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Tag Archives: cars

Turning in the rental: Welcome back to the one-car family

by SweetMidlife

…or #firstworldmiddleclassproblems

I lost my car a few weeks ago, two days before I paid it off, which is so, so weirdly timed and unhappy but fortuitous in weird and unexpected ways. Today I am turning in the rental car that I was granted by my lovely insurance company an hour or so after I lost the car (bad storm. Engine flooded. Bye bye car.)

And even though we’re probably getting a second car in a few weeks when the insurance check comes (whoo-hoo!)  it’s weird how bummed I am at the moment, even though my husband and I have experience with the one-car deal for a while. Two cars are a luxury – heck, one car is a luxury, so whining about how now we have to coordinate and go to the gym at the same time and I have to plan my lunches and not just duck out at will.

My husband was so chill about it – there’s a rail station right near his office, and his gym, where he’s recently become jazzed about being at five days a week, is right next to my office. There are few instances where we won’t be able to share or get where we need to go. And we’ll save money on gas and, at least for a little while, a second car payment. Also, on mornings where we share, I get to ride to work with my husband, which I love. Maybe get some coffee. Hang out. Start our day together.

But still I’m bummed. I think I don’t like the idea of something being taken away from me, no matter what it is, whether it’s autonomy, or the idea that I can just jump out and do what I want, even if I don’t really want to do anything. I’m a little control-freaky. I’ve also enjoyed driving this shiny new car for the last couple of weeks, because it was a bridge between the reality of the accident that killed a car I loved, and the reality of having to start this process all over again. It’s tiresome.

Times like this I hear my dad’s voice. And it’s saying “Suck it up.” And also “take the insurance check and run and get a new car and stop whining.”

So, there you go.

Glass half full, dead car all paid for, and sun still shining

by SweetMidlife

Leslie here!

So yesterday I Western Unioned (is that a word?) my final $230 payment on my 2007 Scion from a local Publix grocery store.

“Congratulations!” the sweet customer service lady said, beaming. “I’m so jealous! I have three more years for mine.”

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that 48 hours earlier, that car’s engine was flooded in crazy roiling waters in a street that had become a river in the middle of a two-hour rainstorm, and that it was most likely dead.

Meaning that there are probably more car payments in my future.

So why was I smiling?

If you’ve read this blog, you might know that my sister and I and our family have been through some stuff in the last little while. Our dad died. Our granddaddy died. My mother-in-law and Bubie-in-law died. There have been family illnesses and all manner of drama. We’re trying to move soon. The summer travel season and its corresponding stresses loom large. I’m still not skinny. Wine still tastes good.

And yet….

There is something about crisis that gives you a laser-sharp discernment about what’s a real crisis and what isn’t. I probably lost my car. But I was safe, which wasn’t a guarantee. I was rescued by a nice cop who sat behind me with his lights on so I wouldn’t get hit, a tow truck driver who showed up earlier than I thought and my husband who took me to get French fries. My insurance is paying for a rental for a whole month. The process to determine whether or not my car’s repairable is going fast and efficiently.

And that’s awesome. It’s not awesome that it happened. But I choose to focus on the positive, like not being hit in the road, or that if I have to get a new car, I might be handed money to help pay for a new one, since we were considering replacing it later this year anyway.

I am a fan of new beginnings, particularly in the light of some of the crappiness of recent times. I also ultimately believe in the glass being half full. Why not? That means you already drank half a glass of it, and there’s half more deliciousness to go.

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