I hate our 1996 Ford Contour more than I hate cold days in August. I hate it more than I hate being interrupted. I hate that car more than raisins.
And yet, we still have it. The car belongs to Scott who got it while we were dating. Since then, the power steering has gone out- a problem Scott insists is not a problem because turning corners "gives him exercise." It has been cleaned out one time. Two years ago, on Scott's birthday when I did it for him as a gift. Over the following two years, the Contour has become a storage unit for Scott's stuff that I think he should get rid of, but he can't let go. Scott insists it's not that bad because- hey! it smells good. Yeah, thanks to the Scentsy car candle I gave him.
I avoid riding in that thing at all costs. I get all anxious and overwhelmed by the mess of it all. I've driven it once but after not being able to successfully park due to the super-human strength it took to turn the wheel, and having a collection of water bottles greet me from under the seat, I swore off ever driving it again.
My hatred for the Contour has been curbed due to the fact that I have my faithful Camry to get me from place to place. Both of our cars are paid off, so fretting about my relationship with the awful car has seemed anti-productive. Still. I hate it.
My hatred turned to loathing when it broke down the end of June. Now it was an ugly piece of non-working crap that was sitting in my parking lot. Scott said he would get it fixed.
Then it was July, and the car still wasn't running. Scott said he would get it fixed.
Then it was August, and the car still wasn't running. Scott said he would get it fixed.
Then it was September, and the car still wasn't running. Scott said he had to take my working car to Utah for work and that I could buy a bike I'd been wanting all summer. But by then it was fall, and I didn't want to keep a bike in the house all winter so I passed, thinking I could walk everywhere. And then it rained the entire time he was gone, and I was stuck inside.
Somewhere in those three months he had called the local university and asked if they would take a look. They told him they may or may not accept his car, and even if they did, we would have noway of knowing WHEN they would fix it. It could sit there for months, they said. He put the Contour on the list for the electrical class anyway.
About mid-September I was getting pretty fed up. I had tried to convince my husband to get his car fixed in a variety of ways. I bugged him about it once a day. I left him alone for weeks. I left him notes and messages and to-do lists. Nothing. Finally, after ample warning, I told him I was going to sell it. I even posted a smart-aleck ad on craigslist. Nothing.
The Contour began to take over my mind. I felt like I was back in middle school again and the Contour was the snotty popular girl at school that had an appeal I didn't understand. I both hated thinking about it all the time and loved thinking about it all the time. I was beginning to go crazy, which I had warned Scott would happen.
After thinking about it a lot, I told Scott that I was close to what I considered my last option.
He didn't like the last option.
The next morning, the car was being towed/paraded out of my parking lot.
I was so happy, I took pictures. For me, it was better than the 4th of July.
When I got home from class that day, I found Scott a nervous wreck in our living room. He told me that he had been calling the mechanic every few minutes saying: "What are you doing now?" because he was so worried that the cost of the problem would put us out on the street.
Turns out the problem was with the engine and could end up costing us $400. I think Scott's hair turned a shade of gray when he heard that. I told him it would be okay, because, really? what else was I going to say? I went to class.
Later, Scott found himself internally freaking out about the amount of money we might have to put into the stupid Contour.
So he prayed. He sat right there in the little "office" of our apartment and he poured his heart out to God. He told God that his wife was impatient and that there was no way she was going to let that car sit at a mechanic past Monday.
"Please," he pleaded, "I have done everything I can. Please have someone that can fix my car and can look at it by Monday call me today."
The phone rang a few hours later. It was the automobile department at the local university. They wanted to work on his car. Scott told them thanks but no thanks, he already knew it wasn't an electrical problem. They offered to put him on the list for the engine class. Knowing that it could take months for his name to reach the top of a whole other class list, he reluctantly accepted the offer.
Four hours later, the engine class called him.
They wanted to work on his car...
And the cost of the problem will probably end up being $100 tops.
I still hate the Contour, but I will say that that hunk of junk has blessed Scott and I with a renewed sense of faith in prayers and miracles.
At least it's been good for something.