Wednesday, March 19, 2008

An Inconvenient Truth

When faced with the prospect of moving all of our worldly possessions across this great nation, J and I (with me being the spearhead of the movement) decided that it would be best to reduce our possessions by at least one. That decision made, we traded in both my Ford Focus (aka the Poor Man's Jetta) and his '96 Ford Ranger in order to "get into" a new Ford Freestyle. Not only did this make economic sense in reducing the number of cars to drive 3000+ miles, it was also made keeping in mind that we planned to have at least one more child over the next five years, making a car with ample room very appealing.

As I would not be working outside the home, I started getting visions in my head of loading H up in the stroller and walking to the library, the farmer's market, the antique shops and all the other great things that would be in walking distance of our new apartment according to Googlemaps. I could just feel the pounds melting off my thighs.

In my deluded state, I failed to consider two of the biggest factors that would make the one-car family model result in an ultimately huge inconvenience;

1. There is no sidewalk access within one mile of my home, and
2. When you don't have a car, and you want to, you have to take your husband to work and pick him up...something that's fine if the job is 9-5, not so fine if you're lugging your toddler in a sleepy stupor at midnight to get your husband after his shift, only to find you have to scrape the eight inches of snow that have fallen since you finished your errands that afternoon.

Yes, it soon became clear that the dream would not become the reality. We had to face it, we needed two cars. At the six month 'check-in' about which I've previously written, J had announced that he'd get a second car in order to ensure that I could have our mommy-mobile full-time.

Then a week passed. I gingerly asked him, after secretly scouring Craigslist for used cars, if he planned to buy an older car for under 5k, or to finance a newer car, or if he'd thought anymore about it. He said that he hadn't really thought about it. Hmmmm...funny, because ever since he'd mentioned it to me, it was all I could think about. The thought of being stuck at home with two kids and no outlet was more than a little frightening to me, but I was loathe to voice that just yet. Granted, J had been working a lot of hours, so didn't have the free time that I did to research and finalize a deal. However, I'm known to have a one-track mind, and you really shouldn't commit to something with me, unless you're ready to go full boar.

At that time, J said that he'd been thinking about leasing a car for two years, since we'd most likely not want to haul two cars back across the country at the end of residency. Sweet! As you can imagine, I was on the phone with dealerships the next day in order to get their leasing specials.

It's now the end of March, and we each had friends in town during overlapping periods of time, lasting about two weeks. This was really the first time that J and I hadn't solidly coordinated our schedules in order to ensure that he wasn't left waiting, and I wasn't without a car. J had to take the final portion of his licensing exam during two of the days that my friend L was in town, and had to work during some of the time that his friend T was here.

Twice, he was left waiting for an hour or so while I finished what I needed/wanted to do. After the second incident, which included me brattily bringing to his attention that it was irritating only because it was the first that it had inconvenienced him, he announced that he was ready to spend some serious energy looking for a car. I've found people generally don't make a serious effort to remedy a situation unless the inconvenience directly impacts them.

You know what they say, fool me once...and J is certainly no fool.

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