25 September 2012


So this has been a truly horrible week.  And it's only Tuesday.  And it's completely my fault.

I've been waffling about whether or not to write this post.  It's very First World Problems and whiny and I tend to shy away from writing about negative things on here because I don't think anyone really cares about my problems.  {I don't mean that in a false-modesty way.}  I would be lying if I said I wasn't hesitant to write this because of pride.  I am a bonafide Type-A perfectionist and there are few things I hate more than admitting I made a mistake.  But then I wonder if editing out this incident inadvertently shellacs my blog into a shiny, happy place where nothing bad ever happens and that is a huge disservice to blogging.

So here I sit typing.

The oil pressure light in my trusty Volvo started flashing occasionally about 10 days ago.  That had happened before and I took it in for an oil change and a check-up and all was fine.  I convinced myself that since the light was only flickering and not staying on that the car could make it a few days without going in to the shop.

It's not that I didn't know that the flickering red light meant something needed to be done tout de suite.  I kept meaning to take the car in over my lunch break and then just put it off for one reason or another.  And that procrastination caught up with me on Sunday morning to the tune of several thousand dollars.

Yes, that's right, my engine is bye-bye.  So now all of our money is too.

I've spent a lot of time crying and kicking myself over the past 48 hours.  Generally just feeling like a huge boob.  Because now instead of going on a romantic anniversary trip and paying off debt and buying each other and our loved ones extravagant Christmas gifts, we're spending our hard-earned pennies on a car engine.  Just typing that out gave me such a big pit in my stomach.  Ick.

But as shitty as I have felt over the past few days, I have also felt something else: blessed.  {And I fall decidedly into the Kate category of feeling that the word "blessed" is EXTREMELY overused.}  But that's the only word for it.

I am so grateful to have supportive parents and a wonderful husband to remind me that it's only money. And to remind me how very fortunate we are to be in a position to have the money to fix this and to have people who can help us out.  Because I have SUCH high standards for myself and for the people around me, I was terrified that my husband and my parents were going to be furious with me.  M would have every right to be.  It's his money too and it's definitely not the way he wants to be spending a few thousand dollars.  I would have been furious with him had the tables been turned.  But he just hugged me and kissed away my tears and told me that we'd get through it by eating a lot of ramen noodles and pretending we were in college.  From my parents I found out that burning out engines is somewhat of a tradition with the female drivers in our family, so there's a weird sense of solidarity there {three cheers for willful ignorance!}.

Honestly, I'm not sure what the point of me posting this is, other than to document it as a reminder to myself and a PSA to all of you to ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OIL.  And to remind myself that things are going to be OK.  Writing this down has already made it seem much less dramatic than it felt on Sunday.  {Of course, we haven't gotten the bill yet...}

Thanks for hanging in there with my ramblings today.  I'll try to get back to the shiny, shellacked posting tomorrow!


xx BHB said...

My heart aches for you because I FEEL YOU in that Type A self-flagellation... mine spirals further into "if I messed THIS up then of course I'm going to mess everything ELSE up so why even try". It's really special.

M is right - it's just money and you're lucky that it's not more and that you are in a position to have this expense cause you some pain and pause but not devastate your finances.

Plus, thank goodness nothing terrible happened while you were actually driving the car! Particularly since this is related to the engine, my goodness, that could have been a major emergency :(

Lastly, tuna casserole feels and tastes more substantial than ramen but is still super cheap to make :) Hang in there! xo

Baltimore Prep said...

Sorry to hear about your car troubles. Spending money on car repairs is always really hard for me..they should just WORK! I also have found that when something bad happens, something wonderful is on the way.

MCW said...

I have had the pit many a times in the past. Horrible feeling. I guess lesson learned...and I would do the exact same thing. I feel like those lights always come on for no reason at all!

Our French Inspired Home said...

Everyone has little hickups from time to time. Its always more painful to pay for the things we need instead of the things we want. I like that you are keeping a positive outlook. I am a firm believer in the law of attraction (positive thoughts attract positive people and situations, negative thoughts the opposite). Keep the positive things in mind and all things will turn out for the better. Keep Smiling! - Tonya

Melissa @ I Pick Pretty said...

Thank you for your honesty. Shiny happy pretties will be here another day; your telling the truth when times are otherwise only makes it more so.

My inner Type A so feels you on this one . . . I'll pass along what someone recently told me about some frustrations I was having - "If it's a problem you can throw money at, then there are worse problems to have."

Do you hate me yet? I hope that's helpful to you, as it was to me, crappy as it feels when you're dealing with the financial / I-cant-believe-I-did-this feeling problem at the time.

Here's to happier times and fixed engines ahead. xo

The enchanted home said...

So sorry to hear about this! Oh boy I feel for you but your husband sounds like a keeper..what a sweet guy! I had something like that happen many years ago, we bought our first really expensive piece of furniture, a gorgeous mahogany dining table and my son then 2 threw a huge super heavy metal fire truck on it from the second floor( it actually fell) and needless to say it bounced all over the table leaving it a huge huge mess. I was hysterical not sure how to break it to my husband but when i finally did amidst the sobs, he had a simliar reaction, making me feel better and telling me that we would fix it.....the bright side is you have a family that loves you, and is there for you and that you can afford a new engine, hey...that you can have a car, in many areas of the world an untold luxury! You can repalce the engine but not your family, love or unconditional support......that my friend, is priceless!

Perfectly Imperfect said...

ouch. that sucks. BUT at least it's something that can be fixed. though i'm with you, i'd be a sobbing mess to that kind of money. kudos to your husband for handling it so well. i feel like mine might now have been as stellar ;)