Sigh. The downside to being divorced, and destitute (ha! Did you catch that? The downside? I crack myself up), is when stuff like this happens. On Sunday I noticed that when I put my car in reverse, it felt like the brakes were on. Then I'd hear a big thump, and it would drive ok.
But then I noticed the smell. The kind of smell that brings to mind images of smoldering clumps of wires, of your car bursting into flames while you're driving down the road. That icky, chemical-y, burning plastic kind of smell.
So what do I do? I went into a panic. Of course I don't have any extra money. I'm that person they're talking about when they talk about the people who are one crisis away from being in big trouble. My mind started to race, as it's wont to do in these situations. Who could I call? What am I going to do? The panic quickly snowballed into mental slideshows of me and the kids wearing snowshoes and walking to the grocery store in the freezing winter. If I had been in a movie, that would have been the perfect time for someone to slap me. Of course it wasn't a movie, so I mentally slapped myself.
I thought rationally. Really, who could help me? Yes, it's true. Car stuff sucks, and I don't have a husband who would go outside, take a look at it and either fix it himself or take it to someone who could. I let myself feel sorry for me for a wee bit, and then got back to all the rational thinking.
I have these awesome neighbors. They have 6 kids, the four youngest are boys who are all in the same grades as my four kids. My boys are all BFF's with all of those boys, and the one Molly's age would make a very nice boyfriend (I keep telling her that but all she says is "GROSS MOM"). These fine boys have two older sisters, both of whom are gorgeous Irish beauties. The elder sister happens to be dating a guy who is, get this...a mechanic. He's in mechanic school (I'm sure that's the technical name for it) and also works in a garage. He loves fixing cars. And he'll do it CHEAP. Like, parts-only cheap.
So I called my neighbors. This wonderful young man is very busy but will be able to take a look at my car in the next few days. Huzzah!
It takes a village to raise Jenny.
However, that leaves me without wheels for this week. So far, it's been ok. I rode my bike to work on Monday, and despite the fact that I looked like a circus bear and when I got to work I had to extract the bike seat from my lower intestine and as of today (Wednesday) my girly bits still ache, it was fine. Apparently a lot of kids saw me, and apparently I made quite the impression because all day long kids ran up to me and said, "JENNY! I SAW YOU RIDING YOUR BIKE!".
I think the fact that my legs and my crotch are both still sore may be a big hint that I need to ride the bike more. Because the way the kids were reacting gave me the impression that seeing me doing something active was kind of like seeing Halley's Comet. They were shocked, I tell you. Shocked!
The next rational thought I had involved my mom.
My mom hasn't been able to drive for quite some time, due to her illness (she has Parkinson's). She has a cute little SUV, a Toyota RAV4 that she bought, brand spankin' new, just a few months before the Parkinson's started getting really bad. She and my stepdad have mentioned giving me that car, kind of in passing, like a thought said out loud..."We should just let you have it". That sort of thing.
She let me borrow it for my trek to Wisconsin the other weekend (I guess it also takes a village to get me some nookie), and I marveled at how awesome it was to drive something that wasn't like a monster truck. I marveled even more when I went to fill it up. It was like $35 dollars. When I fill my truck (like if I filled it up to Full, rather than my usual "just a few drops short of half a tank") it costs around $160. So yeah, I would LOVE to have that vehicle.
But. I know that it kills my mom to lose it. I know, she can't physically drive it, but I cannot imagine how it would feel to officially let go of the freedom a car represents. It makes me cry, actually, like tears streaming down my face this very second, to think of what goes on in my mom's mind as she processes this. I know I'm going completely apeshit crazy being without wheels and it's only been a couple of days.
So I have asked to borrow my mom's car, again, but this guilt I feel makes it so very hard.
The guilt also helps put things into perspective for me. This "disaster", my broken car...it's not the end of the world. The truck will get fixed, I'll find the money to pay the neighbor's boyfriend, life will go on.
The good times will roll once more. And I need to do more for my mom.