Crazy B*tch (Memoirs of a Lemon Lover In Recovery)
Chapter 37—Black Beauty
My new car made me feel like one heck of a sexy grown-up (complete with debt and car payments!). It was a sleek, black five cylinder turbo. Sadly, it was another automatic, but the torch ratio was so good, I just didn’t care that I didn’t have to shift anymore. I had speed and stability. I also had the much appreciated and added benefit of being seen. Everybody saw, and heartily admired my beautiful black car. It was euphoric relief to know that the days where people colliding with me because they “didn’t see me” were behind me. Everyone saw my car, and stopped in time. I am sure that my new ‘get up and go’ also added a certain prohibition towards rear-ending my car as well.
My dad was like a giddy school girl in love. Not only did he want to tinker on my car, he wanted to do it alone. He found a store that sold WD40 in bulk, and he was determined to polish and shine up the newest member of the family. I was not adverse to this approach at all. I really appreciated the time off. I spent the time with my mom. She needed some reassurance that I was okay, and that I made a decision that was good for me.
I was ready to move on with my life. I had a car loan, a sexy, sporty new car, and a burning desire to strike out on my own. My mom had her concerns. If I moved out, she would have to contend with my dad all on her own. Best case scenario, my car and I would only be home on weekends, and two days was hardly enough respite time. I assured my mom that I could handle myself on my own. Of this she had no doubt; what concerned her was how my dad would handle my living elsewhere (with my new car). If I did move out, would I be willing to have my dad over at times throughout the week to look at the car?
I am not the sharpest tool in the shed. It took approximately three hours of beating around the bush, and vague inferences before my mom just came right out with it. My mom was not concerned about missing me, she was not concerned about my dad missing me, she was, in fact, worried that without me and all my car drama, she would be stuck one-on-one with my dad. I found the whole disclosure rather alarming. I also used it as added incentive and confirmation to move the hell out.
Before I moved out, I had to get my finances in order. Now that I had car payments, I would have to re-evaluate just what I could afford. I also had to wade my way through all those initial repairs that is so common with newly acquired used vehicles. Many of the things I spotted for haggling power were coming to pass. The greatest costs of all said items were the brakes. My dad seemed not the least little bit surprised by this. He even had the historical revisionist gall to tell me he told me so.
While he could polish and shine this car to the ends of time, much of the repairs I was facing were beyond our respective scopes of expertise. I, for the first time in my life, had to resort to a garage. Fortunately the place we had been buying our parts and components throughout the years was also a garage. Both my dad and I were well known—renown even. Like my dad and I, everyone in the shop were highly enamoured with my beautiful black car.
I felt like a princess, at least until I got the bill. Once I got my bill, I felt more like a pauper. How could such a beautiful car have so many repairs? The first bill was three times my monthly car payment, and it was only the beginning. There were other less urgent repairs in the queue. I was looking at repair bills that were, at the very least, three times my monthly payments. From what I could tell, over the next year, the repair bills would total at least half of the original cost of my car.
The shop owner was really nice and kind. He gave me hope. He assured me that my experience was not unique and that in all likelihood, once I fixed all of these repairs, my car would be better than new. My dad, singing back up to this pep talk, more than heartily agreed. He all but begged me to hang in there and give this car at least one year. He reminded me of what a joy it was to drive, and how much better for me this car was than my past car choices. He reminded me of how much safer this car was, and he even hinted at the possibility of “Santa” getting me top of the line winter tires.
Winter tires? Really? Instantly, my head was filled with visions of me and my beautiful black car ploughing through snow drifts, and driving up the side of snowy, icy buildings. I saw people stopping mid-shovel and gawking with unabashed awe as I drove effortlessly down the snowy street. They were all such good visions: the kind of good that prompts vintage movie actors to have a cigarette afterwards. Oh my—winter tires…oh…yes…oh baby.