Piling IOUs

Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2011 by Alex R. Cronk-Young

Sometimes, even though a lot of things are happening, you don't always feel like sitting down to write about them all. Every day is a slew of new tasks to get a car running, or to get it properly covered by insurance, or to find the appropriate paperwork so that the car company will pay for the repair of one. It's not exactly fun or exciting. Mostly it is just a growing pile of IOUs.

I owe $85 to my dad for paying the dealership to look over my car to see what is wrong, even though he took my car there without my knowledge. Now I owe my future brother-in-law for working on my wife's car, even though I didn't want to get that running, I just got shoved into it by my father who seems to think helping means taking complete control.

Now I owe even more money to my sister's boyfriend for tires to put on the car that I didn't want repaired because it's got 190,000 miles on it and the struts are going. If we were going to repair a car, it should be my old car. Sure, it's got more problems to fix, but it had a transmission put in it right before the head gasket went and I was forced to buy the current car which is about to get it's third transmission. But, I can't really say anything when they want to fix the car that will take the least amount of work so that I can stop borrowing theirs. It just means I have to drive around in the middle of the winter with a window that takes an hour of fussing to get up or down.

$85 for the dealership. $200 for the tires and rims I didn't really need. 200 something to get the car I didn't want repaired insured. 60 something for the parts to fix the car that will likely break down again in a month or less. I got paid 550 dollars this week, and 200 went onto the empty gas card so I could fill up whatever random tank I happened to be using each day. Then there are those pesky bills. It's hard to not be annoyed that we haven't even touched my old car, the one that I could drive for another few years on that new transmission if we'd only fix the problem I've been trying to get someone to fix for over two years now.

But I can't complain, because that would be rude. They're trying to help, and without the help I wouldn't be able to do my job. This is sort of par for the course with my father. When he helps you, he mostly just takes control of the situation. Somehow my future brother-in-law became the god of car repairs, despite the fact that I've brought him directions supplied by my father-in-law every single time he's fixed something.

My father doesn't see every car repair I've done myself, so he assumes I'm bad at repairing cars. He talks to my brother about music because he assumes my brother likes better music than I do, but we listen to the same stuff. My father isn't even aware that I write. Par for the course. He doesn't listen, because he knows best. He just does it. My wife and I joke about when he says something that is factually wrong, and we point that out. His back-tracking mumbling is well known.

I try to say that it'd be a much better choice to fix my Taurus, but he really doesn't listen. So I just go with it. When I was a teenager I'd bash my knee through the basement door causing a ceiling tile to fall on his head and the situation to escalate. It's not worth it anymore. I just watch the IOUs pile up because it's certainly well within his rights to want me to stop borrowing his car. I'd be selfish if I pointed out that I can't afford to fix a car that'll likely break down again in a month if it doesn't cause me to freeze to death before then. Most people seem to think I'm selfish already, so I guess I shouldn't press the issue.

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