After almost ten years I had to say goodbye to a good friend yesterday. Someone who was with me through thick and thin. Someone who's been there since before I even knew David, before I had either of my kids. Someone who knew me when I was just an 18 year old kid living with my parents and working at Wendy's.
Yes, its true. I got rid of my car. My 2000 Hyundaii Elantra is no longer with us. Let's all take a moment of silence to remember my car.
The story of my car began August 2000. I was driving Melissa's old car, a 1984 Oldsmobile, but it wasn't really "mine". Its main purpose was to get me back and forth to work. So I traded it in to Jim Click for a brand new car. Compared to the Oldsmobile it was a luxury car. It had 19 miles on it when I got it, just a baby. I was so grateful to have a car where everything functioned, a/c, power windows, speakers that worked in the front and the back. Plus, it was MINE. I paid for every single penny of it and no one could take it away.
Not even two months after I bought my car someone hit it in the school parking lot. I had a crappy rental car while it was getting fixed and when I picked it up I was really grateful to have it back. It was a good reunion.
One year after getting it I rear ended someone, and it was almost totalled. It took almost 2 months for it to get fixed. It was such a headache until they finally called and said I could officially come pick it up, and take back the crappy Corolla I'd been driving that whole time.
My car and I moved out of my parents house, then back in, then back out again. We ended up in Mescal, where someone put a rock through the windshield. I didn't have glass coverage so I had to wait until I had $250 to replace it. By the time I got it fixed I had a flat tire and a dead battery.
After the windshield fiasco we moved away from Mescal, down to an apartment right next to where we live now. Then six months later we moved a few doors down, to the place that we still live in now. My car was in a constant battle with David's car for the carport. A couple of years ago David's car died and my car won that battle forever.
Then my insurance got cancelled which suspended my registration which meant I needed to get special insurance. I waited forever to get news tags and insurance. Seriously like 2 years. I still drove my car even though it had no insurance or tags, but just to work and back. In the mean time all of the power windows broke at one point, the charger/cigarette lighter broke, the rear view mirror fell off and I had to have the hood replaced because they put it on crooked when it got fixed. The a/c also leaked out all of the cooland in it and I spent a couple really hot months driving it back and forth to work, since at that time none of the windows rolled down.
Then when it was finally legal to drive my car again I was pretty happy. For awhile we had a second honeymoon, everything worked, my a/c worked great, the paint still looked okay. But after awhile we started having problems again. The transmission broke, luckily while it was still under warranty. It took a lot of pulling teeth to get them to fix it correctly. The first time I went to pick it up it wouldn't go in reverse, so I ended up with a brand new transmission.
Then the rear drivers side window wouldn't stay up. I never did get that fixed. For a long time we tried taping it up, but it ripped half of the tinting off of it. Then we discovered that if you shoved in a folded up piece of thick paper, it would create a wedge and hold up the window. Around the same time the switch on the front drivers side window broke, so it wouldn't roll down. One window wouldn't stay up, the other wouldn't go down.
About five or six years in the paint started to look really crappy. It wasn't that it was just scratched or old, it wasn't really peeling, it just started to turn kind of gray. It started with the back bumper. It got big spots on it where the paint was just deteriorating. Then the roof and hood started to look the same way. Spots on the doors and front were rubbed off where we would touch the car when we were opening the doors. It just started to look like a piece of junk. The interior still looked okay, and up until I had Alana I kept it really clean, but the outside looked horrible, and I was judging it by its cover. It had really let itself go.
Little problems came up here and there but we were mostly happy. I payed off the loan in August 2006, 2 months before Alana was born. No matter what problems we had, I was willing to overlook them since I had no car payment. Even though we had to rent cars to go on vacation, my car was paid for so it was worth it.
Then something unforgivable happened last summer. The a/c broke. The estimate to fix it was $1100. They may as well have been asking for my first born child. There's no way I have that kind of money laying around to spend on a car that has a value of less than $1000. To add to the suffocating heat inside the car, it was June, the drivers side window doesn't roll down, and I was 8 months pregnant.
We decided to leave it as is, since we really didn't have a lot of options. That meant driving a hot black car around Benson, and borrowing David's parents truck whenever we had to go to Tucson so I could go to the Dr. Then when Ava was born, we had to borrow my dad's car to bring her home from the hospital, since our car was way too hot to put a newborn in.
And when David came up to Tucson when I was still in the hospital, he had to borrow his parents truck to get there, since it was August, so his mom tagged along. All I really wanted was to see my husband since I was stuck in a hospital room for three days, but instead I got my husband plus my mother in law. It wasn't exactly relaxing.
At the end of summer when the weather got much cooler (probably closer to winter), riding in my car became a little more bearable. We don't really run the heater, so it would figure that it works great. Then two of the tires blew out, in different months at least, and both had to be replaced.
We had kind of figured that we would fix the a/c with our tax refund, but when that money came we had a long list of other stuff we would've rather spent that money on. We needed a vacation, some new clothes for our ladies, and we wanted to pay off a couple of bills. So we put it off. We said we would wait until March/April when money gets deposited into David's retirement fund, then we would use that money to fix everything that was wrong with the car.
Then we rented a car to go on vacation. A brand new car, that had a/c and everything in working order. The day before we were supposed to take it back, we were driving around and decided that we couldn't settle anymore. We needed a new car. I was going to trade in the old crappy car for a newer model.
Saturday we drove our car to Sierra Vista to go to Target. We did not intend on getting a new car. But when we got back into our non-air-conditioned car to leave Target, and the temperature had started to climb and the sun had come out, we knew it was over. We decided to go look at used cars, and maybe see what they would give us for trade in on our car. We didn't have a cash down payment, so we didn't want to get our hopes up since our car wasn't worth much in cash to them, just in sentimental value to me.
After a grueling 4 hours of waiting at the car dealership all of our financing and everything finally went through. It took longer than usual since we hadn't planned on buying a car, so we didn't have any of the paperwork they wanted. David had to call his boss and have her fax over paycheck stubs (turns out we had some in our old car the whole time), I had to call Progressive and make changes to our insurance policy to make it full coverage, we needed a copy of a bill with our address on it so I had to log online using their computer and print out my cell phone bill. It just took forever.
Finally it was time to sign the papers and get the heck out of there. Then we were handed the keys to our new car. It's a 2008 Pontiac G6. Not brand new, but new to us and 100 times newer and better than our old car. Then we had to take our carseats and junk and switch them over.
After we had moved everything it was time to say goodbye. I couldn't help but feel a little sorry. That was my first car. Despite everything that broke on it it was a good, reliable car. It never broke down and left me stranded somewhere, or just wouldn't start in the morning for no reason. It got me where I needed to go for ten years. It took us to Dallas once, even to Las Vegas. I will never have another first car. I took a picture of it with my camera phone and said goodbye. I have to move on, even if I don't want to. If the a/c hadn't broken we probably would've kept it another year. It was nice not having a car payment for 3 1/2 years.