March 26th, 2008
We’ve known for some time now that we needed a new car. Our current car is actually my FIRST car, a 94 Camry that I bought as a young single hottie, with no idea that this car would ferry me to visit a very hot studly guy, that it would help me to transport all of my belongings to move in with same, that after marrying Hot Studly Guy this same car would bring home not one, but two children from the hospital. Really, this car has seen me through the major changes and moves of my adult life.
But now, I think it’s seen enough. It’s not just a senior citizen anymore. It’s actually dying.
The first cardiac arrest hit last week. I drove Punksin to school and somewhere in the recesses of my brain, I noticed that the car seemed to be shuddering. This made me mildly concerned. I’ve already been concerned about driving around in this car – while I wouldn’t call it a deathtrap exactly, it didn’t pass inspection and I was driving a car that was not only not really supposed to be driven, but of way more importance, could be dangerous for my children. But the Hot Studly Guy, now known as Tech Guru – not because he’s not hot and studly anymore, by the way – hadn’t yet decided what to do about getting a new one. This was mildly pissing me off – I had suggested a few times that I wasn’t happy about driving the car because it was testing fate, and the police, to be ferrying the kids back and forth several times a day, and would have liked him to be more concerned about that as well. But, because ultimately the money was coming out of his pocket, and I knew we didn’t have much to spare to begin with, I stopped pressing. And, as often happens when I stop pressing, the whole issue just went into coma status.
Anyhow, last Tuesday, I got Punksin to school with no problem, but when I came back out to the car, it wouldn’t start. It sputtered and then collapsed. Finally, after several tries it revived, and I drove very nervously, and with good reason – while waiting at a light on a major thoroughfare, it died again. Thank God I was in the right lane, idling at the curb, but it was still nerve-wracking to be sitting there with Pudding asleep in the car as traffic whizzed by.
After waiting a few minutes – during which I alternately cursed and cried – the car started once more. I was now very close to home and figured if I could just get to the house, whatever happened after that wouldn’t matter. I started speeding, not so fast as to make the car shudder violently, but I was definitely moving with urgency: there was a left turn coming up, a turn at which I usually have to stop to wait for oncoming traffic to pass. This would not be a good time to have to stop again.
And I could have made it, had not the jackass driving in front of me decided to slow to a crawl. I was too close to the turn to go around him, but waiting for him to take his sweet-ass time meant I missed that crucial window when I could have made the turn without stopping. So I stopped, impatiently pounding on the wheel in frustration because I knew what was coming.
And yes, it happened, right there in a turn. The car died. And it would not start again for anything.
I wish I could tell you that that is the end of the car saga, but it’s not. Suffice it to say that we got the car fixed, supposedly, only to have it die again right as I was parking in front of Diana’s school a week later. (It must really not like that route…) So right now, we are driving a rental.
And looking for a car, a process I was dreading due to the sleaziness of car salespeople. But I think I’ve read enough about them and their tactics, and have enough of a temper, to be able to deal with them.
So bring it on, people. Bring it on.