Heartache, Hope, and Headache

Lord have mercy.

When life changes, it certainly changes. Back in early November, I matched with someone on Tinder. I know. Tinder. Gag. I’d matched with a few people before, met with one, nothing worked out. I decided to delete the app and start over with it. I wasn’t sure what that was going to accomplish, but I digress.

I swiped right on a few guys and then came across this guy named Andrew. His instagram was in his bio, so I creeped. I really appreciated being able to do that because I got a sense of his personality and humor. He seemed sarcastic and into puns, quite like myself. Then I accidentally double-tapped one of his photos. Fuck.

Now, I could have unliked it, deleted tinder, and crawled under a rock, but that would have been a ridiculous overreaction. I went back into the tinder app and swiped right.

Shortly thereafter, he swiped right for me, creating a match. Ta-da.

I decided to be brave and send the first message. His bio said something about dad jokes, of which I am a master, so I messaged him some dumb comment about the aforementioned. It took a day or so (cue me biting my nails) and then he responded.

Within a very short time, he’d impressed the pants off of me. Well, okay, conversationally, anyway. We had several things in common, he seemed very gentlemanly and genuine – even over a tinder chat. He ended up asking for my number.

We texted a bit every day – good conversation, no small talk. Then a couple days later, I got a not-so-great message.

My mom called me and said that my Nana had taken a turn for the worse and likely had about two-to-three weeks left. She’d just been given her Last Rites since it’s getting to be about that time. I’d wavered on whether or not I wanted to go see her one last time. She’d had Alzheimer’s for years now and looked right through me when I saw her last Christmas. Selfishly, it wasn’t something I wanted to go through again.

Then Friday, 14th of November, mom called in the afternoon to say that Nana’s prognosis had moved from two-to-three weeks to two-to-three days. I wavered again about whether to run down to the home and see her, but the thought seeing her in her current state just about paralyzed me. She wouldn’t recognize me, she’s probably in pain, she’s sleeping anyway, etc. I decided to stay home, but I would talk to my brother about potentially going to see her the next day.

That visit never came, because around 11pm that night, mom’s name showed up on my phone. I knew right away what had happened, and my instincts were confirmed when she said, “this is the call.”

My beloved Nana had died. Those words are bitter in my mouth.

Sweet Nana is finally in Heaven and out of pain.

I needed to go for a drive.

I drove to Nana’s old house. There are new owners now and they were home, looking out the window for whatever reason, so I couldn’t stay. I wanted to sit in the driveway and look at it. I wanted to sit and imagine all the million times we walked or biked down the road to her house for frosted ginger cookies and milk. All the Halloweens we’d trick-or-treated and gotten loads of candy from her at the front door. All the Christmases we’d helped trim her tree with ancient ornaments and strands of tinsel that we got all over the floor. I wanted to imagine sitting on her dusty rose-colored couch and glanced over to her in her rocking chair – seeing her knitting a new scarf or blanket.

I wanted to get out of the car and walk around back to the garden. I wanted to picture her kneeling, in her skirt, on one of those foam knee-protectors and digging holes for new bulbs or annuals or perennials. I wanted to help pull weeds and put soil in behind the flowers she’d relocate. I wanted to say, “look, Nana!” and hear, “Isn’t that nice” in her way, where it isn’t a question, actually.

I thought about all the times we’d gone in her light blue Oldsmobile, and later her pearlescent Geo Metro, to the library. The only reason I had a library card was because of her. I thought about the walks up to Ponca, the jumping in puddles, the blowing bubbles, the reading; the painstaking time she would spend putting my hair up in curlers and wrapping a silk scarf around so I can walk home, the way she answered the phone (“erm, hello”) in her way, where it really isn’t a question, again, actually.

Nana was one of those people who I pictured having in my life until I was old and grey. She’d just always be there somehow. And now she’s gone.

When my parents first hired her, I was about six months old. She came looking slightly like a 1940s war nurse and told them that she would be addressed as Mrs Meyer. It wasn’t long before she was Nana; my Nana.

I drove back to my neighborhood that night and sat in my car for ages listening to music. I had been texting Andrew sporadically due to it being the middle of the night, the news, and the drive. I suddenly felt very strongly that I should just be honest with him about what had happened. We’d been talking such a short time and we didn’t even know each other, but I needed to see right then and there how this was going to go.

Either he would say no, we barely know each other, I don’t need this right now, I’m out with friends (he was out at the bar with friends, I knew); or he wouldn’t say any of those things. Somehow I knew he wouldn’t react like the former. And he didn’t. he said he was so sorry and he wished there was something he could do; if he wasn’t drinking, he’d drive out to see me.

We talked about sad music and how happy music doesn’t actually help when you’re sad because you can’t relate to it in the moment. He sent me a youtube link and said it always helped him. I thought, great, what is this shit going to be. I clicked on the link and as soon as the title popped up, my heart skipped a beat: Morning in May by Ludo.

No one knows Ludo. And anyone who might have heard Ludo certainly hasn’t heard the Broken Bride album. But here this stranger was, sending me the song from Broken Bride that never fails to bring me to tears.

This discovery turned into a conversation lasting until 3am, even though he had to work early. He made me smile and even laugh that night, one of the worst nights in my life. I couldn’t help but think that God had all of this planned from the start. Hell, I’m pretty sure Nana had a hand in this. If I hadn’t been texting him that night, I’d have been alone in my thoughts and feelings. Everyone else was asleep or out of town. Nana took care of that. She was a caregiver til the end.

A couple days later, Andrew and I had our first date planned. I hadn’t had those butterflies in a long time. I didn’t want to spend too much time getting ready or coming up with any speeches or whatever. I was gonna be me and that was it. Furthermore, I wanted to be myself, not ‘better.’ I finally had hope again.

The date went amazingly. I knew I was in trouble from the get-go. And the best part was that he felt the same way. He asked to see me a few days later and did I say I was in trouble? Because I was in big, fucking trouble. Wow.

I’m being quite vague, I know. I just- well, this is very precious to me.

It hasn’t yet been two months, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt happier, more comfortable, and more like myself.

And then since it can’t be all sunshine and roses, the continued car accident stress..

I’ve been seeing a chiropractor three times a week. My body was working 42% harder than it should have been. (Not sure if I ever talked about the scans). My nerves had practically shut down. It’s getting a bit better; it’s changing anyway. I had an MRI on my right foot, come to find out that I have two fractured toes. That explains a lot. I have patella baja (shortened patella) in both knees thanks to the trauma. My wrists (left much more so than right) are still weak. Some bones in my chest pop if I stretch. Oh yeah, and I’ll need to start physical therapy now that the holidays are over.

The court date for the driver-at-fault drunk to enter his plea is in a week. I wonder how the past four-almost-five months have been for him. I see, via public record, that he’s just bought a house. Can’t be going too badly then.

Meanwhile, I’m just broken. Sure, it didn’t kill me. It could have, but it didn’t. It still could, but I won’t let it. What it did was make me weaker. Angrier. Cynical. It made me scared. It made me paranoid. It has taken so much from me and continues to take more.

Meanwhile, I’m the one who’s been in prison.

Settling Would Be Losing

It’s been a month since the accident.

I still can’t walk properly. I can’t roll through a step like one does when, well, walking. I can’t put 100% weight on my right foot, nor curl my toes all the way, nor put weight on the ball of my foot.  And all of that means that I wouldn’t be able to properly press the accelerator nor brake.

And anyway, my left wrist is still in pain/weak, so I wouldn’t have the best control of the wheel.

I’m close, but I’m not there yet.

In the mean time, I’ve been going through different thoughts regarding a new car.

First, I wanted a used one and then a classic one: come out of this shitty situation with two vehicles I love and say, fuck you, I came out of this better than I went in and you didn’t kill my spirit or love for cars.

Then I realized that dealer trades regarding used vehicles aren’t as easy as with new vehicles, so I’d have to deal with a different MINI dealership. For the sake of ease and time and familiarity, I didn’t want to do that. Plus, a Classic MINI Cooper isn’t going to have the protection and safety that I’ll desperately crave at this point. If I didn’t feel safe driving it, I wouldn’t enjoy driving it, and then it would just sit in the garage. And I didn’t want that.

I reluctantly scrapped that idea.

The 2014/2015 MINI Coopers have this amazingly badass feature of a red start/stop toggle switch a la fighter jets, and as soon as I saw that feature come out, I was in love. So I thought, okay, easy, I’ll just get a 2014 then. Why not?

Upon further review, that’s about the only new feature of the 2014s that I like. I know, I know, blasphemy.

I don’t know. There’s just something about the 2014s and 2015s that don’t even scream MINI to me. They’ve got so many new buttons and features inside and I’d feel like I was in an entirely different car. The window switches and locks are on the doors instead of the center console, the grille is strange, the body of the car has a slope; I don’t know. It just looks and feels too different.

Okay, so I’ll just get a new 2013.

If only it were that simple.

I’ve been to about 200 MINI websites tonight alone – New Inventory, 2013, Manual, S Hardtop. NOT orange or yellow. Not British Racing Green again. How about Ice Blue? Black wheels, please. Moonroof. Plain interior – or at least not some weird plaid cloth upholstery.

As I continue to find nothing (or at least hardly anything), I’m wondering if I shouldn’t just ‘settle’ for a 2014. (Sounds ridiculous). It would be so much easier – every MINI dealer has a ton of new 2014s. Then I take one look at the grille, the body, and the interior and I just can’t.

Maybe if I sat in one, I’d feel differently? But I don’t think so.

It’s just so discouraging. I loathe being in this situation in the first place. I know a few people have been like, “hey, who gets two new cars in a year?” Yeah, okay, if it were my choice to do that, sure. But no. I’ve had two beautiful cars- MY beautiful cars taken away from me. I didn’t choose to be doing this. Again.

I only have a month to get a car back on my insurance policy. Anything I find will be in another state and I’ll have to have it transported here.

The only thing that will keep me from settling will be the fact that I deserve to get everything I want. I can’t let this dumb asshole’s horrible decision to drive drunk keep me from getting a vehicle I’ll be less than perfectly happy with. I was perfectly happy before and I should be that way again.

Sigh. Fuckin’ A.

A Week-long Six-hour Journey

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Six and a half hours. That’s straight through with no stops. Truck drivers carrying property have driving rules, I know that.
Truck drivers carrying property can drive a maximum of eleven hours after ten hours off-duty (US DOT: FMCSA).
Let’s say there were a few stops along the way. Interstate 80 runs along quite a few potential stops, and this is assuming that the transport truck started at Madison and made its way west. Could have had a stop in Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Des Moines (very likely), and then arrive in Omaha. Maybe even, depending on the route, a stop in Rockport, Davenport, and then Iowa City, Des Moines, and Omaha. Who knows how many dealerships are along the way, and frankly, I’m not about to get into all that. This is frustrating me enough to sit down and be pontificating pedantically about this as it is. 

That being said. So, eleven hours max. Stopping four times along the way bumps the travel time to twelve hours, which would be over the limit, never mind how they measure time when they’re stopped or resting (the US DOT website uses confusing language, so I’m not going to try to understand that). So clearly, this journey would already take more than a day. Got it. Maybe even two or three.

That being said. It’s taken a week.

I called my salesman today because I hadn’t heard anything and was met with the typical I-totally-wasn’t-about-to-call-you-but-I’ll-tell-you-that-because-it-sounds-like-I’m-trying-to-keep-you-in-mind answer of, “I was just about to call you!” (no harm, I used this more often than I’d care to admit when I worked in an office and I’m sure it hasn’t left my lips for the last time). “There were some issues with the transport truck, so we’re looking at tomorrow” (as in Wednesday, as in, a week). 

The point of having the car brought down to Omaha for me was strictly convenience. I worked at a car dealership in Omaha for almost four years, and when I found a car I liked at one of our branches even just a couple hours away, they’d bring it down to Omaha out of convenience for me. Makes total sense. Good customer service. 

Before I decided on this particular MINI, there was one on the east coast that had even more of what I wanted, but was a bit more expensive and would have taken ‘over a week’ to get here. I was trying to drive to Canada (today), so a week wouldn’t cut it – I decided on the one that was closer with fewer of my requests because it would get here ‘this weekend; Monday at the latest.’ 

Honestly, I could have set up a rental return in Madison either last Thursday or Friday (you know, because it was due Friday before I had to start paying for it), and then done the F&I in Madison and driven home in my car. Have I needed it? Not necessarily; it’s just the principle of the thing at this point.

I realize how whiney and bratty this sounds, but I won’t again get into the ridiculousness of how this would be for someone with a family and full-time job to handle while constantly having to add days to their rental for which they are now paying for out-of-pocket because of the ‘insurance guidelines.’ I said I wouldn’t get into it again, didn’t I

I’m sorry that there’s been an almost-daily (more than daily) commentary about this situation, but it’s just the most frustrating thing going on in my life at the moment. While I’m trying to buy a house, do my taxes, plan for company- holy fucking shit, I’m an adult, when the hell did this happen?!

This isn’t all for naught. Luckily. I’m learning a lot from it. Life experience, I guess. If I wasn’t learning from it, it would be wasted on me; so yeah. Nevertheless, I’ll be working on my pout when I hopefully finally go pick up my car tomorrow. I should probably use it when I visit my loan officer as well. Sure we can’t do any better than 4.125%? *insert pout*

One Does Not Simply…

Like Things Anymore.

I swear to God that it’s impossible for me to get into anything without a friend calling me “obsessed.”

Because I watch all five seasons of Flashpoint, I’m obsessed. Because I buy a couple books by Richard Hammond after watching Top Gear, I’m obsessed. Because I watch an episode of Sherlock that I’ve seen quite a few times, I need to “take a breather.”

Should I have stopped watching a show after really liking the first couple episodes? When you open a bag of chips, do you eat a couple crisps and then put the bag away so you don’t look hungry?

I don’t fuckin’ get it.

I shouldn’t get defensive or offended, but seriously, what the hell?

Why is it weird or wrong or obsessive to experience something, find that you really enjoy it, and then continue to experience it so that the enjoyment also continues?

How do you ever discover new things?

So glad early explorers weren’t concerned with being perceived as “obsessive” when they decided to further check out some land, even though the land on which they were standing was perfectly fine.

Why do producers even produce more than a few episodes of shows? I mean, obsessed much? Why do authors write more than one book with the same main character? Hello, get a life. And don’t even get me started on bands who write more than one album. What are you trying to do?!

Oh, the best one I’ve gotten so far is “London Looney” after posting a photo on Instagram.

Welp. I’ll see you guys when I come back from treatment of my London addiction. Luckily for me, the best treatment is exposure therapy.

One day, I’ll have the strength to overcome my passion for film, television, music, and other media, but until I die, happily consider me a weak sonovabitch.

Laters.

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