(I don't want to get up yet. Getting up hurts. It is far less painful to sit here. I only came down here for medical advice...)
I was quite delayed on the learning to drive thing. Never wanted to. Was afraid to. But Dad made me, after Elayna was born; he got sick of shuttling Elayna and I to our doctor appointments.
My first car was my grandma's old car. She got a new Mazda - I got a 1980 Pontiac Sunbird.
Oh, man, that thing was ugly. And so old that it didn't have a cassette player - or even FM. Yep. AM radio. Nothin' else. I brought a boom box in the car with me everywhere, because living without music makes me all itchy-like.
Well, the car broke down and was not worth fixing. So Dad got me a '91 Ford Tempo. A perfectly decent car. And I drove that for a while... until the A/C went. It would cost approximately the value of the car to fix the A/C... so my ex-husband said he'd drive it, and I started driving the car he brought into the relationship, a '96 Ford Taurus.
So one day, I pick Miss Kid up from day care... and suddenly start to hear this awful grinding sound.
And then an even worse grinding sound.
And ze car, she stopped.
Called Dad. Dad showed up. Called for a tow truck, etc.
Fan belt. The fan belt had snapped and pretty much fused everything else together. Fuuuuun.
Apparently, you're supposed to replace the fan belt at 50,000 miles. We were at 55 or 56, I forget. And my ex-husband had never done a lick of maintenance on this car. So the warranty did not cover us. So Dad took us to the Hyundai place, because I needed an inexpensive car.
(Incidentally - this was the weekend of MegaCon 2000. Which Adam had flown down for, and we didn't get to go to, because my ex-husband is an idiot.)
So we get to the Hyundai place, and I pick out a cute little silver Accent, and we sit down and talk. We need to roll the remaining cost of the Taurus into the Accent in order to use what little value it had as a down payment. They asked how much we had left to pay, and I said $2,000.
I paid the monthly bills, you see. I handled money, because before me, if my ex-husband went a week without bouncing a check, it was an occasion to be celebrated.
They called... and reported that the payoff amount was $4,000.
See, this - this was my ex-husband's crowning glory, right here. He and his mother - because he never did a damn thing without mommy dearest, who was a nut job in her own right - wanted to save $20 a month on the car payments.
So they arranged to have a $2,000 balloon payment at the end of the loan.
$2,000. Balloon. Payment.
Never mind that they didn't tell me about this big looming bill that we wouldn't be able to pay without some serious saving up. Who the fuck does a *balloon payment*?
Who is that stupid?
My ex-husband. Lawdy.
So - end of story, we lumped that $4,000 in - which is why I had to pay $300/month for a freakin' Hyundai. When we sold the townhouse during the separation, I got $4,000 off the top (then split the rest evenly), since I was taking *that* car (he, at that point, got one used from my cousin).
And I have now paid my first *new* car off.
AND - I now have an INTELLIGENT husband.