Josh and I have been sharing one car between us so long that I had to go back and look up when we lost the last car. It was seventeen months ago. We were planning on replacing it, really, but it seemed like expensive things kept happening. There was the wedding, and then the HVAC broke, and then we went to France. I haven't even told you about encapsulating the crawlspace or the water pressure tank, but those things happened, too. 2013 was expensive.
Sharing the car was a pain, but it was the kind of pain that you sorta get used to after a while. Josh and I work close together, so we were able to manage our schedules such that we both got to where we needed to be. It was a bit complicated. He would drop me off at work at 9. Then he would do whatever until he had to go to work at 11. When he got off his lunch shift in the early afternoon, he'd go home. Then, when he had to come back in for his dinner shift, he would pick me up at the office and then we'd ride over to the restaurant. I would then go back to the office and finish out my day, then go home for a bit until I came to pick him up at 9 or 10.
It was a lot of back and forth, and it wouldn't have worked at all if our places of work were not close together and reasonably close to the house. Every once in a while, there would be an actual conflict, where we had to be at different places at the same time. Also, sometimes Josh would get off work early, but I wouldn't hear the phone ring and then he would be very angry about it. But mostly, we spent a lot of time together driving back and forth.
During the spring, my mom told me that my dad wanted to get rid of their Camry, for no real reason. It did make a mysterious clicking noise at certain speeds, but they'd taken it to a mechanic who couldn't find anything wrong with it. The car is eight years old, but only has about 109k miles on it. For a Toyota, that's barely middle-aged. My dad would gripe about it, because he's the kind of guy who gets an idea in his head and won't let go of it. But maybe he is suited for my mom in this way, because she was equally determined to keep it, also for no good reason. They had three vehicles, and while there are three people in the household, only one of them drives.
Now, as soon as she'd told me about Daddy's grumblings, I saw an in. They did not really need that car, and we could really use one. I casually mentioned that if they did decide to let it go, we'd like to be first in line to buy. Mama hemmed and hawed and about wanting to keep it as a backup. A backup of the new car they'd already bought, with the old truck being a backup to the backup, I guess. I did not push it, because I was focused on getting our heat fixed, and my brain couldn't deal with multiple major purchases at once. But I put a pin in the idea.
A month or two ago, Mama mentioned again how Daddy kept talking about selling that old car with the clicking noise. With no major home repairs on the horizon, I decided to make my play.
See, I had a trump card. You know that old trick where you ask one parent, and if they say no, you ask the other? If I mentioned to my dad that we sure would like to buy that old Camry, he would up his griping from merely irritating to downright insufferable. Actually, he would probably just try to sign over the papers to us on the spot, maybe mentioning it to Mama sometime the next week. But that is a nasty trick, and I did not do that. However, I might have commented to my mom that I could. She said she'd discuss it with Daddy and let me know.
She called the next day with the good news that they would sell us the car, and for very generous terms. We hadn't talked about the price at all, but her offer was one I couldn't refuse. In fact, I felt kinda bad about it, and I said I'd buy her a case of wine to go with it. After she'd agreed to do it, she seemed really happy about being able to help us out.
The car was delivered on the day before Thanksgiving. It apparently had not been getting driven much lately, as there were cobwebs on the dashboard. It was also full of the kind of random stuff that gets left in a vehicle - CDs, an umbrella, a VHS tape, a can of tuna (unopened, thankfully). Mama cleaned most of it out, taking the can of tuna, but leaving a Scott Joplin CD.
And then holy moly, we were a two-car household again. All the little things I'd forgotten were possible came back. Suddenly, I was able to change my name, because I had a car during government office hours. I was able to be the driver when coworkers and I went out for mid-afternoon coffee. I no longer had to wait for Josh to get ready in the mornings. Best of all, when I got home from work, I could change into my sleepy pants and have a beer, because I did not have to go back and pick up my husband from his work. I could even plan on having dinner ready when he got home, rather than trying to do prep work beforehand and finish it up after we got back. The possibilities are endless; it's like being sixteen again.
Thanks, Mama and Daddy.