It’s started in earnest.
UPDATE: Actually we think it may be sabotage.
The car trouble which seems to come in cycles for old vehicles. Aside from my Pathfinder catching on fire last year, we actually had a pretty long stretch of time where we haven’t had to do any major repairs. Thank goodness since we haven’t had the extra money to put toward auto repairs. I’m always waiting for this other shoe to drop and I hate the thought of our credit card debt going up, but I guess I can only be thankful that we have credit cards. Some people, even members of my own family (my mother and some of my siblings) would just be without a vehicle since they have either no credit, or ruined credit, and are living at poverty level.
But back to car trouble. Last Wednesday night, Mr. A had to go into the big city and while there, his van broke down. It just stopped running while he was at a stoplight. He tried a few different things as he is very handy with auto repair and had some of his tools with him, but he was unable to solve the problem so he called Triple A and had it towed home. It’s the vehicle I’ve been using most often for my commute to work because it has air conditioning. The next day I took Mr. A’s truck to work… it has no air conditioning. It’s gotten very hot here in Arizona and it’s extremely uncomfortable driving 50 miles in 110°F temperatures. But it didn’t stop there.
Our son AJ also has an older vehicle, which he really loves… it broke down a couple of weeks ago, but Mr. A was able to get it back on the road within a day. Then on Thursday, the day I took Mr. A’s truck to work, AJ’s car broke down at his job. So he called Triple A and had it brought home. From the problems it was having, Mr. A suspected it was the fuel pump, so I bought those parts for AJ on my way home from work.
Mr. A worked on AJ’s car for most of the night, and AJ was up and outside helping him at 2:30am. But by the time AJ needed to get going to make it to work the car was not yet running. So AJ and I carpooled into town and AJ decided to rent a car for two days. He found that Triple A is in partnership with Hertz, and he rented a Chevy Cruze.
I was glad to learn that AJ didn’t like the way it drives. I thought he might fall in love with it and impulsively decide he wanted a brand new car. I’ve always cautioned him against buying a brand new car as they lose value by the thousands once you drive them off the auto lot.
We have one more vehicle that runs, but the tabs were not current. It gets horrendous gas mileage, so we have only used it to drive around our property. But now that we only have one running vehicle for three people, I realized we needed to get the tab situation resolved. I went online to Service Arizona, which is the online portal for Arizona Motor Vehicles and you can get many things done easily, like registration, 3 Day permits, etc. It’s extremely convenient, and if you’ve ever spent any time at a Motor Vehicle Department office in Arizona you would understand exactly how convenient. We’re talking 2-3 hours easy in one of those places.
Unfortunately, since this vehicle had been de-insured a few years ago, there was a $100 penalty required if renewing online, along with the $18 for tabs. Well, I wasn’t about to pay $100 when I could drive to Motor Vehicles and sign a waiver.
So I drove AJ’s rental car, which came with unlimited mileage. I felt so weird driving that new vehicle. I felt like I hoped no one I knows sees me in it. And it occurred to me how it seems most people want to be seen in a new vehicle, because they want to make it seem as if they are wealthy and have plenty of money.
Part of the feelings I was having – I didn’t want people assuming I have lots of money, because I don’t. And then I realized that must be how I view people with nice brand new cars. Even though I would never consider buying a brand new car… apparently I look at people with new cars and assume they have lots of money. When the real story is probably more likely that they are living from paycheck to paycheck. Well, I guess depending on the kind of vehicle they are driving. I would hope someone driving a Mercedes-Benz is not living from paycheck to paycheck driving a vehicle with what I’m assuming would be a rather costly monthly payment, not to mention the auto insurance would likely be expensive.
But then I also realized, do I want people to think I’m poor? Am I creating this life of poverty and struggle for myself by my thoughts?