll even pull off Christmas.
The stresses of the holidays making me sour
Days dragging on hour by hour.
How I’ll afford Christmas I’ll never know
I smile and I nod so my kid doesn’t know.
Mommy is broke, her bills in arrears,
There may be no sleigh, no eight tiny reindeer.
With the bank account dwindled to the point I feel sick,
There will be no memorable pics with St Nick.
Decorations are scattered in every room,
I hope I’ll get motivated to put them up soon!
Ads for Lego’s, Transformers and Video Games!
The Jingles so catchy you know all the names!
You can buy them at Sears, at Macy’s, at Kohl’s,
Toys R Us, and even hole in the walls!
As each one of them airs, you hear “I want that!”
From remote-controlled-this to it-transforms-to that.
So up to my ears I’m in things that he wants,
I counter with “Santa is watching you” taunts.
The Elf on a Shelf and his movements are slacking
I’m looking for the extra funds I’ve been lacking.
Applying for jobs, a second and third,
So the words “Shut off notice” will no longer be heard.
The guilt setting in on the gifts I can’t buy,
For those friends and family members that I usually try.
A bundle of Toys may not be in my kids future,
If miracles happen, one now would be super!
I’m living this Christmas how they do in the ghetto,
Dodging the repo man daily like a pro!
I put on a good front about the things I can’t pay,
But I feel like a deadbeat, cry a little each day.
The cable shut off, internet and phone,
We watch Christmas DVD’s whenever we’re home.
No food in the cupboards, peanut butter or jelly,
The plus side to that is a slow shrinking belly!
My ends are all splitting, my roots are a mess,
No money to fix it, no funds to hair dress!
My kid’s head so unruly and money so scathe,
I took some old clippers and his head I did shave
He spoke not a word, I went straight to work,
And hope I didn’t make him look like a jerk.
So hoping my fears and anxieties don’t grow,
Somehow holiday spirit will soon start to show!
I close my eyes tightly, I hope and I pray,
Let this Christmas not end in a Griswoldy way.
My boyfriend explains, and I hope he is right,
It’s the season of giving, it will all be alright.