Oh what a day…

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Well yesterday was a trip.

I woke up at 4:30 thanks to 3rd trimester insomnia. Got on Facebook and found out that David Bowie had passed away. He’s one of Mr. T’s biggest idols, so that kind of hit us hard. Not as hard as Bill Murray’s death one day will, but still.

Then I got to work and was basically called incompetent by two separate people, one of whom I consider a “friend” – as much of one as you can call a work friend, anyway. But that has encouraged me to work on clearing my life of negativity. Life is hard, people. I enjoy complaining as much as the next person, but there are some people in the world that seem to really enjoy being miserable. I need less of that right now.

And then – as if to prove them right in regards to the incompetency of our IT department…some stuff happened that I won’t go into because of The Separation of Work and Private Life mandate that I hold so dear. But it’s been ongoing for over 24 hours now. #awesome

Finally – icing on the cake – we put Khat to sleep yesterday evening. While we were there Mr. T and I came to the realization that we’ve never actually witnessed a pet’s death before, euthanasia or otherwise. On our way home he looked at me and said “We’re slowly becoming adults, aren’t we?” and then I cried even harder. lol! But seriously – putting an animal down sucks. I look forward to a solid decade passing before I have to even consider doing it again – please and thank you.

Khat | The Wilson Buzz

Khat | 2001-2016

Car Shoppin’

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Okay, folks. My car may or may not be beyond repair. I’m so sick of telling this story, but I’ll type it all again, for posterity’s sake.

A week or two ago, my “Check Engine” light came on. And in M’boro you can’t pass emissions if it’s on. So I went to AutoZone to have it checked out and they gave me the code…something about a misfiring cylinder or something. Dude said it was most likely a bad spark plug. I tried to get Mr. T to investigate, but he wasn’t comfortable doing that on his own. I have a cousin that is a mechanic, but I hate bugging him about car stuff. I figured that since it was most likely a bad spark plug, we could just take it to a repair place and have it fixed easy peasy. Well…$700 later I regretted that decision. They said a bunch of connectors and such were corroded (and they replaced all the spark plugs). Whatever – we need that car, so we paid it. I pick it up and start driving home…”CHECK ENGINE!” They guarantee their work, so Mr. T takes it back and they mess around with it all day and finally give us The News. One of our cylinders isn’t getting 100% compression – more like less than 50% what the others are getting. They think it may be some sort of valve lid or something that isn’t sealing properly. But wherever that is isn’t easy to get to, so they’re basically going to have to take our car apart. And that’s $800. Just to see if what they think it might be is what they think it is. If it is, we’d still have to pay for parts and for them to fix it. If it isn’t…we’re out $800 (plus the $700 from before). So we’re rescuing it from those crazies and taking it to a crazy that is related to us – my cousin. Once we get his opinion we have to make some decisions. Here are some options I’m mulling over:

  1. What’s the worst that could happen?
    I just keep driving ol’ Emily (my car) until she falls apart, saving up for a new car. How soon until she’s dead for good? Can I make more money off of her by trading her in/selling her now than if I wait until she’s over the hill? We’d have to fix her up good enough to get the Check Engine light to go away, and that may cost more than it’s worth. Not to mention we have to get new tags by the end of January.
  2. “New” Car
    Smithy’s grandmother has an Oldsmobile she’s going to try to sell for $1,000 or so. She has another car going for a little bit more – maybe $3-3500. I trust Smithy not to try to screw me over, because I know where he lives and will hurt him if he does. But I’m concerned about the long-lasting quality of a car that is selling for only $1,000. I’m going to need to drive this thing nearly 50 miles EVERY WORK DAY for as long as it takes to save up for a newer car (probably two-ish years).
  3. “NEW” Car
    I’m never going to buy a NEW car, but I could buy a “new” car in that it’s going to cost at least $10k. I have my concerns with doing this… We’re trying to pay off Mr. T’s final student loan. We’re set to have it paid off by the end of 2014, but that involves throwing $900 at it every month. We don’t have enough money to do that and also make a car payment (and Dave Ramsey would yell at us most severely if we took on more debt). But we don’t have enough money to do that and save up for a car, which is what Dave would prefer we do. And the only car we can afford with what we have saved now is the $1k car mentioned previously. We don’t have enough to even buy a $5k car without getting a loan. So is it worth it to pay more for a car now that is better and will last longer, but we have to take out a larger loan? Or should we buy the $1k car, not go into debt, but risk it breaking down within the next year or two and then pay for repairs? Or should we buy a $5k car and have a smaller loan that we can pay off faster and try to buy a nicer car in a few years, after this one goes kaput?
  4. Postponement
    Mr. T has his red Jeep that is in great shape, considering it’s from the 90s. He also has a less nice Jeep that has sat for a little over two years that is his “project car” – painted like the Ecto 1 and e’ertything. It’s mostly drive-able, but needs some TLC. So what he wants to do is have me drive the red Jeep and he drive the Ghostbusters Jeep until we save up for a car. My fear is that something will happen to the red Jeep and we’ll be boned. Then we’ll have like…a day…to find a new car. Whereas now we have some leeway. Maybe. Gah! I just don’t know what to do!!

Dragging Out Debt
I really, really, really want to get this student loan paid off! But I’m thinking we’re going to have to pull back on our payments on it no matter what ends up happening. There is a ticking clock in my head now – I don’t know when exactly it’s going to run out, but we need to have money for a car soon. So we’re either going to need to start saving for one or start making payments on one. Even if we go for one of the no-debt options (keeping my car or buying the $1k car), I doubt we’re going to be able to put $900 toward the current loan every month. We need to save for a car! I’m super bummed about this, but we can’t use up our entire emergency fund on car repairs. There could be a million other things that happen to us over the next couple years!

Now, for a slight more fun debate…if we do go with #3 and buy a “NEW” New car…what should we buy?

  1. Zoom, Zoom
    I’m leaning toward fuel-efficiency/fun over future practicality. Someone pointed out that my “dream car” wouldn’t be practical once we have kids. But I won’t be driving 2 kids and 2 dogs to work with me every day. And, let’s be realistic, Mr. T’s Jeep is from the 90s. By the time we start to get tight on space it’s probably going to need to be replaced, anyway. And since he has a (much, much) shorter commute, he can drive a larger, less fuel-efficient vehicle.

    1. Smart ForTwo
      omg I have loved these cars since I saw my very first one. A search on Cars.com shows that there are six within 30 miles of me and the prices range from $8k to $15k. These are by far the least practical for family driving, since there is no back seat. But they get amazeballs good gas mileage. AND THEY’RE SO STINKING CUTE.
    2. MINI Cooper
      The same Cars.com search has 17 within 30 miles, ranging from a little over $10k to the not-going-to-happen price of $25k. These do have back seats, but usually only two doors. But that’s better for emergencies if I need to put a car seat in or something.

So…what do you think? Do you have any other suggestions? If you don’t think I should get a ForTwo or MINI, what other suggestions do you have? Is there a way to do any of this without going into debt? Know anyone selling a car? HELP ME. lol!

Home Owningness

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Sometimes being a homeowner is great. No throwing away money on rent! American dream! Do whatever you want with no one to tell you no! And then sometimes it blows. We’re in charge of landscaping. Things break and we have to fix them. Remodeling is haaaaard…

Things that I hate about being a homeowner right now:

  • Our toilet has had a leak for at least a month or two. Mr. T is scared of failure so has avoided trying to fix it, in the fear that he won’t know how. So we have a bowl under it. Drip, drip goes the money. DOWN THE DRAIN. Literally!
  • The stove has gone out. MR (male roommate) was cooking in the oven and on the range yesterday afternoon and said it went “pop” and shut off. We reset the fuse and everything appeared to be working again, except it wasn’t. Mr. T tried to cook a pizza last night and the oven wouldn’t preheat. I’ve been assuming the range still works, since MR was cooking on it. But now I’m not so sure. I’ve learned to not trust anything he says to be factual. Not that he lies…just that he doesn’t know what’s going on. >.<
  • There is a leak. Somewhere. I noticed it way back when we had the family of roommates. It was raining and I was drunk and water was dripping from the AC grate in the kitchen. I put a bowl under it and forgot about it for a couple days. The family’s bedroom was above that grate and they said they didn’t have any moisture in their room. But now the ceiling is turning that ominous brown that signifies water damage.
  • What else, what else…. Oh, the backyard. THAT is a disaster. What are we doing?! No one knows!!
  • The bathroom. Geeze, I want that to be finished.

And finally – f*ck roommates. Just….f*ck’em. Even the ones that aren’t bad are still bad because I’m married and too old for roommate sh*t. I want to be able to walk around my house naked and have a messy kitchen if I want to have a messy kitchen. I don’t want someone else in my living room watching my TV, either. If I want to have a Modern Family marathon that lasts for an entire weekend, I should have it. And not have to wear pants while it’s happening.

Basically what I’m saying is, when our roommates are gone, you shouldn’t come over for a few weeks. ‘Cause I’m gonna be naked.

First World Problems

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I was on the phone with Mr. T sometime last week. I always call him on my lunch break, and when I leave work for the day. Because I leave so early in the morning and he gets home so late in the evening, we don’t have a lot of time to spend together during the week. Anyway – he mentioned how difficult it was to talk on the phone. An entire hand dedicated to holding a computer to his face severely limited his ability to get things done, and also made his arm tired. I remarked on his first world problem and how awful it was for him to be a middle-class white guy in the United States who had a wife that loved him enough to want to talk to him.

Now begins a stream of consciousness while I wallow in self-pity:

…I have terrible self-esteem. I have a very low opinion of myself, and I honestly have no idea where it comes from. Mr. T wanted to blame my parents because they have been known to overreact to certain clothing choices I’ve made in my life. But I’ve been like this for always. I even remember in high school Mom trying to get me to buy makeup and fix my hair…wear shorts and swimsuits (I didn’t wear shorts until college because I hated my body so much). And it doesn’t make sense! I was smaller in high school than I am now, but I wore overly-large t-shirts and baggy jeans because I didn’t like my body. Not because I was skinny, either. I honestly don’t know why I didn’t like it. But I didn’t.

In high school I started wearing shirts that fit me, instead of swallowing me. And one of my “friends” told me I was dressing like a slut in an attempt to get a boyfriend! I didn’t wear skirts or shorts or even tank tops. I just wore small t-shirts instead of medium or large. Because they fit me. *grumble grumble* Also, no one – no one – ever asked me out in high school. I have no idea why that’s such a big deal to me. But I was miserable. I had crushes! There was this guy that I had a crush on…he asked me out. And my friend was pressuring me to say yes to him. Pressure, pressure, pressure… Anyway, I finally said yes and then found out the same friend had pressured him to do it in the first place – he didn’t really want to date me and thought I would say “no” immediately and possibly slap him for it. Why do I remember that?? I have no idea. It was humiliating. That, and a guy in the 4th grade who wrote me a note asking if I liked him to which I replied “maybe” (So coy, I was!) were the only two times I was ever asked out prior to college. Oh, and the guy in the 4th grade ended up being gay.

I worked really hard to overcome all my body issues in college. I was in marching band, and it was HOT. We’d spend 12 hours outside. In August. In Tennessee. On a football field with no shade. I had to wear shorts. And tank tops. There were chicks who wore sports bras but I never got that brave. Once, in the rec center, I was like “I’m going to do it! I’m going to wear a sports bra without a shirt over it!” and a woman came up to me and asked me to put a shirt on, because there were middle school students practicing basketball. >.< Anyway – as I became more comfortable with my body I became more comfortable with myself. I made friends! I had maybe 2-3 legit friends in high school. And get this…guys asked me out. It was crazy! I honestly had no idea how to react. lol! I even found out much later from guys that they had liked me, but never asked me out. I was totally oblivious to it, because it had never happened to me before.

So, yeah. I’ve really struggled with being comfortable with myself. I don’t know if it’s a female thing…I don’t know if I struggle with it more or less than other people. I know it’s not as serious as, say, starving to death in Africa, or being sold into marriage as a twelve-year-old Indian girl. But just because there are people suffering more than you, doesn’t mean you can’t be upset. I mean, don’t act like a bad haircut is the end of the world, but don’t feel like you can’t complain about something just because someone else is worse off. Keep things in perspective, and don’t complain about a waitress to your friend at her mom’s funeral, but still.

Anyway. What I’m trying to say is….at this point in my life, after all I’ve been through, I still feel like freshman me, who was just trying to dress better than I had been and suddenly was being called a slut. Like….what did I do wrong?? Is this inappropriate? I felt pretty, and happy, and confident 5 seconds ago and now suddenly I want to throw all my clothes out and start over. Why do people still have that power over me?? I’m really struggling with determining what thoughts I should believe, and which ones I should ignore. Is this really too low-cut, or is that my mom’s voice in my head, telling me cleavage is “nasty” and just “boob-crack”? And even if it is her, is she right? Is my skirt too short, or am I just insecure about my legs? Am I trying so. hard. to be comfortable with myself, I’ve gone too far to the other side?

And it’s not just me that is being impacted by my past – so are all the people that are looking at me. When someone says what I’m wearing is inappropriate…is it really? Where is the line? I’d like to say that everyone has to decide for themselves what is appropriate, but then you see those people at water parks that really should have bought a suit with more fabric…. Even I posted a status not too long ago about girls dressing like hooker to attend college graduation ceremonies. Who knows – I’m sure a stranger has posted a status about my wardrobe choices at one point or another.

I was trying to talk to Mr. T about it, and he has managed to embrace a life philosophy that says “It doesn’t matter what other people think. If I like it, I wear it.” I wish I could. It seems like guys have an easier time of it. Maybe I think that just because I’m a woman. More than likely it’s just because I’m me. I hope not everyone has to deal with such crippling decision-making-ness. I am very rarely comfortable with myself. I second- third- and sometimes even fourth-guess my decision on an outfit.

I’m having a hard time explaining myself. Basically where all this came from is….someone told me I dress inappropriately for church, and it’s brought back all these terrible feelings that I’ve been trying to overcome my entire life. I have this constant weight of imagined judgement on me all day, every day. I never feel like I’m behaving/dressing/acting appropriately. I desperately want to be myself, but I’m so afraid that no one will like me.

Gonna go ahead and post this before I change my mind. PEACE.