I wonder how different my life would be if I got everything I wanted without sacrificing anything on my part.
I thought of this heavily as I took a joyride with my friend in her new 2014 Chrysler 200 her grandparents bought her. I’m genuinely happy she has people in her life willing to put six grand down and cosign a car for her. I don’t know how she’s going to fair with the $250 a month car payments, plus insurance (you know they’re going to make her get full coverage for the next four years while she pays this thing off) when she’s only been working a few days out of the week this last month. For these next two weeks she’s scheduled to work one day. Hmmm.
Anyway, if she gets behind on payments someone is probably going to pay for her.
I also have wealthy family members (although they don’t live here) but the most they gave me for a car was $1000 and I see nothing wrong with that; I was only 18, no one in my family would be dumb enough to buy an 18 year old a brand new car.
Anyway, her family now has four cars on their lot. They have a house (of which is owned by her grandparents) and most of the bills are under her grandparents name. Her parents pay her grandparents to pay the bills.
That house is full of three very capable adults.
I just don’t understand.
While we were driving she complained about the fact that the car doesn’t have seat warmers and the heater was too hot.
I know she’s thankful for what her grandparents did but I don’t think she understands the gravity of it. I don’t think she’s ever had the opportunity to be grateful; nothing has struck her down so hard that she didn’t think she’d be able to get out. Of course she’s had her struggles. Her parents are young and in her early childhood years went through divorce and then got back together–that’s tough on a kid. They’d had issues with finding employment and her dad at one point had cancer (of which was taken care of quickly). She’s had hard times just like everyone.
However, she’s always had multiple safety nets.
She breaks a phone, someone buys her a new one. If her parents were ever in trouble they’d be saved immediately. I think that’s incredibly lucky and I think they’re aware that not many people have that luxury–but without experiencing what it’s like to not have that luxury, I don’t think they could ever understand how lucky they are.
At any rate, for twenty minutes or so I was jealous–the car is nice, I drove it and gave it my own little test, and everything is fully functional. Beside the fact that if it breaks down you’re dealing with electrical issues and probably can’t fix it yourself on the side of the road like you can mine, it’s perfect for her. It’s dependable, it fits her personality.
My one real complaint is that she needs to get off her fucking phone while she’s driving. Yes, I tap my screen to change a song in my car but I never take my eyes off the road. I have my phone set up to where I’m not having to stare at it. I don’t text, I don’t talk; half of the time I just let the tracks play. But she’s texting and veering off to the left and I don’t play that. When she said we’re going on the free way I’m like fuck no we’re not; call me in six months when you have some experience and then we can go on the freeway.
If her parents ever ask me how she drives, I’m going to be straight up with them; she texts, she doesn’t look in her mirrors when she’s reversing or switching lanes, and she veers over the double lines when she turns.
Try to take me on the freeway? Fuck that shit. I’ve been suicidal in the past but not today bitch, not today.
At any rate, these last few days I’ve been mulling over all the stuff I’ve been through, how little of a childhood I had (all the eight year olds I’ve talked to always get shocked when I say I’ve never been to DisneyLand, I’ve rarely ever been out of town, or I’ve never taken family camping trips and such) and how hard it seems I have to fight for things I want.
See the problem?
Over these last few days I’ve completely forgot about everything I already have. In terms of my family (which is the only one I should be considering), I’m extremely lucky to even have gotten a car. Shit, I’m lucky to be in an apartment let alone have this computer, my camera, my phone, my two piece of shit mattresses on the floor–I’m lucky I even have clothes and food. There was a point in time I had a couple shirts, two sweaters, one pair of jeans and lived life for four years with that and ate Ramen noodles once a day. When I had the chance to shop for clothes I felt so out of place I barely bought anything at all. I still feel out of place in stores–I honestly don’t understand the obsession.
At any rate, I’m grateful I have my car. I searched through craigslist for months and went through so many failed attempts at finding one that I pretty much gave up. But when I saw the photo of my current car I slapped my desk, said it’s mine, and that same night I was on the owners doorstep with cash in hand. I had the luxury of finding out someone wrapped a speaker wire around the steering column, brake petal, and throttle. I have the luxury of fixing up the suspension and finding my oil leak. I have sub-woofers and tints and as you know I spend a good couple hours waxing it and washing it.
As I told my friend last night when she kept saying her car was better than mine: our bright lights turn on the same way, honey.
A car is a car for fucks sake.
And while the envy bug bites me often over other people’s lives, I’m learning I’ve got a lot of things they don’t. I’ve got a lot of things a lot of other people don’t. Some people don’t even have parents. A lot of people don’t have homes or apartments or anyone to spend the holidays with. And while I’m sitting here typing this, listening to my father yell to himself in the living room, I realize there’s a lot more to being thankful than just the words “thank you”.
In case you’re wondering, my father’s convinced someone in his family died and no one’s telling him. Dude, I don’t know, don’t even fucking ask.
I don’t know why I said anything about holidays, either. For one, I haven’t celebrated Thanksgiving since I was thirteen. People invite me for “thanksgiving dinner” to “give thanks” and I’m like naw, I give thanks everyday. And fuck Pilgrims. I add that.
Secondly, holidays in my house are volatile. We’re cursed. We’ve never had a holiday where my father doesn’t cause a fucking issue. Last Christmas he tried his old “I’m going to take my belt off” shit and (I’ve been an adult for a few years now, I’m done not defending myself) I said fucking do it and when he swung it I snatched the belt out of his hand, said it’s mine now, and tossed it in my room.
Yes, we’ve been in physical altercations before.
Anyway, you better believe he backed down.
With that being said, hey, Happy Holidays.