I have had a hell of a few years. My mom died, my marriage fell apart, my dad lived with me for a year, my kids have had some major challenges and I have a gained a significant amount of weight.
And Hillary lost. The fall out from that loss will be with this nation for generations. I wish I was overstating but I am not.
So it is not surprising that I have struggled with depression.
I already have generalized anxiety disorder, which was diagnosed 20 years ago this June. The anxiety has often helped propel me through difficult times. Depression has had no such upside. I have had many days wherein the only thing that got me out of bed was Six needing to be driven to school or picked up. I have lost entire weeks to a haze I can only describe as heavy and nondescript.
But I have been coming out from under it lately. Not consistently, not reliably but there have been more and more days where I have managed to get my to-do list done, my hair washed (and combed through) and my house picked up. My sink is still more often than not a craggy landscape of unwashed dishes and I really need to start exercising regularly again but all in all I think things are looking up.
And then yesterday I had a Hillary Day. I haven’t had a Hillary Day in a very long time. What is a Hillary Day? It is a day wherein a human looks back on their day and thinks, “That was enough to make 2 people tired and I did it all!”
I had grand ambitions for my day yesterday. The night before I was up until 2am clearing off my desk and figuring out my newly divorced finances. I made up an ambitious to-do list and ordered my errands so that I could start at one end of the main street of my town and progress to the end without backtracking.
Now, if you have been lucky enough to watch Michelle Wolf’s HBO special (that is, if you like her work, which you are not obligated to) you will remember how she said that Hillary Clinton eats one hardboiled egg for breakfast and that she doesn’t even peel it, she just crushes it in her fist. I loved this joke and in hopes of having a highly productive day, I ate a hardboiled egg for breakfast. I did not crush it in my fist, I peeled it and sprinkled it with salt and pepper.
And then I set out. And I had a great morning! My route worked, I had to go to the bank and the person who helped me was nice and laughed at my nervous jokes (I haven’t had a bank account in only my name in 21 years, it was kind of exciting to see only my name, even though the total amount of money in there was a bit worrisome). And I had equally good luck with the rest of my errands. I even managed to fashion a scoop out of the lid of my yogurt when I realized I had failed to grab a spoon. It was kind of weird, I don’t recommend it, but nonetheless it will work in a pinch.
Now, that isn’t what made the day a Hillary. When I’d finished my errands, I originally planned to go back home, work on my blog content for the week then putter around the house until it was time to go meet up with the moms in my moms’ group for our somewhat monthly get together. What made it a Hillary is that I went and bought a car. By myself. With my own money.
My old car was 11 years old and I drove it for 111,181 miles. I loved my car. It was the family’s car and we used it for camping at the beach and traveling to see my parents in Phoenix and it was often used to schlep stuff home from IKEA (I am waaaay too cheap to pay for delivery). But it was getting old and it had this weird quirk where it needed a new battery every 18 months or so. Also, increasingly, it just didn’t start. So I would wait a few minutes, try again and then it would start. But I knew the day was coming when I would wait the few minutes and it wouldn’t start. No one in my family knows how to work on cars newer than 1984 so there was no one I could ask to check out what the hell was going on and my mechanic has had it with me. The last time I took my car in for an oil change he said, “Sell this thing,” so I knew his answer to “Why won’t my car start reliably?” would be, “Because you need to buy a new one.”
I have been investigating new cars and landed on one I thought would work very well me and Six. The Subaru Impreza 5-door wagon. It’s smaller than my old car but I was finding I no longer needed as much room as my old SUV had to offer. Also, my SUV got 20 miles to the gallon and this little wagon would get 27 in town and 31 highway. With gas prices fluctuating, this was a good thing.
But I was nervous about buying a new car. Shouldn’t I just wait for the old one to die? But then I wouldn’t be able to trade it in at as good a value. My thoughts went around and round like this for months. I was irritating myself. The fact of the matter was, I had a few bucks from the sale of my house and instead of using it to go on a once in a lifetime trip (which I was considering) the best use was to buy a car that would hopefully last long enough for Six to use when he started driving.
So, fueled by my boiled egg, I drove to the Subaru dealership I had been communicating with for the past few weeks.
I had looked on their website the night before and noticed something odd. There was a wagon in the color I liked that had black interior. I had been told that the color I liked only ever came with ivory interior and since I am a slob there is no way I can ever have light colored interior. But here it was, the color I really liked with a slob-proof interior. And it had air conditioning and an automatic transmission. (Subaru drivers are real holdouts when it comes to manual transmissions and there are a good number of them that prefer irritating…erm..manual transmissions. I am not one of them. Also, I have never owned a Subaru. I used to make fun of Subaru drivers.)
Anyway, I had found my unicorn and it was in my price range which is to say I had 18,000 cash and a trade in and if they would take that we were in business.
When I got to the dealership, I got out of my car and a salesman approached me. I held up my hand, “First things first, I have to pee.”Which I did since I had sucked down a huge diet coke to go along with my yogurt. He pointed to a building and I rushed in, still not fully sure what I was doing.
But then I came out, handed over the stock number of my Subaru Unicorn and said, “I want to drive this one.”
And without raising a brow or a fuss, he went and got it! It was buried in some off-site lot and when he brought it over it was a dusty mess. But we drove it and it was great! AWD on a car that retails for 23,000 is just unheard of. And it was delightfully compact without being cramped. And there were no bells and whistles. It was as basic as a car manufactured for the American market gets.
We got back to the dealership, got out of the car and I said, “I want this one.”
And the salesman (whose name is Zamir, there is no way he is reading this but Hi Zamir!) said, “Okay, let’s go inside.”
And we went inside and filled out some paper and then I said, “Oh, by the way, I can only pay 18,000 dollars along with my 11 year old SUV trade-in.”
And Zamir was like, “Okay, let’s see how this goes.”
And it went fine. He came back once with a counter and I honestly said, “I literally don’t have a dime more for a car.”
And he said, “Okay, let’s see how this goes.”
And then he came back and said, “All good, let me get the paperwork.”
And that was it. I walked in around 11:30am and it was just after noon. While he got the paperwork together and did whatever else needed to be done, I ate pretzels provided by the service department and wrote my blog content for the week on my phone.
Then there was more paperwork and a nice man with a huge desk in a small office named Mike who guided me through it all with friendly military precision. I bought the extended warranty for 8 years which includes roadside assistance and will cover batteries if this car turns into a battery eater like the last one.
And then I drove to meet my friends for lunch at 3pm.
Yes. You heard that right. I walked in at 11:30am and drove off just before 3pm. If you live in the Los Angeles area, go to Sierra Subaru and ask for Zamir Ali. You won’t be sorry. Wait, he gave me a business card. Here’s his number, (909) 224-4712. Don’t call him after midnight.
And I do apologize for this being so long. But it was such a good day. I really hope this is a sign of things to come. Not that I go out and buy expensive consumer goods but rather that I have days where I get shit done on my own terms and under my own steam.