Our spare car has been dead in the driveway since last Summer which has made us a one car family for nearly a year. Now that the baby boy has his license and a job, that shit isn’t gonna fly anymore.
We knew the Nissan was struggling, it kept getting louder..it groaned a lot and then one day it made a huge protesting sound and puked it’s radiator fluid all over the driveway.
And then it was silent.
Based on our advanced car repair knowledge (non-existent) we diagnosed the problem as ‘the car is dead and we don’t have 1000.00 to fix it’. We arrived at this figure by comparing the last few repairs we had to have done. 1000.00 would have been slightly cheaper. So it sat through the Winter and into the Spring.
We have a list of things that need to be fixed or purchased. The car was first. Replacing the dishwasher was second, a new lawnmower and then the central air.
Personally, central air is at the top of my list even though that isn’t completely reasonable. This will be the second season we’ve needed a new central air unit. The window units do the job, but damn..I miss my central air.
We managed to scrape up a little bit of cash and crossed our fingers that it would be enough to cross the first thing off our list of shit we can’t afford. We had our broke ass car towed to the car place that gets all of our spare cash and they fixed it up.
I could have had that goddamn car fixed the week it broke if I had known it was only going to cost 167.00 to fix it. We paid 100.00 a month for bus service for Joey for the whole school year. If I had known how cheap it was going to be to get the car fixed, I could have used that money we spent on bus service for a new dishwasher and a replacement for the lawn mower.
The lawn mower still works but the muffler is gone, it shakes like a motherfucker and the self propel is shot. I don’t mow the lawn, so it’s easier for me to dismiss the need for a new one. Randy and Joey would disagree.
Anyway, I was bemoaning the fact that we spent that money when we didn’t have to and we could have had two working cars all Winter long when it occurred to me: Am I SORRY it didn’t cost 1000.00 to fix the fucking car?
That just makes no sense. I was able to get the car fixed and buy a new dishwasher (which still hasn’t been delivered). These are good things. Very good things. Being upset that the car didn’t cost more to fix is just fucking crazy.
It reminded me of my first husband.
When my older son was a baby, his dad and I lived in a shithole apartment complex in Covington, Ky. All the other people in our building were geriatrics. We had old people and humongous cockroaches.
My then husband had a fish tank. He loved his fish tank. I was not a fan. It smelled funny and it took up space that we really didn’t have but I tolerated it.
Then he brought home a dragon fish. This was 26 years ago and I still remember how much that fish cost. 14.00. He paid about a third of our weekly grocery budget on a goddamn fish. This fish looked like a blue and silver striped eel and it was his pride and joy.
After about a month, the fish started growing a tumor. Within a short period of time, it could no longer glide around the tank, it could only do this corkscrew spirally thing.
Then one evening I came home and opened the freezer. There was a rolled up baggy in front of the ice tray. I took it out because I couldn’t imagine what it could be.
It was the dragon fish. I yelled at my ex: What the fuck? Why in the fuck is there a frozen, tumor ridden fish in my freezer?
He said: I paid 14.00 for that fish.
Being upset that my car didn’t cost more to fix makes about as much sense as my ex husband freezing his dead fish that he spent too much money on.
Okay…maybe those two things are only alike in my brain.
Still..I hadn’t thought of that fish in years. We probably had nothing but day-glo orange macaroni and cheese for dinner the whole week that he bought that fish.