Let the good times roll...

Because my car sure isn't rolling anywhere soon.

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.


  1. I love how positive you are about things. It's like you see the glass half empty but are determined to make the best of that half cup of whatever...you go girl!

    Sorry to hear about your car but glad you found someone to fix it for you. Mine's only a year old but my stupid service warranty is over so I'm stuck paying $89 to get it serviced...money that I really dont have right now. Hopefully it'll keep going on it's good condition, but with my driving 102 miles 4x a week for work I'm not sure how long it'll keep it up.

    As for the bike thing, you can always tell people you're trying to lesson your carbon footprint ;)

  2. ((Jenny)) I absolutely HATE car trouble! I feel your pain my friend! I wish I was in a position to help you! But we are gonna be in your boat soon. My car, Doc's car both only have about 2K more miles before they hit 100K. Andy's car/truck/vehicle from hell is leaking oil on my driveway. And yes, I am not divorced, my car isn't ready to go into flames, it doesn't cost 160.00 to fill up, but I do use my best friends son who is a mechanic to keep them all running for us! Thanks god for those friends! Love ya !

  3. Aw, I didn't know your mom has Parkinson's. My best friend's mom was recently diagnosed with it definitively (after the reconstructive surgery she had after her mastectomy made the tremors worse...how's that for sucking out loud??).
    As far as your truck...both our cars are over 150K + miles, AND Laura has been nagging non-stop for a car. I just laugh at her.

  4. 'It takes a village to raise Jenny.’ OMG, laughed out loud. That’s the way I feel as more and more friends pitch in to cart my children around to various sporting events. I’d like to tell them, ‘you can hate my husband too, I know you didn't ask for this divorce either.’

    I can’t stop laughing at your circus bear comment. Only another overweight person can truly understand that. When I ride my bike and the whole seat is encompassed by my enormous ass, I wonder if people will look at me and see no seat and wonder if I’m levitating.

    The other day at the bus stop, my son forget something. I ran huffing and puffing to the house to get it and barely got back to my son before the bus came. I’m sure all the children were looking out the windows, enjoying the spectacle of all my rolls bobbing to and fro as I dodged the potholes down the driveway. After the kids got on the bus, my neighbor asked me what happened and I said that my son had forgotten something. She said, “I wondered what was wrong to make you run.” Thanks.

    You're hysterical and our weight doesn't define us. It just gives us more blog fodder. :)


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