Week 15 ~ September 18-24, 2005
Week 15 was well and truly uneventful as far as baby news goes, so let's see, methinks I shall regale you with tales of... the Babymobile.
(And, no, I do not mean "mobile" as in the thing one hangs over the crib with lots of cute animals and airplanes and flowers hanging off of it. I mean it like the Batmobile, only with a baby at the helm instead of Bruce Wayne.)
We've finally had some slow progress on our insurance claim against the girl who hit us. The other insurance company has finally accepted liability for the accident, which is some much-needed good news. Now we have to wait however long it will take them to figure out just how they want to handle all the financial arrangements. Besides all the waiting, the real downside is that, after everything is said and done, we're still coming up just about even on the settlement, and what I owed on my car, which has again left us with no down-payment! However, this weekend, with the help of a couple of very sympathetic and (believe it or not) friendly, helpful car salesmen, we bought a new (used) car.
The whole process of finding a car was, I can honestly say, even worse than the worst bout of morning sickness I have yet experienced, and left me feeling twice as gross. More than once I would leave a dealership teary-eyed and stressed to the max, tempted to just run away with the rental car and have done with it. For a week, we had been eyeing a super cute small SUV, which I loved and really had my heart set on. It was the perfect size for us and our family. We actually got up to the point of having all the paper work in front of us to sign when we backed out. Our mechanic of 12 years had taken a look at the car, and his honest opinion was that the specific make and model we were looking at is not a reliable used car to buy. I voiced my concerns to the salesman, who eventually admitted that he would not put his own daughter in that car, and that he would be happy to keep us in touch of any suitable new trade-ins he got. So, the great SUV Disaster of '05 was a fiasco of mammoth proportions in my hyper-emotional pregnancy-addled brain, and I was soooo upset. I couldn't understand why everyone (mean old parents, Aaron, friends, coworkers, etc.) was against me, and why they couldn't understand how stressful this situation was on me. This was not just a car, I argued, this was The Car, the one I would be taking my baby home from the hospital in, the one I would be driving my baby around in, the one that would be our family car for years to come. On top of just that, it had to be a bigger car, to fit not only myself and baby, but also enormous Aaron, and one of those equally enormous transformer strollers thingys. Also, because we were running out of time, and considering our dire financial situation, I was absolutely convinced that it was going to come down to everyone forcing me get something that I hated, just because it happened to fit what we needed. The Feeling Sorry For Myself blues got so bad that finally Aaron sat me down and gave me a very stern lecture about how everyone has bad days and bad weeks, that I needed to stop overreacting and realize that we would find something eventually, and everything really would be ok. Of course, I didn't believe him, and chalked it all up to his being a part of the Mean Conspiracy against me, determined not to listen to what I was trying to say, and to talk down to me like I was just another crazy hormonal pregnant lady. So, in a grump, I went out car shopping the next day and didn't invite him to come.
(And yes, I do realize now how stupid all this is...)
My parents and I continued the car search around town, and, in a great I-told-you-so triumph on my part, it was just a parade of one bad car after another. The problem was, the mid-sized cars that I was shown were all very long and low, when we needed wide and tall. I kept explaining it over and over: Aaron is a very big man. He has broad shoulders, he has a long neck, and his legs shoot out from here to eternity. So they suggested the bane of my pregnant existence: a minivan. No! NO! Aside from the fact that these things are completely impractical for us, in that they suck more gas than I can afford, and seat up to 8 people (there are currently only 2 and a half of us!), I simply cannot reconcile driving a minivan this early in my life. Sure, I may be a mommy-to-be, and I love it, but that's still no excuse for this, the ultimate coolness faux pas! Aaron has promised me that once the baby is born, he'd be more than happy to spend the occasional night in, so that I can go out, de-stress and live it up with my fabulous girlfriends once more. Only fair, as he's been doing it this whole time, while I'm at home darning his socks (yeah right.) Anyway, the image of my glorious return into society (complete with the roaring applause of my adoring fans, champagne, etc.) has often been a consolation on those nights when I feel too crappy to go out, have no energy or concentration to read or work on new art pieces, and end up moping around at home while everyone else is out having a ball. Not that I'm complaining about the baby by any means, but arriving to my Welcome Back party in a minivan is NOT part of the fantasy.
Finally, in frustration, they again showed me smaller model cars, which, in mutual frustration, I reminded them would not fit my enormous monster of a boyfriend. It was getting ridiculous, and no one in my tiny pygmy family could approximate his necessary head and leg room allowance, so we test drove a Neon over to my house to collect him. The Neon was nuts: completely blinged out by the original owner, with custom red details on the inside, a killer stereo, low-rider wheels with insanely mirrored chrome hubcaps, dark-as-night tinting, and a spoiler so big that I literally could not see anything out the back window. It was equally as unsuitable for us as the minivan. We picked up Aaron, who was as usual polite and friendly with my parents, but obviously still in a grump with me. We drove back to yet another dealership, and continued the futile search. Everyone was disgusted with me and my "it's too small, it's too big, it takes too much gas, I just don't like it," attitude, but I simply did not see anything that I even remotely liked. Then, while driving past a small independent dealership on the edge of town, I spied a nice looking Focus. We stopped, talked to our very accommodating salesman, and took the Focus out for a spin. It's a stick shift, which I can't for the life of me drive, but small details aside, it was perfect. A newer 2003 model, 4-door, power everything, good stereo, and big enough to fit Aaron, baby, and stroller. All of us had read excellent reports on the Focus, and we were all in agreement: this was it. We went into the office, and started on the financial stuff. They knocked $600 off the ticket price, and another $100 off my down payment (mercifully fronted by my parents until we get paid next week) to get my payments down to what we can afford. They agreed to fix the two very minor things we saw wrong with the car, we filled out form after form, signed name after name, initialed JJ after JJ, and the next thing we knew, we were leaving with keys in our hand. In the middle of all the excitement, Aaron and I had forgotten we were mad at each other, and started poking and slapping at each other like we do when we're feeling playful and happy and excited. So, as we drove off, all was well. I made him take me all over town in our new car (named Desmond) and we all lived happily ever after for the rest of the weekend.
And, PS, in case you're wondering, our faithful mechanic DID look at the car, and he too is immensely pleased with the purchase, pronouncing it an "excellent choice." Now, with each and every person involved in this mess finally and completely pleased, I just have to learn how to drive the damn thing!