My mom has this saying that can just about sum things up for me right now…”Life is a shit sandwich, and every day is just another bite.” She didn’t make this up, but she says it relatively often. Open wide…here it comes!
I have been more upbeat than usual lately because it was seeming like things were Going My Way. I have finished up the bonus contract I signed at work, so I am no longer working completely insane hours (I have dropped down to crazy hours, a far cry from normal hours, but better just the same). Bill and I seem to have finally figured out this whole marriage thing (just shy of two years into it), and I have begun to make an effort to remember that it is US against the world, as opposed to me against the world and him against the world, coincidentally living in the same household. And vacation is coming! A blissful week of shopping and eating and reading and knitting and drinking…in Maine! A week at the Bar Harbor Inn, after a day in Kittery at the outlets and another day in Freeport at the enormous LL Bean store. My big plan was to spend a lot of money on myself, a bit less money on Bill, and some money on some other people. And on top of all that, I would still have some money in the bank for the school taxes that are due by the end of the year. I was flush with finally being on some semblance of the right track.
Of course, I still have a decent amount of credit card debt. And my student loan debt still totals more than $27,000. But the drowning feeling I had a year ago? It was pretty much gone.
Bill is planning to drive my car to Maine next weekend, after attending a wedding at the Jersey Shore. Therefore, I wanted to make sure that my car was good and ready for a long trip, so I took it to get an oil change. I also asked them to check my tire pressure. And it was at this point that the FAIL!!!! began.
I went off to my usual garage to get my oil changed. They called to let me know it was ready. I went to pick it up. And all hell broke loose. The car was not running well. It had been running well when I got there. After a trip to the grocery store next door, it was right back to the garage to tell them about the crappy running of the car, along with the flashing oil and cruise control lights and the rather insistent, non-flashing check engine light. A definite FAIL!!!!
After putting the car through the diagnostic thing (so scientific I am with my terminology here), they determined that it was a code for the transmission. This is the point that I started thinking, “Oh, shit.” The guy told me they would clear out the code and try running the car again. He came back momentarily to tell me that, “Yeah, something is wrong with the transmission.” And this is the point that I started hyperventilating because I know that blown transmission = several thousand dollars. And I don’t really have several thousand dollars.
After the guy from the garage was kind enough to have the transmission shop that he recommends arrange to pick up my car, I called my mom and asked her to pick me up. My car was being towed to…somewhere…either Emmaus or Macungie, I don’t remember which. And I was without a vehicle. And I was having a big crying meltdown. Not the best plan when you live forty minutes from your place of employment and you’re leaving for vacation in a week’s time. Not the best plan AT ALL.
So the good news is that my parents are going to lend me some money to get the car fixed so that I don’t have to use my vacation money, use my tax money, or cash in the one remaining savings’ bond I have that my grandfather bought for me when I was little. The other good news is that I can sign up for another bonus contract at work for October through February to make up a little of the money that I am sure I will owe my parents when this is all said and done. The bad news is that I don’t really know what is wrong with my car. And I don’t really know where my car is (although I have a name and phone number for the person whose shop it is at). And if it’s not fixed by Tuesday, I am either going to have to move into my parents’ house with the dog so my mom can give me rides to and from work all week or I will have to rent a car to get me through the week. Oh, and also, my transmission might need to be replaced. Definitely bad news.
Why is that one I get ahead a little bit, life has to come along and kick me upside the head? Was I really that evil in a former life?