Last summer, I discussed my dilemma about what I'm going to do when the Achieva finally dies. And wouldn't you know it, here I am really facing the issue.
My transmission is failing. I barely got up in time to go to yoga today and I hopped in the car, started her up and ... it wouldn't move after I put it in gear. Um, well, that's not right. So no yoga. I walked around the lake instead. Quite frankly, I think a five-mile walk (second day in a row, by the way) is a bit of a better workout than yoga, anyway.
So I finally got around to having my car towed and while I was hoping against hope that it wouldn't be something really expensive, somewhere in the back of my mind a little voice was saying, "It's the tranny!" I don't know much about cars, but dammit if I'm not good about guessing what horrible thing is about to befall my transportation.
The Achieva is at the shop right now, having her transmission flushed and replenished with new fluids and a filter and all that. Hopefully it will buy me some time. "Maybe a day, maybe a week. Maybe five years." HA! Five years. I wish. Regardless, I am not at a place where I have money around for a down payment on a new car. Nor can I afford a car payment plus high-as-fuck gas prices. If I could get the tranny replaced somewhere near home, it would be cheaper. If it goes on my dad's fleet bill, I would have time to pay it off. That's the only option that involves me keeping the ol' girl. And quite frankly, I don't think it's the most terrible idea ever, but I am guessing the 'rents won't agree with me.
So really, I am finally at the place where I'm going to be going carless. And it's not going be easy. It wouldn't be a big deal if I never had a car or only had a car for a while. But I've been driving since I was 15. The only time I didn't have a car was my freshman year of college. I got by then, but I had a bike and my life was mostly on campus. That's not so much the case now, but a huge portion of my life is in Minneapolis and in my neighborhood.
I'll probably switch my gym membership from Bally to the YWCA, because it's closer. The 21 bus runs every 10 or 15 minutes, so if I decided to bus instead of walk (hello, winter!) it wouldn't add horrible amounts of time to my schedule. I have no problem going often enough to get my health insurance to knock off almost half the monthly price, which makes the monthly membership identical to my cheap-ass Bally membership.
I'll almost certainly sign up for Hour Car. That will allow me to still head out to the 'burbs to babysit my nephew (which, now that I think about it, won't be something I need to do much longer) or go to his football games or go to family stuff.
Busing to work will be the norm again. I was on the bus heading downtown the other night to go to the Twins game and I decided that when it stopped being disgustingly hot, I would start taking the bus to work again. It's strange, but I kinda miss it. Driving to work is the suck. It's like when I used to work retail -- I hated it a lot of the time, but I'll be damned if I don't still miss it from time to time. Even all these years later.
Breaking all of this to my family won't be fun. They freaked out last year when I started talking about ditching my car and going all public transportation, augmented by Hour Car. And I suppose renting a car if I have to go home for a weekend or something. However, I have to do what is right for me. It's my life, right? Hey, if you want to buy me a car, I won't say no. And I'm sorry I've failed you by not having plenty of money around for when this kind of thing happens. Yeah, I've made some poor financial decisions in my day, but Jesus, I've been unemployed this year and my student loan payments are not cheap. Fucking graduate school.
I don't want to have this discussion with my family. They will make me feel like shit and a failure and all that. Oh what fun! However, this does give me a really good reason to maybe look for a new job ... one closer to home and slightly more public transportation friendly? Though, I think my commute will be pretty close to what it was when I was busing to my old job.
Bah. Today hasn't been the most fun day ever.