grant and i have been plagued with car trouble since we got married. i'm talking grant's had to walk to a town from the middle of the desert kind of trouble. (our jetta was a nightmare- the reputation is deserved). every car we've owned has had ridiculous problems monthly (and not just the volvo or the jetta- our toyota and a couple nissans have been no less worrisome). grant finally just gave up completely and became a cycle/scooter enthusiast, leaving me with our maxima to drive (which had spent some time in the shop last year, and since it is not very old, we thought surely we were done with fixing it).
the only difficulty we encounter is bad weather when grant needs a car to ride to work in, and i absolutely have to have a car on the same day- a rare situation. but this winter we figured we were saved of that problem when our friend who is in iraq requested that we house his infinity in our garage, and we were welcome to drive it if we ever needed to. so for the rare weather/ busy day it has been a life saver to us the last month or so. our friend bought the car on his two week release from his tour this summer. he had already been in iraq for six months and had to return for six more, and decided to get himself a fast little present for his hard work. he bought it during his deployment so he could use the extra pay they get for being over there to pay the car off, which he just did. we have been rejoicing because our prayers have been answered and he is alive and coming home this weekend. we had just heard the news last week, exciting to no end because his wife and daughter are our super close friends who we've been worried about and love dearly.
then the maxima broke down. in the shop twice for lots of days in the last two weeks. $800 we don't have. merry christmas. the one good thing? at least we could drive the infinity and the maxima would be done before the officer's return to claim his beloved car.
we tried to keep our spirits up, and decided to take a saturday afternoon to christmas shop for cate (with a diminished budget to do so....oh well, i cheerfully shrug! a blessing in disguise, i say! we'll focus on being together, i exclaim!) off to toys r us with a light snowfall and christmas music, we are happy as can be.
and then we got hit. seriously. a dumb girl took an icy corner way way too fast and with the crunch of the infinity, robbed me of my christmas spirit. the back of the car is caved in and grant pulls over and tries to not lose his cool. he tells me to stay in the car while he gets her information. i am praying in my heart that grant will not swear when i look up. i can hardly believe my eyes as another car comes around a different corner too too fast and slams into the front of the infinity. grant only hears the crash while he's writing down insurance info, but knows instinctively that it is only our luck that would cause two accidents in three minutes in a stupid parking lot entrance. there were dozens of cars around, and only we were hit. twice.
worse, the second offender was uninsured. yes, that's right, uninsured. and since he didn't speak english, and was 18, we don't have much hope that he will ever be held responsible for ruining my christmas, at least monetarily. oh don't go feeling bad for him- he could kill someone and not even be able to help with the funeral costs because he thinks that he doesn't need to take the bus to work if he can't afford insurance. and since he drives like a moron, it probably should be something he invests in. guess what dude? we can't afford it either, but it's not really optional, ok?
lest you've forgotten previous facts in the story, the infinity owner has been in god-forsaken iraq for a year, and will be home in three days. so did you figure out the worst part? he will not have his car as his special treat for his service when he returns, he will have a crappy rental car while HIS insurance pays to fix the front of his car because the special person that hit it doesn't have insurance, and the insurance adjuster is being a real &*)(#$%# because the girl that hit us is military too and he is representing both sides and he's sure not caring that this problem get resolved in a timely manner. you just can't pull the iraq card to a military insurance company. join the club, they say. i tried to get my insurance to pay for the front...call the military, they say.
one other point worth mentioning, is had we been driving the maxima that day, we would have thrown a party...for more reasons than just not screwing up our friend's car and life. in the two places we were hit, our precious maxima already has rather bad scratches, which would've finally been fixed. oh the irony!
so remember that $800 for the maxima? add the deductable for crash #2, and the joy that is spending five days on the phone with insurance adjusters, body shops, and your close friends that you have to give such news too, and well, it's been one hell of a week. tis the season, right?
there is one small silver lining to be mentioned in all of this. we got home a couple nights ago to see a package on our doorstep. it was addressed to our house we lived in in provo 2 years and 3 addresses ago, but somehow it found us. the sender's name was unclear, and no note accompainied it. so imagine our delight when we discovered a jedi light saber training device and a real light saber! we rushed to see what it was all about- grant hooked it up to the tv and we flipped over this game that allows you to battle (a la wii) with star wars characters using your light saber and a sensor you put atop your tv. it is freaking awesome. there are instructional activities, missions, practice rounds...it RULES. with its delivery, my christmas spirit was (mostly) returned to me.
*note to self: all totally optional. you have no actual commitments for the rest of the month. relax. enjoy your family. lay around. sit by the fire. whatever. simplify and have a merry christmas.