Hey mamas and papas. We’ve all had a car that we’ve loved or hated at one point. But what happens when you finally own your dream car and then LOSE your job? I’ve been there. Sort of. When it happened to me I was driving a Ford F150 extended cab, with chrome wheels and a great stereo. It had two gas tanks and I could never afford to fill them up at the same time. But I thought it was cool anyway. It was safe and intimidating on the road. It was definitely a conversation starter.
Ok. It WAS an odd choice for a woman. It was really more of a high school boy’s dream car, but it worked for me. I moved a lot so it made sense to have a truck. I also got a good deal. I could never count on a man to loan me his truck or help me move, so I decided that if a girl and I couldn’t move it, then I couldn’t have it. I didn’t own a full length sofa until I was married. I could move everything I owned with the truck in two trips.
He did have a name by the way. It was BART– Big Ass Red Truck. We stuck together through some tough financial times. We eventually parted ways. (he drank too much… gas that is)
My fabulous friend Marie is having a rough time right now. She’s out of work, but isn’t ready to give up her dream car. I can’t blame her. Read her story and you’ll understand why.
I’m not selling my car. No No No No NO! I love my car. Unemployed or not, that isn’t going to happen. If I have to live in the back seat and install a commode in the trunk I’ll do it.
Her name is Sophie. If you haven’t named your car you should. Cars are very special people-type things. They get us home safely in the rain and plug along during long trips. Every time I make it home safely after a difficult drive I give Sophie a pat on her dashboard and tell her she did a good job.
Sophie is a magnetic grey, tan topped 2008 Toyota Solara Convertible. Sexy. And when the top is down and it is 103 degrees in Dallas I look hot!!
So when one of my friends says “you can always sell that car of yours” I say NO!
What does it matter that I umm…. paid cash for the car. I don’t like debt. I like money, but I don’t like debt. Dad taught me to only charge if I could go home and write a check for the same amount.
Two weeks after Sophie came into my life my company announced it was closing. Yeah, yeah, yeah there were signs. But we thought we could pull it out. Didn’t work. When I said two weeks, I meant two weeks. Sophie came home on November 26thand CompUSA announced it was sold/closing on Dec 7th.
I volunteered to stay on and go down with the ship. I did… and the ship did sink. My last day was mid-February, 2008. We’re in 2009 now. So I am quite qualified to be a Recession Mama. According to timeanddate.com that is 440 days. Of course that includes weekends, and when you are counting the days of unemployment you like to subtract out the days of the week you wouldn’t have worked anyway. It’s a psych yourself out game.
I’m working a temp job now. And I have to tell you, it ain’t me. It is 33.454% of my old salary. I know because I constantly do the calculation just in case division tables have changed. They haven’t.
Thanks to Dad’s financial lessons I still have the first dollar I ever earned. (I did come close to spending it one time)
I’ve always been able to find a job. And I’ve been offered every job I’veapplied for…except for one time. Well, maybe two times. I don’t count the time that my infant nephew drooled in my eye and gave me pinkeye. Apparently it wasn’t the look that Neiman Marcus wanted when I went in for my interview the next morning.
So, tomorrow morning I will trudge to my temporary job. Sophie will be waiting for me at the end of the day. I will put the top down, crank up the tunes and smile all the way home.