Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Tale of Two Cars

I have long predicted that the conclusion of medical school would bring the onset of bills
--and not just the "loans-coming-due" type. Over the past four years we have gotten off relatively easy. My meager income has just barely covered living expenses, and with an "emergency fund" hardly present, we just hoped emergencies wouldn't come.

And they didn't...until now.

A month ago we started trying to sell my car. It has been a good car for me, though it was sold to me by the previous owner because he didn't find it to be very reliable. Like many of the things we currently own, it had it's own set of quirks. If the headlights were left on, the car gave no warning, leaving the driver to find the lovely dead battery the next time it was needed. The sun-roof didn't work, and the trunk had to be shimmied open using one hand to lift while the other turned the key.

Yes, this car was perfect for my six mile round trip commute...especially when it started overheating after only driving two miles. When this car, which was worth very little to start with, overheated, our hopes of making a "little" profit off of it faded quickly. But this was all okay, because the car we had invested in was still in tip-top shape.

Car #2, our beloved Honda Civic, had been purchased while we were still dating. It was in the purchase of this vehicle that I had displayed my aggressive negotiating skills to my future spouse, who just may have determined at that moment that he had to have me. (After all, if you don't like negotiating, why not marry someone who does?) We cared diligently for this car, taking care to keep up on all maintenance issues. In fact, in anticipation of the 4,000 mile move North we had invested an extra bit in readying it for the journey, all the way down to fresh windshield wipers.

And then, just like that, it was over. This car that was going to be in our possession far beyond 200,000 miles was crushed from the side by a distracted individual perusing the neighborhood a little too fast. It was towed, and evaluated, and re-evaluated, and when the final word came in we found ourselves saying goodbye to yet one more piece of our life here in the Midwest--our faithful vehicle.

As a result, a week which had been penned in the calendar as time to work on a few projects and visit a few friends has been transformed into a week where my purse is a filing cabinet of new car information and old car insurance documentation.

I have never felt so official.

After a full day of research and haggling, alas I have no vehicle. What will tomorrow bring? A new vehicle? Exhaustion due to stubborn salesmen?

Let's hope for both.

1 comment:

  1. Oh no! Having once been a proud honda civic owner (only sold it because I thought I needed something 4WD for up here... OK, I probably did. I am not a great driver and had never driven in snow before!) I am so sad to think of yours demolished on the side of the road!

    What a bummer!

    Hope you get something equally great for your road trip home!