Test(ed) Driver

Whenever I call my Mom laughing ridiculously hard at something that's not really that funny, she always says, "Next thing you know, you'll be crying." And she's always right. Such extremes of emotion are indicative of exhaustion, which seems only to need release -- regardless of whether the release valve is the eyes or the lips.

Today I went through the emotions backwards. I called my Mom from work, voice quivering, tears rolling onto the phone. She did not say I'd be laughing next, but I suppose it doesn't surprise me that I am.

Let me explain. This past week has really stunk. In the car realm, at least. In a matter of six days, I have driven five different cars. I've owned two, borrowed two, and rented one.

A summary:

* Two weeks ago, I bought a Subaru Forester because I've been looking for a smaller SUV for a few years. The young girl I live with even named it Sam, which is big, since I don't usually name my cars.
* I sent my beloved and trusty Toyota Camry home with my Dad and commuted to work for a week in my new wheels. I dared the snow to fall. I looked at rutted dirt roads without trepidation. I considered buying a kayak to strap to the top.
* On Thanksgiving, my Forester blew a head gasket. Its radiator threw up into its own coolant overflow tank. It was ugly. So, I asked the family I live with if I could borrow their Saturn for my drive to work the next day.
* The next day, I became so nervous driving their tank-like stick-shift in heavy traffic that I nearly killed it at a busy intersection and ran a red light to avoid having to stop and shift. I knew I had 25 more minutes of traffic, and I knew I couldn't do it. So, I called my friend Sarah's boyfriend to ask for a ride. (Sarah was out of town for the holiday.)
* I left the Saturn at Wal-Mart. After work, Ben drove me to Wal-Mart in Sarah's Corolla (Yeah, this is starting to sound like a soap opera.) He drove the Saturn to my house. (Thanks, Ben!) And I drove the Corolla.
* On Saturday, the family I live with -- who just happened to be visiting family in my hometown -- brought my beloved and trusty Camry back to me. (Thanks, Mattsons!)
* On Sunday, my wonderful Dad and our friend John drove down and towed my sick Forester back to my hometown to be fixed for a lot cheaper than I could fix it here. (Thanks, John! You've gotten me out of more sticky car situations than I care to remember.)
* I drove my Camry to work on Monday.
* I drove my Camry to work on Tuesday -- but it barely made it. The "Check Engine" light came on and the engine felt like it was hosting a wild mosh pit under the hood. So, I took my Camry to the dealer and called Enterprise Rent-a-Car.
* True to their word, they picked me up. (Thanks, Enterprise!) And I drove a white Hyundai Sonata home.

The reason for my tears is a longer and deeper explanation than I care to share, but I will say this: Having car troubles as a single woman sucks. I so badly wanted a man to take care of me and my stupid car. I wanted someone to offer to let me borrow their car. I wanted to not feel like a dumb girl when I opened the hood. Instead I felt like I'd troubled everyone enough with my problems and it was time to "Go it alone." Which I did. And it was fine. But still...

The reason for my laughter is, well, look at that saga. It's funny. That and I'd simply cried enough tears. As my Mom DID remind me: It's only money. This too shall pass. And...this will build your character. In retrospect, I have to say, "Yes, yes, and yes." It is only money. It is already beginning to pass. And, shoot, we all need more character.

Maybe when I get whatever set of wheels I'm destined to have back under me, I'll drive to the local newspaper and place a personal ad:

Test(ed) Driver
SWF seeks SM. Enjoys tra--
vel -- on foot, bike, train,do-
-gsled, plane.You drive.Me--
chanic skills a plus. Must l--
ove adventure, dogs, and lo-
-ngwalks onthebeach.CallMe

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