Monday, June 7, 2010

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles....I'll walk.

For most people the idea of a new car is thrilling, exciting even.  The thought of researching deals, figuring out financing, looking at special features, styles and colors is fantastic.  This is simply NOT the case for me.  I hate it.  I am forced into the worst place I could be right now.  When nothing else in the world could stress me out, my car broke down and now my friends and family are pushing (helpfully) me to purchase a vehicle that I don't really have money for.  Let's make the poor girl have another payment to make every month.

The payments aren't even the part that's really killing me either.  It's the process.  As a child I absolutely hated Math.  Hate is a strong word, I know, but it's true.  I hated it.  I had to have tutors and constantly be reminded of how stupid I was.  People who understood the problem tried to help me, but their understanding of the problem just pissed me off, really.  I've reached that point with the quest for a car.  My hours of research and finding good deals, shot down time and time again.  I give up.  I can't do it.  I don't want to deal with this.  Like I was with Math, I just want to scream and (literally) pull my hair.  I want to punch my wall and rip or break something. 

I can't do this.  I cannot do it.

My first car was Pepper.  Dr. Pepper.  My family couldn't afford to get me a car, nor would they anyway, so my best friend's Father sold it to me for one dollar.  I loved it.  It was a maroon Renault Alliance.  Like this one, only a different color.  I believe it was an '82, or maybe an '85. 

Mine was a four door automatic and it overheated every time I was in the drive-thru at Burger King.  I loved it.  It had a tape player and it was sweet!  It had so many problems, due to age.  I did all the work on it myself, with my Dad.  At 17 years old I changed the battery, the battery cables, the starter, the starter relay/ignition switch, name it, all the way to the easy stuff; like wiper blades and fluid.  Sadly, when I was 18 the brakes and everything to do with them crapped out.  It would cost more than the car was worth to fix it.  Bye Bye, Pepper.

Enter Gertrude: (photo is of a likeness, not my actual car.  Mine rode inches from the ground because the shocks, springs and basically everything else was pretty bad.  Not to mention the exhaust!  Let's just say you could hear me coming!)

Gertrude was my second car and pretty much a loner from my Dad, really.  A 1985 Buick Riveria.  I could, potentially, fit the whole neighborhood; 3 dogs, four babies and 6 bikes in that thing - except for the fact that it was absolutely FULL of my Dad's tools and random garbage.  I didn't care, it got me around.  For about a year I drove a boat.  It was my ghetto hoopty, and I loved it.  I was just happy to have a vehicle.

As with any car, Gertrude kicked it.  I paid for an @$$ ton of repairs only to have something be broken, by the shop mind you, that pretty much totalled it.  The shop wouldn't be held responsible, however, because it was an issue of something rusting through.  So, even though THEY bumped it, THEY caused the hole, I was the one who was screwed.  I was yet again left car-less.

I loved each of those cars, even when other's stuck their noses up at me.  I never needed a "nice" ride.  I've always felt blessed just to have SOMETHING.

Enter Beatrice:

My 1995 Geo Prizm.  It's still too soon to talk about it.  She's in my backyard, slowly wasting away.  She's been deemed unsafe for the road and I can no longer drive her.  I got her before I moved out of my parent's house.  She was with me through September 11th.  She drove me to Milwaukee when my Mom was dying of cancer.  She drove my friend Pam to and from many cancer appointment.  She moved me and all my belongings 7 times. She's lasted me a decade.  I couldn't have gotten a better car or a better deal. 

After Gertrude I had $3000 I could borrow and spend.  Knowing that, my good friend (retired from the business of used car sales) went on a hunt for me and bought me this car - Beatrice.  I didn't even see it before he bought it.  We'd gone looking a few times, but he found this deal and couldn't pass it up.  At that time, she retailed for over $6000.  I purchased her and licensed her for $3500. 

I will never forget Eddie driving her to my house and me seeing her for the first time.  Love.  No tape player, no cd player.  No extra anythings.  I didn't care.  I lived without them.  It was a great car.  I learned to drive stick shift in that car.

And here I sit today...


I'm 30 years old and everyone seems to think I know, or should know what I'm doing.  I'm poor.  I've always been poor.  I've never had the luxury of getting something on my own.  I've never had to research and see what I would like.  I've never had to do any of this.  It's easy, if you have money, to pick out something and just go for it.  It's easy, when you have a knowledge of cars, to jump in and wheel and deal - I hate even talking on the phone!  The thought of facing a salesman terrifies me.  I detest them.  I smell them a mile away, and I run.  I cannot do this.  I've never gotten anything I wanted.  It's just the truth.  I'm not complaining at all, just stating fact.  I don't even know where to begin.  And what's better yet is that when I express this fact - I get advice!  I DON'T WANT IT!!!!  I'm not asking for it!  In fact, advice is what is stressing me out.

Advice sends me right back to that desk, in school.  Math class and I don't get the problem, or the solution.

I just want to go draw stars on my notebook, or shoot tiny folded papers like little missiles through the air with a rubber band.

I'll walk.  I don't care.  For goodness sakes, just let me walk!


Alesa Warcan said...

Ok, no advice. Have a lovely walk though. : j

Lily Cate said...

Okay, here's what I think you should do...

things I wanted to tell you... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heidi said...

Alesa - Ha!!! No worries. I was just venting. I think I'm all good now. Blisters, sore muscles and all! ;)

Lil - go on! Actually, is Mr. Cate really up for picking me up some mornings?? I should investigate this...

Allison said...

I support you in your carless state! (I hate doing that sort of research too) Here's hoping things work out the way you want them to.

Nancy J. Parra said...

I get it. I hate advice. It makes you feel stupid- as if you didn't think about those things. It's not help you want but someone to listen.

Love this post- and the pics of your cars.

Just Tryin' To Be Real said...

Oh Heidi... I love that you have had so many memories with your cars. I'm sure you are full of stories.

I wish I had all the stories that you did. My first car was a Ford Tempo. And it was the biggest piece of you know what on the face of this planet. I was warned not to get it, and I did it anyway. In the end, I'm pretty sure I spent more money on getting the dumb thing fixed than what I actually paid for it originally. *sigh*


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