Always an adventure, non?
Those of us who’ve lost spouses and played in the cancer pond consider our dance cards of the unexpected full, thank you. There is no need, ever, for surprise. Been there, done that.
My little 200, love of my life with its’ throwback analog clock–the reason I bought the car, showed off it’s check engine light last Monday on the drive home from work. Tuesday, the light left the premises. But by Wednesday, this girl pleaded with Sweet Baby Jesus just to make it home as the check engine light screamed its alert. The 200 made put-put sounds, and the temperature gauge did a dance all its own.
It chugs to a cough in the garage and the sign of the cross blesses that I’m not blown to smithereens by the bobbling temp–up and down, up and down.
Conversation with myself.
“You’re a big girl. You can deal with this. Take it to the shop in the morning. It will be fixed by noon, latest, and you can shuffle off to work. No worries.”
It’s a big girl panty moment. I’m tempted to lift the hood but imaginings include a radiator so hot it shoots me in the face leaving charred skin and boils for the final stages of life. Drama much? I take my wrench and head upstairs. That’s a lie. I wouldn’t know a wrench if it whacked me in the head.
Next morning, I get to the shop near my home–the highly trusted one with the three letters? A very nice man does give me a ride home as they can’t hook up the magic diagnostic machine for at least two hours. It’s $110 for the computer hook up.
Four hours later, I get the call. Hot is a problem and this particular heat, the kind from hell, cracks engines. No worries, he cheerfully informs, a rebuilt one is between two and four grand. If I were sipping a Grey Goose dirty martini, two olives, I surely would shoot the elixir across the room, drenching a cat. But it’s only noon and I plan to go back to the office.
He says he’ll call back with a firm price. Takes another hour to deliver the news: 4800 dollars, rebuilt with 90,000 miles. He adds, “That’s not too bad.” I laugh. Out loud. Had I been there in person, I may have scoffed. Instead, I say I’ll come to pick it up.
Always prepared, I’ve already planned my next car and that dealership is two minutes from the place with the three letters. I speak very little as I hand over the $110 diagnostic fee. I do sniff as I walk out.
Why not go see our favorite car dealer, you say? He sold the dealership and shuffled off to Florida. Pfft. Alligator, anyone?
Four hours later, I leave with a new car I had no intention of buying. Never made it to work. Did part with a few thousand down payment pretending to be patient during the, “Let me check with my finance guy” back and forth. It’s as much fun as the last time you bought a car.
Once approved, I’m moved to the comfy chairs to wait for Finance Guy to review paperwork.
“You can watch tv,” offers Sales Guy. I sit. And what do my wondering eyes should appear? Kittens. On a loop. The dealership plays videos of kittens on the big screen.
“Is this to calm me?” say I. He smiles.
He has no idea three little mittens batting things to the floor is the best part of my day.