Ugly Volvo Wednesdays!


Crazy B*tch (Memoirs of a Lemon Lover in Recovery

Chapter 38—House with Attached Garage

Despite my car loan, I still managed to convince the bank to approve me for a mortgage. I was ready to strike out on my own, and now all I needed was the perfect place to do that. For me the perfect place meant, first and foremost, a decent garage. A decent garage meant, mostly, attached to the house and equipped with a garage door opener. Of course, it would be nice if the garage was also spacious, but since I still had access to my dad’s workshop, excessive square footage in the garage was not a deal breaker.

My realtor encouraged me to consider the detached garage, and even the car port, but houses without the detached garage just seemed to pale in comparison to those that did. Any interior in any house could be remodelled, and porches and verandas could be added easily enough; however, adding an attached garage was relatively unheard of.

I have trouble believing, or even understanding it, but for most people the attached garage is not a big deal. This feature did not add significantly to the price of the house. People were, it would seem, more concerned with things like finished basements, new shingles or siding, and something called “R-Factor”. Some believed attached garages were dangerous because it increased the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, and yet others felt that attached garages helped to further insulate the house. To me, people were over looking the obvious: attached garages significantly reduced how much time I actually would have to spend outside. I hated walking to my car in the cold only slightly less than I hated shovelling a path to get to my car so that I could shovel a path out of the driveway.

I soon found my perfect house: its design was nothing short of perfect. The garage took up most of my front lawn, and a little bit of a back lawn. It was brilliant, and in 600 easy payments, it would be all mine! I had room for my car, and all that other stuff a person collects over time. Things moved very quickly after that, and before I knew it, I was marvelling at how swiftly I felt as if I had always lived in my house.

True to my promise to my mom, I was home every weekend. True to my promise to my dad, my black beauty was parked in his workshop for her weekly WD40 polish and shine down. While houses are by far more expensive than cars, they are much easier to maintain. Sure they required things like toilet paper, and furnace filters, but the overall machinations of the house seemed far sturdier to me. It didn’t show wear and tear as quickly, nor did it seem to acquire mileage the same way.

In my first year of black beauty ownership I had to repair or replace several significant components. The first year in my house, I needed to replace my fridge. It was so remarkably minimal by comparison. I took to home ownership with far less strain and drama than I ever took to anything before—especially driving/car ownership. It was a relief, all things considered. If my house was any where near as financially demanding as my car seemed to be, I am not sure what I would have done.

My car continued to require significant repairs. Each time I went for an oil change, they found all kinds of new things wrong with my car. The prices were adding up, and soon I was paying several hundred dollars per clunk. My mechanic always seemed to hold with the belief that these repairs were not wholly uncommon, and that soon everything would settle down and the repairs would slow down if not cease all together. My dad also seemed to hold with this perspective, and would often pep talk me. Following the pep talk, we would go for a test drive. The test drives were always that which would seal the deal. It was not hard to forget how expensive repairs and maintenance were once we were out on the open road.

The open road was where my black beauty shone the brightest. She was fast, smooth and stable. It was nothing to reach top speeds, and what was top speed for most cars felt more like standing still in my car. Other cars tried to keep up, but could only do so for a short distance. One day a young man in a souped up little domestic car pulled up along side of me. He wanted to “go”, so I went. A few minutes later, I let him catch up and pull along side me once more. He rolled down his window and yelled over the roar of his macho muffler, “Your car is faster than fuck! What have you got under there?” He seemed genuinely surprised to learn that my engine was standard issue. Perhaps he didn’t believe me. I really didn’t hang around to chat with him as I had places to be, and this kid was way too slow for me.


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