You kick up the leaves, and the magic is lost
They tell me your blue sky’s faded to gray
They tell me your passion’s gone away
And I don’t need no carrying on”
The day started off just like any other. The kids and I are running late, I am silently cursing out the people in Gracie’s carpool line at school. It takes fifteen minutes just to get out of the school parking lot. As I said, a typical start to our day.
Things took a turn for the worse when I was driving down Redondo, one of my favorite places here in my little suburb of Seattle. If you remember in a past post, I had always wanted to walk the boardwalk, just never had the opportunity. Until today that is.
See, the thing is, God has a crazy sense of humor. I fully believe he will put obstacles in our way at what may seem like the worst possible time ever, yet, it is something we need, unbeknownst to us at the time. Just as we were hitting the glorious Puget Sound, my car starts to “beep.” I remained calm. Shocker I know. I checked my dash, the temperature was quickly rising. By the time we hit the one and only stop sign on the strip, full-blown smoke was coming from the hood of my car.
“Vinnie! Something is wrong with the car!”
I quickly pulled over into the parking lot right across from Salty’s seafood restaurant. I turn off the car, pull the latch to open the hood and get out thinking I actually know what it is I am looking for. There is smoke. Lots of smoke. In this same parking lot is what I would describe as a rundown shack that says “Seafood Joint” on it. Out comes this bald-headed gentleman who took a seat, lit up a smoke and watched the show that entailed “Crazy woman thinks she knows what she is doing.”
Sofia is mortified, hiding in the backseat. She just wanted to get to school. Vinnie is on his phone, and I call Joe, who is at work. I give Joe the rundown, while secretly enjoying the salt water air, wondering when the little coffee stand will open up that is across the street.
I get off the phone with Joe. “Vinnie, I am sorry, you may not be able to make it to school today.”
“Mom, I called an uber, I have to make it to school.”
Vinnie and I have a quick exchange that went from “Aww, I am so proud of you for taking charge.” To “Wait a minute, how much is the Uber going to cost you?”
FYI. It cost eleven dollars from Redondo to Highline. I am sure this information will come in handy for no one.
The uber pulls up next to my smoking car, and Vinnie jumps in the front seat.
“Peace out Mom, I am doing the college thing!”
Uber drives away as I yell to Vinnie “You are not supposed to sit in the front seat!”
I mean am I wrong about this?
Joe makes it to my smoking car, has a bunch of bottles in hand and does his thing. Sofia is on the brink of tears because she just wants to make it to school. I am on the brink of tears because I just want a coffee, and the coffee stand is not yet open. My friend the bald headed guy is like on his fifth cigarette. He may have even called one of his friends to “take a seat and watch the show.”
Our car is in the shop. We are out 1,140.00.
Joe and I are driving in his old gross beater car to pick up mine. It’s bright outside. I pull down the billfold and open up the compact mirror.
“I look horrible, I am breaking out again.”
Joe looks at me while driving his gross beater car.
“I know, what happened, your skin was looking so much better.”
I just look at him.
“Ya know, after eleven years of marriage you think you would have learned by now.”
I chalk it up to stress. Every time I am stressed out, you can tell by my appearance, which explains a lot, right?
Apparently, it will cost us another 500.00 to get the brakes fixed as well.
And 300.00 for the water pump.
Now, again, I am keeping it real here on Vodka Calling, even though I know there are many different opinions and I heard them all tonight.
I honestly thought I was doing okay. I mean do not get me wrong, it sucks to be out of that money, money that was in our savings. We had no choice. We need two cars., but at least I had it, right?
“That’s what savings are for. Not fancy vacations or designer dress, a savings is for something just like this.”
“What happened to the budget? The numbers are not adding up?”
“Are you sure you did not get taken advantage of?”
“I am worried about you.”
“Just buckle down, you can make the money back.”
I feel, well, I feel like a disappointment.
“You need to learn about cars.”
“Joe needs to take charge.”
Today sucked. Having to cough up that much money, well, it took a toll on our finances. I am sure 1,140. is not much to some people. We are not one of those people.
Everybody is right. I am sorry to all. Yes, I need to become better versed in cars. This is our family car, the car that I drive to get the kids to and from school. The car I run errands in. The car where I get annoyed at Joe when he drives it on a rare occasion and messes up my radio station. This is my car and I need to know it.
I mean think about it. I know the ingredients of every single skin care product that touches my face. I know the carb count in every single piece of food that Gracie consumes. I know whether the cat food I feed my cats has been recalled or not. There is absolutely no reason why I should not know about my car as well.
So, in pure Jen form, challenge accepted. I will learn about my car. I will become familiar with oil changes and antifreeze. I will learn the mileage and take it in for tire rotations. Eventually, I will blow your mind with how well I know about cars, well, at least my car.
This was a speed bump for us, not a dead end. I will come out of it, because, that is what I do best.