Big Girl(?) Woes

You know, for someone who doesn’t make a dime off her blog, I’m incredibly reliable, fueled only by your follows, likes, and comments. Maybe it’s because I think too much and without some kind of outlet, beyond Gail, I’d drift slowly into madness…

… or quickly.

It’s a unique disappointment though, when a favorite blogger writes less and less consistently, gradually weaning themselves into oblivion. If you’re anything like me, in your blog reading, you become truly invested in the characters. You want to know what happened with that interview/date/visit to the couple’s therapist. When I’m following a blog and reading about the trials of new marriage, the heartache of divorce, or the stress of watching children grow up and move away and then they just stop writing…

Maybe I put too much stock into the lives of strangers. The thing is, I love reading someone’s story as it’s happening. When I read your dating blog, I’m not just experiencing your disastrous online dating efforts. I’m watching the montage at the beginning of the love story and who wants to stop after the montage?!?! And so, it is with this little rant that I apologize for my sporadic posting, as of late. I have been working 60 hours per week, saving for a summer without substitute teaching, in addition to…

… drum roll please…

Big Girl Woes.

Y’all, I love being an adult. I see and hear constant complaints and ecards about how “being an adult isn’t going to work out for me” and I’m all whhhaaaa?!?! Being a grown up is the greatest and I mean that in a Tom Hanks in the first half of Big sort of way. I get to stay up late for no reason, eat candy for breakfast, have random snack foods for dinner, never fold the laundry, make the bed only when I change the sheets, and have trashy Netflix chick marathons all summer long. Even better, no one hits me, the bills get paid, and there are no compromises at all.

The last few weeks, however, everything has just seemed to snowball. It started with needing new tires… then my phone died forever… then my Judybug cost me $250 in X-rays to diagnose him as a drama queen… but through all that, I didn’t accept a dime of help, because I have an awful lot of pride tied up in the fact that I take care of me. I haven’t accepted help on that front since my daddy paid for my last graduate course, so I could get my diploma. Then the washing machine broke down…

Dad: “I transferred $100 to your account.”
Me: “I’ll pay you back by the middle of next month.”
Dad: “Don’t worry about it. It’s fine.”

$100 does not a Big Girl make. That’s not so bad. Right?

… then finally my car (with its new tires) was no more.

Mechanic: “Well, what’s wrong with it?”
Me: “It just.. stopped working.”

I’m an articulate gal. I promise. Just don’t ask me about cars.

By God’s infinite graces, I was able to get back to my sub job in time for class and borrow my daddy’s Jeep in time to be at the library by 5:00. I didn’t have to rent a car and my car insurance covered the towing. I however, did not receive the news I was hoping for, that my repair would be Cheap As Free.

Mechaninc: “It’s going to be expensive.”
Me: “How expensive?”
Mechaninc: “Well, I don’t know for sure yet. $1,500 to $2,000?”

Fine. Lesson learned. That wasn’t just water leaking from the undercarriage after the rain we haven’t had lately. Don’t just turn up the radio, when you hear that noise. Also, never buy a car from a company that prompts the question “Wait. They make cars? I thought they just made motorcycles.” If it hadn’t rattled like a box of nails, I might have considered said noise to be more significant and if it weren’t so low to the ground, I might not have blamed a puddle.

So, it is with this stroke of fortune that I spent last Thursday evening shopping for a new car, rather than writing my latest blog post.

Dad: “Well, if you need another $500 for the down payment, just holler.”
Me: “Yeah… I’m just gonna take you up on that, then.”

Me: “I had to accept $500 from my daddy to even be considered for financing. Growing up takes so much longer than I had planned. I’m 26. I have a master’s degree and work two jobs. Is it ever going to happen?”
Gail: “You know, people don’t talk about borrowing money from their parents. This is really just something people do sometimes… which is why it’s so scary when your parents die, because you are truly on your own.” 

Bee tea double ewe, if you ever find a friend who will spend her only night off that week, suffering through the pain that is buying a car, keep her forever and let your kids call her aunt.

I did it, though. Almost on my own. I made the negotiations. I went all Rosie the Riveter and quoted Kelley Blue Book, when they tried to get me to double my down payment. I signed the papers for my very first car payment… and only had a small panic attack while doing so. I got all the documents sent into the financing office and switched the insurance. I even paid the mechanic and made the arrangements to have my deceased roller skate of a car towed to the salvage yard and picked up the check. Still, everyone seemed to think it was the wrong move.

Bo: “70,000 miles on a Nissan isn’t bad. But if you’d had dad cosign, you might could’ve gotten a new car for the same payment.”
Me: “I’m 26 years old. I don’t need my daddy to cosign on a car, if I can get approved. I want to do it on my own, as much as I can. Besides, I don’t think Lena would be cool with that.”
Bo: “It’s really none of Lena’s business.”
Me: “Um, she’s married to him. His credit is her credit. That’s totally her business.”

I figured that, surely, my daddy would agree when I told him the next day.

Dad: “Well, I’m gonna help Bea out, when she buys a new car.”
Me: “Yeah, but Bea’s 20 years old and in college. I’m 26 and could get approved, just at a higher interest rate. I’d rather do it myself and refinance, than be tied to you financially for six years.”
Dad: “Yeah, but if I’d cosigned, you might could’ve gotten a new car for the same payment.”

Today, all the trouble was supposed to be over. The Freon was supposed to be charged, as agreed upon in the initial sale, when the car salesman assured me that’s all it was. Alas, another lesson has been learned: never buy a car with a broken air conditioner. Fortunately the dealership will cover the repairs, despite the fact that the warranty doesn’t apply for a preexisting issue… all but $100 that I just don’t have.

Me: “Can I have $100 if I promise-”
Dad: “Well, sure.”

God’s infinite graces? Certainly.

But I may have officially lost the title of Big Girl.

If Rapunzel had a Suzuki…

When I was little, I used to get so frustrated putting on socks, that I’d end up in tears. If anyone tried to help me, I’d throw a tantrum. That hasn’t changed much. Sunday, on the way home from Mass, my power steering went… then my a/c went… and my battery light came on. I called Chad, because he’s a dear and changes my oil.

Me: “Hey, um… my power steering just went and I was wondering if you could look at my car.”
Chad: sounds like he was asleep “Uh… yeah. I guess.”
Me: “Like… now? I’m sorry. I’m just right by your house and I don’t know what’s wrong.”
Chad: “Yeah, sure. That’s fine.”

So, I promptly got lost in his neighborhood, which is pathetic, because he lives in my hometown, like a half a mile away from me. The power steering wasn’t working and it wasn’t any easier to manage while on the phone getting directions. It was at this point that I started to feel far to Damsely for my taste. Finally, I pull into the drive I’ve pulled into a hundred times, expecting grief for getting lost. Instead, I got:

Chad: “Holy shit, did you not see your car was smoking?!?”
Me: “Uh… no.”
Chad: “Do you not see all that smoke?”
Me: “Um… I do now?”

What? I never wash my car, because I don’t care what it looks like. The windows are always that unclear… and I wasn’t looking for smoke. I don’t know shit about cars. As far as I’m concerned they run on equal parts pixie dust and prayer.

So, we popped the hood and smoke poured out. The anti-freeze was boiling. Literally. We could hear it. I’m in church clothes and Chad’s wearing basketball shorts and a t-shirt, clearly expecting this to be a quick fix. After poking around for a little bit, with stern orders for me to stand in the yard in case things explode – Like I want him hurt if things explode? Who would fix my car!?!?! Kidding. I’d feel horrible – Chad pulls out a strip of shredded rubber and tosses it aside, announcing that the serpentine belt was out. I knew that term. I knew the dealership had quoted over $80 to replace it, with labor, on my foreign car. Chad tells me to put the car in neutral and pushes it into the street, grabs his keys and tells me to come on, we’re going to AutoZone to get a new belt. AutoZone tells me the nearest one is a twenty-minute drive and I ask Chad to drop me off at my Gramma’s so I can borrow her car.

Chad: “We can just run up there real quick, if you want.”

So, after a trip two towns over to pick up the belt and some anti-freeze, I bought Chad a pop without asking, because I knew he’d refuse the thank you.

Chad: suspiciously “You’re getting two drinks?”
Me: “Yup.”

I just handed it to him without a word. Then I secretly stashed $7 in gas money in his truck (a page from Gail’s book), when we got back.

Two hours later, I was still sitting in the yard, on a purple Indian blanket from the hatchback, to keep from getting my church pants dirty. Jay, who was supposed to be at work, was threading the serpentine belt through the top of the engine, while Chad was under the car, covered in grease.

dear boys

It was the prettiest day of the year so far and I had my wonderful boys spending their daylight hours screwing with my “jap trap” car, as Chad calls it. I was intensely happy that I’d bought each of them Christmas presents. They never get me anything and they never have to, because I know they’ll pay me back eventually. They didn’t even act annoyed with me, just made jokes about my fear of birds when I’d duck at the sound of wings. They laughed and teased like normal while I sat useless on their lawn.

becca convo 1

It’s not that I’m not grateful. I totally am. I’m grateful I didn’t have to work yesterday or today and that Chad wasn’t busy. I’m mostly grateful to be surrounded by Knights in Shining Armor who, literally, want nothing in return. If I could find a boy like that who wasn’t one of my boys, I’d drop to my knees and blow him in public. Then I’d have his babies. Not because of the public oral.. cuz, you know… that’s not how procreation works. Anyway, they’re wonderful. I just hate being any kind of helpless. I’m cherishing the time I’m spending single, because I love knowing that I can do it on my own. But yesterday, I couldn’t. It’s not like I can ever truly return the favor, either. What am I going to do for them? Help them find a book? Hem their jeans? It’s sure as hell not going to be car related.

After the grueling changing of the belt, my car was making a fun new clanging noise. I took it to the mechanic on prayer yesterday morning and realized I had no way to leave the auto shop. I texted Jay, but he said he was working for Chad (who’d succumbed to a stomach virus) and had only had 3 hours of sleep. Awesome. After Chad spent his day off playing mechanic, he got sick. Gail texted, asking about the car. I told her I was stranded and she said she’d come get me since we had plans later anyway. It felt less Damsely for some reason, likely because she’s just family, like my Gramma. I had her take me by McDonald’s so I could take Jay breakfast as a thank you, since he was having a sucky morning. His face lit up.

Rapunzel spent her whole life in that tower, growing out her hair, waiting to be saved, but why? If her hair was that long, she could’ve just used it to climb down. It probably wouldn’t have hurt as much either.

When I met my boys, I was going through a divorce and was utterly shattered as a person. One night, Jay and Chad went to Buffalo Wild Wings with me, even though Ken and Ward wouldn’t go. Then Jay drove around aimlessly for an hour, just because he knew I didn’t want to go home. Another night Chad stayed out until 2:30 in the morning, talking in his truck with me, because he knew I couldn’t go home to my ex-husband. And in return, they got $7 cash and a pop and some breakfast burritos. Somehow, the scales seem uneven.

Ultimately, the car ended up needing a new pulley of some sort and only cost $165 and was ready today. This meant I didn’t have to ask anyone for money or a ride, which would have been the pink and purple icing on the helpless little lady cake: another reason to be thankful. I suppose it’s just part of the human condition to have to need people sometimes, but I still want to throw my socks across the room and scream about how I can do it myself… even if I can’t. I hate that I can’t. But I absolutely love my boys and I absolutely love Gail for being there with a smile and a “no problem” when I do need it. Hopefully I get the chance to be a good friend in the future and return the favor.

Rapunzel was so fucking lazy.