Thursday, February 12, 2015

Car-buying and Other Traumas

On the way back from my weekend visit to the paterfamilias, my dashboard decided to light up like the proverbial Christmas tree. I white-knuckled it the sixty miles back to my house and immediately made an appointment via the dealership's web app for the earliest available time, which turned out to be on Wednesday. I didn't drive a lot during the intervening couple of days.

It hadn't been exactly a wonderful weekend. My best friend underwent emergency surgery in North Carolina on Saturday morning. (As it turned out, she felt well enough post-op to go to work on Monday.) My most ancient cat decided it was his right to pee in my bed every day last week, so I've washed the bedding every day as well, and then, yay, three thousand dollars' worth of repairs already into the Dogmobile since New Year's Day, it turned out that the two separate exhaust systems on the Subaru decided to die simultaneously.

I don't know what caused it, but the $3500 repair quote was just over my limit. Come to find out, too, when it was appraised for the trade, the differential was also going out...another several thousand dollars' worth of repairs. I'd already latched onto a salesman and was investigating what Subaru currently has on offer...and that just clinched it.

My new car is being delivered on Saturday or Monday.

The weird thing is that I got choked up about it, right at the end of the contract stuff. I forked over some money from my mother's estate as the down payment, and it suddenly hit me that Mom will never see this car. She's helping pay for it, in absentia, but she liked the Dogmobile. She'd ridden in it. It's the last car I'll ever have in which she was a passenger at some point. It's things like these that sneak up on you when you're not expecting it. This is a "First" that I never anticipated.

Anyway, now I have to clean out the Dogmobile and do other stuff like call my insurance company, et cetera. It's not how I wanted to buy my next car, but it is what it is. At least I'm not taking delivery on Friday the 13th.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Not-so-Golden Compass

I shared a locker with Hopkins his senior year, and because I was a bit shorter, I'd deferred to him using the top shelf for his books and supplies. I generally kept my books in the bottom of the locker, or in my book bag, hanging from the coat hook. It usually didn't matter, but on one memorable day, it did. I was digging around in the bottom of the locker for something and I heard a swish as Hopkins flattened me against the open locker door.

Of course, the teacher on hall duty saw it and thought that Hopkins had availed himself of an opportunity to...I don't know...manifest some interest in me? I was famously prudish about public displays of affection, much less full-frontal physical contact- and the fact that I shoved him backwards with a shriek of, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING???" should have been a dead giveaway that it was not a "move", as the kids would have said.

He pointed at a drawing compass, standing bolt-upright in the floor where it had lodged in the carpet. A centimeter or so to the left, had he not pushed me out of the way, and the thing would have stabbed me in the foot.

I can recall defending myself to my mother when a teacher told her about it in church, and feeling very stupid indeed. I didn't want my mother to think I was loose or throwing myself at the boy, but at the same time, it was denigrating to know that nobody believed even a hardcore nerd like Hopkins could have a romantic interest in me.

That's what it's like to be awkward. You learn not to expect much because hope is for other people, and that it was just reflex, no emotion involved...because nobody would care about you enough to put you out of harm's way, right? It's the same sick shame I feel when someone pays me a compliment, as if there's a punchline hidden in there that I don't know about, or some unwritten rule that I've broken that ultimately leads to humiliation.

Just once in my life, I'd like to believe that I could feel what I want to feel without fear of being rebuffed, humiliated, or rejected...that there might be some reciprocity somewhere. I'm fighting with my insurer over the revisional weight loss surgery because there's this overarching sentiment that as a fat woman, my life is invalid, or some kind of running joke. It's an uncomfortable place to be.