I’m coming out of the closet: two weeks ago we sold my car — my beloved ’99 Toyota 4Runner that I got, brand-new, with only 8 miles on it, from the dealership.
Now, it’s true, I’ve been wanting a car with more room in it, that can carry more people. But I would be lying if I said the only reason we got rid of it was to buy something larger. No, the real reason we sold it is because we needed the money. 4Runners have a high resale value, even for one with lots of miles like ours had, and the money we got for it went a long way and did lots of good. The sudden rash of Paul McCartney ticket purchases? Yeah — financed by our car sale. As were our plane tickets to California. Oh, yes, and the little matter of our house payment and all the other things we were behind on.
So what this boils down to is that we are now a one-car family. And our one car consists of a miserable hunk of junk that masquerades as a Cadillac. The CD player doesn’t work, the interior is trashed, the button you hold down to shift out of park is missing, it leaks both radiator AND power steering fluid, the front end needs major work, the paint is peeling off the roof, it’s missing a decorative side panel…oh, the list goes on and on. After we’d all piled into the Joad-mobile the other day I turned to Robert and said, “This does it. We are now, officially, po’ white trash.” It’s not just owning a junky car that does it. It’s the junky car being your one and only mode of transportation for a family of four because you had to sell your nice car to pay bills. That’s just one short step away from call-a-ride and visits to the pawn shop, if you ask me.
However, there is a ray of hope on the horizon. Robert will soon be starting various new enterprises that will begin to raise our income. Nothing substantial, but enough to take care of those little niggling things, like the mortgage, that banks get so fussy about. And, allegedly, this single-car business is only temporary. Upon my return from California we intend to go car shopping. There are some things which may or may not happen that will affect the quality of the automobile I end up with. But, either way, I should once again have transportation by the end of July.
In the meantime we will just get along with what we’ve got. There’s only another week-and-a-half until we leave for California, anyway. And, you know, like I told Robert, it could always be worse. We could be driving our junker car, both smoking (with the windows rolled up) while the kids crawled around the backseat, unrestrained. At least we still have some standards.