That’s the best way to summarize my day today.
I won’t lie: I’ve had worse days. But this one just came out of nowhere, and while I was running around like a madwoman trying to get everything under control, I was genuinely afraid that the next bit of lousy news would be that today was actually Monday or something equally horrifying.
I rolled out of bed in good time, despite nearly sleeping through my alarm. I almost didn’t hear the darned thing over the noise of the obnoxiously cheerful birds outside the bedroom window and the whirring of the ceiling fan. Everything was going well until I realized that Southern Honey had come home but had not come inside. So I wandered out the front door to find him tinkering around under the hood of my car.
A little voice in my head started nattering. “Not good, not good, notgoodnotgoodnotgoodnotgood!!!!!”
That little voice in my head is smart sometimes.
It seems that this morning, on his way home, the clutch on my tranny decided to give a pass to working. Every time poor Southern Honey went to change gears, the bottom dropped out of the engine and it essentially flatlined. He could coax it up through the gears, but every time he had to slow down and downshift, it died.
A new clutch would cost somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000 dollars. The car’s trade-in value is less than $2K. Rock on. *rolls eyes*
That lovely predicament left me to drive Southern Honey’s (also dying) car to work. I hopped on the road because I had to take the long way, only to find that I had left both my personal phone and my crackberry sitting on the headboard of the bed. So nearly two miles down the road I had to turn around and go back. In the end, I was about fifteen minutes late rolling into the office.
The work day was almost successful, considering I had to take off two hours early to deal with the car and taxes. I mean, I did manage to send my cell phone up to Cardinalville in the glove compartment of my boss’s car, but at least it wasn’t my crackberry, right? Besides, I’ll be able to get it back on Tuesday; nobody should need to contact me for personal reasons between now and then, right?
Then, by the time Southern Honey woke up and brought the car into town, it was behaving just fine. It needed an oil change, but the clutch was like, “What? Life is good. What’s the big deal?” While the mechanics were taking care of that, we popped over to H&R Block to get our taxes amended and hopefully edge our tax credit money closer. Only they’re only open from 10 am to 5 pm, Monday through Thursday, now that tax season is over.
Today, for those of us with access to a calendar, is Friday.
Our trip to the Honda dealership was slightly more fruitful. We found a used Civic hybrid on the lot for about $8K less than a new one. More mileage than I’d like, but it’s got a leather interior and is in nice shape. The salesman remembered my name. (Although he forgot Southern Honey’s… Is it hypocritical of me to be less pissed about that than I was when the guy at the Ford dealership forgot mine?) And he has a son who wants to work for my organization, so I gave him some contact information to see if there aren’t some internships or something he can get involved in.
I’d like to go back tomorrow and test drive the car. I just wish we were going to have the money from the tax credit to use for a down payment — that would cover half the car and drop the monthly payment drastically. Unfortunately, if we let this one pass, I don’t know when we’ll find another that’s certified pre-owned and in as good shape.
The problem is that the status quo can’t stand. We can’t be driving around two cars that have decided to be unreliable at the same time. That doesn’t leave us time to wait for the IRS to get money back to us and means we’re really going to have to finance about $10K rather than $7K (we were also planning on using some of the tax credit money to pay down Southern Honey’s student loans). Any time my raise wants to kick in, I’d be more than happy to take that extra money…
Bonus: It rained, I got wet, and I rubbed blisters on my feet walking hither, thither and yon in my heels at work and on the car lot.