Happy Sleepy Monday Everyone! Here’s hoping that ‘extra hour’ of sunlight will hasten the melting of all that snow. In the mean time, curl up with a nice blog…
Bride Elect (Evolution of a Bridezilla)
Chapter Ten—Letting the Abusive Relationship Go
As Palucid and I basked in the glory of our healthy relationship, it was becoming painfully obvious, through shear contrast that I was in an abusive and dysfunctional relationship with my car. I bought my car just days before I signed on to the dating website which brought Palucid and me together. In my first year with my car, she was a little high maintenance, but that is not outside the realm of possible with newly purchased used cars. By the time I had met Palucid, I was head-over-heels and blindly in love with my car—I was her “bitch”.
As with every abusive relationship, there was a cycle at play. There would be a series of events building up to a blow up of some kind, and then a cool/melt down, followed by a reconciliation. My car and I were no different. Every fall and spring, I would take her in to be either “winterized” or “summerized”. With rare exception, the mechanics always seemed to find something: something expensive that required immediate repair or replacement. I would rage and cry, and then turn to my good friends at VISA for their generous support. Then, I would pick up my car—rejoice in that she was “as good as new”, and I would fall in love with driving her all over again. I would tell myself that it wasn’t her fault she was an expensive vehicle to repair. I would remind myself just how safe I felt driving her, and no one could put a price on that.
Palucid, a man who openly admits he fell in love with my brains long before he noticed my boobs, sat in stunned silence. My capacity for denial and forgiveness seemed bottomless and totally isolated from even the slightest hint of logic. As things escalated, he began to take a dim view of the mechanical advice rendered to me. I am sure from his perspective they must have seemed like fellow addicts who knew no better than to encourage me, or at the very least—hapless enablers trying to help in all the wrong ways.
Things began escalating to unbelievable proportions just prior to, and throughout the first three months of our engagement. Truthfully, it is a lengthy story of denial, and dysfunction and I will only hit on the higher, and most expensive points. From July through to October 30th, I enjoyed the following mechanical mishaps…
A routine oil change uncovered the presence of oil in the antifreeze, much flushing and inspection determined a crack in the turbo, and installation of a new turbo damaged the sensor that governed the air conditioning—thus the air conditioning required repair. Repair of a cruise control switch resulted in the malfunction of the high beams. An antifreeze leak was found at the base of the radiator, and further inspection found that the whole radiator was highly corroded and required replacement. Somewhere between the mechanics shop and my garage, one of my tires picked up a screw that rendered the tire beyond patching. Finally, after all other leaks stopped leaking, my garage floor welcomed the presence of power steering oil. With surprisingly little abuse, or other coaxing, my power steering rack gave up the ghost in a spectacularly dramatic fashion.
In my defence, I finally accepted I need to get rid of this crazy-bitch-car somewhere between the air conditioning and the cruise control repair. This car was in such bad shape that we condemned her to the “bad car box” and rented a car for the July road trip.
In between parental meetings, engagement announcements, and tradition balking, I was tasked with car shopping. I was terrified of landing in a rebound relationship with another car because often the rebounds are worse than the dysfunctional relationship you left in the first place. My perspective on cars was badly skewed, and I was unsure of whether or not I could unskew it by myself.
Palucid and I had to handle this together—as a couple. Car shopping as part of a couple was virgin territory for both of us. In the past, I went car shopping with my dad, and allowed his shameless bias towards boxy-but-safe Swedish imports govern my car choice. Now, bruised, battered and jaded, I was of the opinion that whole “boxy-but-safe” enthusiasts could just take a long drive off of a short pier (if these cars are as safe as they claim—it should be something of a cake walk).
Palucid had become somewhat fond of driving a car with a turbo. He was hoping that I too would honour my dependency on “going fast”. Perhaps irrational, but I blamed my five-figure repair debt, at least in part, on the dastardly turbo. I decided I wanted reliable, sturdy, and safe. During one conversation, I think I might have said something like, “I am NOT buying your mid-life crisis car”. Harsh, I know, but keep in mind, I was coming out of an abusive car-relationship, and quite possibly in the throes of PTSD at the time.
Palucid was understandably frustrated with what appeared to be my overt reticence with car shopping. He as much as suggested I should not do any wedding planning before I was done car shopping. Divided attentions wouldn’t help anyone, after all. I couldn’t argue with him, but the truth was whether or not I was actively planning our wedding or not, my attention span, and interest in car shopping was somewhat compromised by the wedding thing. To adhere to Palucid’s request, yet honour or even address my yearning to wedding plan, I decided to do some passive research on wedding planning on days when I wasn’t able to car shop.