Thursday, July 20, 2006

I'm Already There

When my alarm went off this morning, the song playing over the airwaves was Lonestar's "I'm Already There." And I started crying - crying over the deployment is something I haven't done for a long time now, but as I lay there listening to the lyrics that strike so many familiar chords (Matt had already left for work so I was alone), I couldn't help but remember what a long, lonely road we'd just trekked down. We've been so busy since Matt got home - something always to do, one thing after another - that thoughts of what we've endured have been pushed to the backburner. Out of sight, out of mind. It's hard to believe that it's been 4 months now that Matt has been home; it's hard to believe because those months went by so quickly and I remember 4 months seemed like an eternity when Matt was gone.

I was talking to my dad not too long ago about the wedding (constantly reminding everyone how many days are left until the Big Day has become a habit of mine - I even end my emails with it), and he had a good laugh about how many things in my life I've waited for and how they always came quicker than I imagined they would: waiting to turn 16 to get my driver's license, waiting to graduate high school, waiting to move out of my parent's house and into the dorms, waiting to turn 21, waiting for Matt to come home. But I simply cannot group in the deployment with all the rest of the periods of waiting in my life - everything else I've ever waited for never involved those awful deep feelings of loneliness, never involved that sick feeling of worry when a relative story breaks on the news, never involved eagerly anticipating phone calls in the wee hours of the morning, and while in retrospect it's easy for me to shrug off 14 months with a simple nonchalance, I don't think I'll ever be able to say that those months went by quickly nor could I ever belittle their significance by saying looking back they don't seem "that bad." I remember the weight I carried with me every single day Matt was gone, and even though I don't constantly think of the days of our deployment anymore, I won't ever forget the wait.

We went to Sacramento this past weekend for a wedding. The bridezilla in me said that the only wedding I'll go to this year will be mine, but when Matt's mom told me that she'd already RSVP'd for us, I was struck with the dilemma of not wanting to go because I'm slightly stuck up or going because I know how much it would bother me if someone RSVP'd and then didn't come. Of course I went for the latter. I've been so annoyingly exact about every teeny tiny detail and I know, while it wouldn't have directly bothered me the day of the wedding, I'd be steaming later when I found out we'd paid for someone who hadn't even bothered to show up despite saying they would. I even sent out emails to all mine and Matt's friends who said they were going to RSVP for 2 people "just in case" and told them I'd personally kick their asses if they RSVP'd for 2 people and ended up not finding a date. Oh yes, I've been a peach. After idle threats, I nicely informed them that it's much easier to add a person to our list than to subract one.

Anyway, I digress, and really, this post isn't so much about the wedding we attended this past weekend as it is about our drive to it (and why I should possibly invest in a horse-drawn carriage and save everyone a headache or two). As most of you already know, I had quite the saga with my Jetta up to and including the day I sold it. If you've just recently tuned in and don't know, you can either read my past posts or take my word for it that this car and I were terribly mismatched. What most of you DON'T know is that regardless of being a mechanical dream, the Toyota I owned before my Jetta suffered quite a bit of wrath while in my ownership. Mainly dents and dings and all the telltail signs of a real good driver.

Now that I'm in possession of the Honda, I've been doing everything in my power to take the best possible care of it since it's not my car. I still have minor issues with how slow it is to get going from a stopped position, but truth be told, the fact that I actually can not speed in this car is probably a good thing (I always call it my golf cart with a govenor and every time I remind Matt that I want a V6 when we buy a new Camry, he rolls his eyes at me; we both know it's a terrible idea, that I'll rack up more speeding tickets in a year than most people do in a lifetime, but we also both know that I'll get my V6 because it'll be "our" car for the next 10 years). When the Honda's steering wheel started vibrating around Thursday of last week, I noticed right away because it's very important to me that we return this car in the same condition we received it (which is already impossible thanks to the asshole who hit us in a parking lot. Damn you, karma!!). Of course, I didn't think anything of it because, well, the car is so OLD. Sometimes old people shake, so can't old cars shake too? In my defense, I did mention the shimmy to Matt and check the tire pressure (and by "check the tire pressure," I mean, I pushed my thumb against the tire and thought it felt okay).

When we left for Sacramento Saturday morning, the vibrations were no worse, but there was a noticeable shimmy after 70 mph. Real noticeable - it felt like the car was about to fall apart. Matt sighed exasperatedly like he always does when he's about to lecture me on taking care of my things, and as expected, went into a really long diatribe on how I have the worst luck with cars (it's something I can't really argue with either. I mean, I really don't have the best track record when it comes to cars). I'm sure you can only imagine how much it drove the point home when not 10 minutes later the front passenger tire blew up. I always imagined a blow out being much worse than this one was (and to be fair, I'm sure the seriousness of a blow out varies with every circumstance). I heard the tire blow up and I felt the car drastically jerk, but it didn't really register. I yelled out "Oh my God!" more due to the shock of a sudden deafening sound than the sideways pull of the car and probably would've kept on trying to drive if Matt hadn't said, "Pull over."

The passenger side fender is RUINED. The blow up of the tire managed to rip off part of the siding of the car, dismantle part of the bumper, and leave hideous black rubber marks everywhere. This did nothing for my defensive argument to Matt about how I do not have the worst luck with cars, and after Matt put on the donut (which really made the car look like a golf cart), we drove the 2 hours to Sac in complete silence. It was tedious and long (we couldn't go over 50 mph with the donut) and gave me a lot of time to think about the benefits of just giving up on cars and using a horse and carriage for all my transportation needs. But then I figured, knowing my luck, the horse would probably break a leg walking up a hill or something. As it turns out, the tires on the Honda were not much younger than the Honda itself. We had to get 4 new tires in Sacramento and were told that the tire that blew up looked defective because of the way it blew up. Besides, I don't think it's possible for cars to have problems because of the luck of their owners - the car had been sitting in a garage undriven for God knows how long.

Anyhoo, no new wedding updates because everything is pretty much done - now it's all about waiting and anticipating. 15 days!!!!

5 Comments:

Blogger Courtney said...

I am so so excited for you. Only 15 more days!!! YAY!!! Anyway, Toyotas are amazing. My dad has a camry and I love driving it. They start very quickly. I am also not so good with cars. And the whole steering wheel shaking thing...I can definitely relate. My Toyota Carolla was over 12 years old when I rear ended someone and caused the death of it. But before I killed it, the steering wheel shoook really badly. I didn't do anything about it, like you I just assumed it was old and that caused it to shake. I was actually always scared to take it on the highway because of how bad it shook. I am glad that you guys were ok and nothing more serious happened with the car.

7/20/2006 9:14 PM

 
Blogger Karen said...

I'm sorry but I just can't help but laugh at your luck with cars. I'm happy that you guys are ok though. Maybe it's the way you explain things, but I just HAD to chuckle at a few parts.

Yay! 15 days to go!! I can't wait to see pictures!

7/21/2006 4:57 AM

 
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Whew, I'm like Karen. I couldn't help but laugh at that as well. I'm sorry. I know its not funny to YOU, but for us... thanks. :) lol.

wow, 15 days... AAAH! Just yesterday I was thinking about how long it was until the wedding. I CANT WAIT TO SEE YOUR PICTURES! I'm so excited for you!!

7/21/2006 1:09 PM

 
Anonymous Laura said...

Ok my turn. 15 days!!! I'm so excited for you! I'm surprised you didn't want to go to that wedding. Before my wedding I was obsessed with seeing how other people did stuff at their weddings. Although I guess you are at the point where its a little too late to change things if you get a good idea. BTW- good for you for letting people know that the number they RSVP is important. I was so annoyed at the attitude a lot of our friends had about bringing dates. And we still had a few people who ended up not bringing anyone and some who didn't come at all. It costs money people!

7/21/2006 1:42 PM

 
Blogger Nikki said...

You're down to the final days now...yay! I know we're all excited to see pictures in the blog world!

I had to comment on your tire story though. Seriously...there's got to be some tire illness in the air. I was in Indiana for a family reunion last week. One cousin's wheel fell off her car on her drive from Pittsburgh to Indiana. Her twin sister (who is from Ontario) had her brand new mini-van run into by a riding lawnmower in a state park. The tire was destroyed along with the door and rear quarter panel (killer lawnmower!). Thank God our tires survived the drive from Texas to Indiana!

8/01/2006 9:03 AM

 

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