Friday, May 05, 2006


I bet you're wondering what that title is all about. Well, rest assured it has nothing to do with "ED." It's about me. In December, I paid off my car. Five long years of payments at an end at last! Income freed up for other bills. My joy, however, was short-lived. For those of you without a car payment, you know this angers the Car Finance Gods. They insist you continue to pay their monthly tributes, if not to Ford Finance, than to the local dealership or garage.

About a month ago, I paid a large tribute to the local dealership for a vacuum seal leak. Of course, they insisted on the add-on of other ridiculous things like a throttle flush or some stupidity that’s overpriced and probably unnecessary. It worked fine for about three weeks. Now my car sputters and coughs when I’m trying to moderately accelerate. Let me just say that I know very little about cars. DB has been trying to teach me. I have learned how to change my oil, spark plugs and even changed my own brakes and rotors last year. But that’s it. When my car makes a sound I don’t like, something that is obviously beyond my skill level, I turn up my radio. Total denial.

As we have established that we’re all control freaks, you can understand how much this bothers me. Unlike most things, I can’t just pop the hood and fiddle with it until its running right. It’s not a casserole or a scene from my story that I can fix. If I can’t fix either of those, I can always toss it and start over. Not so with a car. Gotta have it. The whole situation makes me feel impotent. I hate that. Seems to be going around lately.

Monday, the USPS confirmed that my revised partial has successfully arrived in New York City. I edited, cut, plotted, planned and revised my heart out for two months. I printed and packaged it up with love. Now, it’s out of my hands. Nothing I do now will have an impact on what the editor thinks about my partial. They may never see the changes I’m making on the rest of the story which makes it hard for me to focus on the rest of the MS. Why bother fiddling with the rest of it if the partial gets rejected? Of course I can submit to other places, wallpaper my office with rejection letters…yippee.

Part of me just wants to wait. Hold my breath until I turn blue or I hear back from NYC – whichever comes first. Really, it’s all I can do. Turn up the radio and focus on something else. Hopefully, my car won’t die a horrible death in the middle of a highway or major intersection. Hopefully it will clear up on its own (ha!), need something simple like fuel injector cleaner (ha!), or can be easily fixed by a local handyman that isn’t trying to put his kids through college. The same goes with my MS. I’ll just turn up the radio and keep working on other things to keep me from obsessing about the strange sound until there’s something I can do about it. Hopefully in this case, I’ll get to send on the full instead of launching into a head banging tirade of frustrated tears.

Don’t think SP is capable of that? Oh you just wait. I save it all up. So…what makes you feel completely helpless? What do you do to help yourself along?


PS. It’s Cinco de Mayo, people! I don’t care if you’re Irish or Pakistani – get out there and have a margarita!


Problem Child said...

Cautious optimism. Hopeful, but not holding my breath.

What does PC do? She calls the Playfriends and lets them smother her in "you're really good" comments until she feels better. Sickening, but helpful.

And we'll drink tonight...that will make us feel better.


Playground Monitor said...

It's also my 33rd anniversary. Believe it or not, I never made the connection to Cinco de Mayo until we made an anniversary trip to Cancun three years ago. Duh!

We had a car like that once. We told folks we didn't really own it but rather we rented it from the local Fiat mechanic. *g*

I'm in the "smother me with 'you're good' comments club too. That and losing myself either in a good book or movie.

Kathy said...

Congratulations, PM, on 33 years!

I'm heavy into denial. Last year I consoled myself at the theatre repeatedly, sitting alone or with friends, watching Phantom of the Opera after a very disappointing spell. It's my favorite movie and my favorite escape.

I wish I'd had the movie when our mini van (after being paid off) blew a gasket/rod thingie in the crank case or something like that and we had to have our engine rebuilt, which brought on other problems and seriously long waits for the return of our car.

Hang in there, SP!

Instigator said...

What makes me feel completely helpless? When one of my girls is sick. I'll never forget the night Sweet Pea's fever spiked at 105. What helped? (besides talking to the doctor) Talking to my husband. He made both SP and me feel better. I love that man :-)

As for the helplessness that goes along with being a writer? I live deep in denial. I'm very much a follower of Scarlett - I will worry about that tomorrow. Cause frankly there is so much in this business we can't control. I simply concentrate on what I can and forget about the rest. Until I need consoling and then I turn to the playfriends for the 'you're really good' sessions.

Instigator - who seriously needs a drink after this week. Cinco de Mayo here we come.

Instigator said...

Congratulations PM! 33 Years is a long time. Here's to 33 more.


Problem Child said...

OK, PM, you do realize you've been married longer than I've been alive, right?