Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Break Up

Have you ever had something happen that at first you laughed off and thought "Oh well, it's just another one of those things", but then later on, the more you think about it, it makes you cry and feel completely knocked down?

I had that happen to me today.  In fact, it's still going on so I'm writing about it to hopefully get it out of my system and maybe it will help to put it in perspective and move on.  This is just another one of those life challenges and it too will pass.  That's what I keep telling myself but I am still wallowing.

I'm probably making this seem way more important than what it is, I know.  Anyways, onto the wallowing...

I have blogged here about my car, Josie the Jetta, before.  I pretty much cursed Josie and myself when I wrote about her hitting the 200K mile mark.  I should have known better but if you knew her backstory (shades of Lost), you'd understand why 200K was a huge mark in her life.

I bought this car all by myself in 2000.  It was my first big purchase on my own.  Maybe it should be my last, I dunno.  Hubz says that I should have known better but you see, Josie seduced me.  She was cute and red and had tons of buttons and the most amazing feature ever...heated seats.  Yep, I was drawn in and there was no turning back once my backside got all toasty that first time.

I had Josie for less than a year when she first started having problems.  And I mean PROBLEMS.  Josie had to have a new transmission before she was one year old.  That should have been my first clue to break up with her but I just couldn't do it.

I JUST CAN'T QUIT YOU, JOSIE!!!!
 
I figured that she was under warranty and it was probably just the luck of the draw and I assumed that the dealership would take care of it all.  Well, they did.  I got a brand new transmission and off we went.  Less than a year later, I was in an accident with her.  Had to have a new radiator, new hood, new front end and a new VW symbol put on it.  It was all quite heartbraking to see Josie there crunched up like that.

Then, again, less than a year later, she had to have another transmission.  Now you might say "Good Lord, Pinkie, how do you drive?  Don't you take care of your cars?"  I drive just fine, thank you, and yes, I do take care of them.  I figured this was some problem stemming from the accident I had.  So back to the dealership I went to get my sweet, sweet lady fixed up.

 Here we go again...less than a year later...more tranny problems.  Uh huh...why didn't I get out then???  Heated seats, remember.  Please try to keep up.  So I figured that this couldn't be just luck of the draw because by God even feral cats and Rodney Dangerfield have better luck than this.  So I fiiled a Lemon Law claim and actually won.  But Volkswagen didn't offer to buy my car back or swap it with another.  They didn't want her either.  So I got a settlement check instead.  Normal people would have taken that money and the car and traded it in on something reliable.  Well, I think we've all figured out by now that I am not normal, right?  Right?

As part of the settlement, I requested that a different dealership install the new transmission because I didn't think my local dealership knew how to spell "German automotive excellence" much less know how it was supposed to be performed.  Everything was taken care of and Josie was washed and waxed and handed over to me.  This should be the point in my life where I realize I am the mom who blindly loves their child even after realizing their child is a serial killer.  "Oh no, my child is perfect, wonderful and can do no wrong."  Plus, my kid has heated seats.  (It's wonderful.  If you don't have those on your car, you should think about it the next time you shop for a vehicle.)

Josie actually did reform for awhile.  She and I moved into a new house, got married (not to each other), and had a baby.  We've been there for each other.  Now, she has had some relapses.  Her heater core went out causing me to have to ride around for 3 months in the winter with no heat while I saved up the $1,800 to have it repaired.  She's had some bad O2 sensors and bad window motors but who doesn't???

But ever since the 200K post I made, Josie has been stabbing me in the back over and over again.  First there was an antifreeze leak into the cabin of the car which requires $1,100 and removing the entire dashboard.  This causes condensation to form on the inside of my windshield and I can't see out to drive.  (No safety hazard there, huh?)  There's the cracked windshield that wants $300 to be "like new".  Then there's the broken fuel injector for $350, busted hose or hole in the windshield cleaner container, something is causing the ABS light to come on and off randomly, the front passenger window won't roll down, the knob you use to move your mirrors broke off, the cup holder is hanging on, the rear-right taillight won't light up and it's not the bulb.

Now this morning, the incident that has sent me into fits of alternating laughing and crying, and sent me to my keyboard to rant is this...

I'm driving up the highway on my way to work.  It's a nice morning because it stopped raining (Thank God!  You'll see...), I'm listening to Mariah Carey belt out my favorite Christmas song, All I Want for Christmas is You, and suddenly I think to myself, "It sure is a lot colder in here suddenly.  It sure is a lot louder in here suddenly."  I thought that the tractor trailer next to me needed some serious servicing cause it had to be the loudest one I ever heard but I still couldn't figure out why I was suddenly so much colder.

Then my hair blows around.

I look up to find that my sunroof had come half-way open all on its own.

"Hello!  McFly!!!  It's 40 degrees outside, why are you open???" 

I reach up to fiddle with the switch to close it and...nothing.  The thing would not close.  At all.

And I was only 5 minutes into my hour long drive to work.

By the time I got to work, my hair looked like Mariah Carey's in the beginning of her career and I was absolutely freezing.  When this first happened, I just had to laugh cause why not, right?  As they say, "it's par for the course".  Typical.  But I still thought that maybe once I got to work and I let it sit for a couple of hours, it might start working enough that I could close it.  I need to stop thinking cause I'm not so good at it.

So Josie hates me.

It's evident.  Most folks would go out and get a new car but we aren't in a position to do that.  I haven't had a car payment in eight years and I don't have any money in the budget for a big one now.  We don't have any money saved for a down payment either.  So now I'm crying and freaked out.  I stop to tell myself that it's only a car.  No one is sick, no one is hurt, everything's fine.  But it just feels like one more knockdown and it seems to get harder and harder to get back up.  I know that's life but today, right now, life is kicking my butt.

At least my butt is still toasty, though.
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