I’ve become one of those people. You know the ones who always have an excuse as to why they can’t work. They have to leave early to pick up so and so at the airport, they’re late because of traffic and they’re absent because of some other drama. Individually each excuse is understandable and not a problem, but you know these kinds- it’s every.single. day and you’re like, “you do realize you have a job, right?”.

Anyway, that’s me now. Prior to 2010, I had never once called in to work. I took days off but they were always planned ahead (I don’t like surprises) and if I was sick I just sucked it up (yep, I was one of those people then- people who bring their germs to work). I had mono a few years ago and didn’t miss a single day of work. I may not be the greatest employee ever but, by God, I was there! So, 15 years, no call ins- this past week, three!

Two were for a sick baby and this morning it was the car. I started out as normal, dropping off the baby at daycare, sobbing in my car because I missed her already, and getting on my way. As soon as hit the freeway for my 40 mile drive, something was wrong. The car was shaking and the engine light came on.

I bought this car 5 years ago as a present to myself after completing my MBA. My very first brand new car. It’s not fancy but it is German, which is German for “expensive to maintain). I discovered this a few weeks after I bought it and  I managed to destroy a tire by running over a nail (apparently they are made of fairy wings and can’t be repaired) and had to pay $225 for a single tire because it required some special “touring” tire, which is ridiculous because the only things I was touring were DC traffic jams. And a few months later when I found out that regular oil just wouldn’t do, it required some beechwood-aged, hefeweissen  bullshit synthetic crap that cost about as much as an actual trip to Germany. So, as you can imagine when my car acts up, I get a big pain in my wallet.

I limped the car to the garage, signed in blood and leaped over a series of hurdles to get myself to work. Cab ride home, get behind the wheel of rickety old truck held together by rust and old gum sans AC, drive manual transmission for the first time in about 5 years to the middle school where my husband teaches, spent 15 minutes attempting to enter school through a door so complicated no one over the age of 14 can work it, trade keys with Scott and finally, two hours after I first started, I was on my way.

As soon as I got to work, I got a call from the shop with the diagnosis: something, misfire, something, eight years salary, something, and oh, we went ahead a performed a safety check and these are the things we found wrong. We noticed you had a car seat in your backseat so we knew you would would probably want to get all of this stuff taken care of. Translation: Make all of these expensive repairs or you are a horrible mother no better than Susan Smith or Andrea Yates.

So I steeled myself for the final total, a normal amount multiplied by the Farfegnugen factor = $1 Googleplexian, and gave them the go ahead.

I’m currently trying to decide whether to pay by check, credit card or firstborn.


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