Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I still have and will continue to have select stuffed animals on my bed. I will still eat chocolate like it’s my #1 food group and don’t ever ask me to stop doing cartwheels, dancing in my underwear or rolling down big grassy hills.
That said, in 12 days, I will be 25 years old. A quarter of a century. Today, I got a taste of what that means, and I survived. I’m stronger. No longer does simply seeing the face of another person make me want to cry on their shoulder.
If you don’t know, I got into a car accident almost two months ago. A crazy LA driver (we have a lot of those here) decided he didn’t want to wait for me to turn left, by passing me… on my LEFT. Needless to say, he ran into me, and left my car immobile. To top it off, he admitted to have been speeding. Sounds like an open and shut case right? Apparently his insurance didn’t think so and decided to drag out the process for a full month before finally sending out a person to inspect my car. At this point they apparently accepted liability but neglected to tell me that. Since I couldn’t get anyone on the phone but a computer voice or answering machine, there was no one to ask.
Two weeks later, I get a check in the mail. After my mother and I finally sort through what 20 pages of paperwork meant, we cashed the check and started figuring out what to do with the immobile car sitting on our hands. Meanwhile the registration is out of date, parking tickets are piling up and last week my mother receives a letter stating that the vehicle will be towed upon sight.
I’m desperately trying to get ahold of a second copy of the pink slip so we can transfer the title. I set up an appointment for today, the first day I was available for the full 8-5 time period required for pick up. I moved the car 1/2 a block every two days, trying to keep it under the radar, while trying not to get myself killed driving something that doesn’t actually want to drive.
Finally today comes. I go to where the car is parked. AND IT’S NOT THERE. It was towed. Sometime yesterday, after I checked on it before work.
I was frantic. I called my mom about 30 times trying to figure out what to do, along with everyone else and their mother I could think of. I posted some very angry freaked out Facebook and Twitter status updates. I cried.
Then I stopped, and used my brain, like I should have done before I freaked out. I googled who to contact when your car is towed. (My car has been towed before but the officer stuck around long enough for me to find him directly that time.) Thank goodness for Google. Then I slowly worked out a plan. My uncle called me back and completely misunderstood the situation and therefor gave me wrong advice, but I trusted my instincts. That and some helpful Twitter suggestions (THANK YOU @NoMentionOfKev <– Great guy. You should follow him), helped me come up with a plan.
It didn’t hurt that Paypal was nice enough to give me my first credit card recently. I hate using credit cards for fear of owing money that I don’t have, but the plan was to get everything situated by the time the salvage company came to pick it up. It worked.
I went to theoffices, found out I needed another form from the DMV. (A completely useless form which made me pay to register my car, even though I wasn’t keeping it and hadn’t gotten it smogged or anything, but hey that’s bureaucracy.*)
Went to the DMV, and paid my $260 through tears, because at this stage I hadn’t (still haven’t as I write) slept for 27 hours and was super emotional. Apologized profusely for crying.
Went back to LAPVB, paid them another $355 (thank you PayPal). Waited an hour for my paperwork. Set up a payment plan for my parking violations which apparently you can only do, once it gets so bad you’re towed. At this point I was so emotionally/physically** exhausted I was literally staring into space and I think I was also starting to move in slow-motion.***
Then went to the impound lot, only to find out that they just moved my car to a second lot. Paid them another $300 (thanks again PayPal). At this point the Salvage company called, right on cue. I met them at the second impound lot, removed my remaining personal belongings from the vehicle, handed over the keys and received my nice, and very pretty check.
The check isn’t enough to cover all of my expenses. Only half, but it’s enough to keep me in the black until next month and say thanks to PayPal by giving them their money back right away. Since we all know how stressful owing money is, this is a huge relief right now.
So now I lay her on my bed, reflecting on the day. Thinking about how I don’t feel like crying anymore. Even though I still owe more money, I’m not hysterical, because I know that I can figure out a solution.
And now I know that there are always ways to set things in motion. I need to make sure I’m asking the right questions. Being proactive, instead of reactive. While that’s an easy book lesson to learn, it’s a hard one in reality, and finally… I’m there.
Sadly, this also means that my book… is on hold once more, while I try and save up… yet again.
*If I had known you could put a deposit towards getting registered without a smog, I would’ve done this in the first place anyways. I simply didn’t know there was a process even if you hadn’t (or in my case couldn’t) gotten a smog. ANYTHING would have been better than getting towed.
**You know the drill. You’re emotions are so wracked that you feel as if you might actually stop existing where you stand. Your body hurts.
***I still managed to be more cordial through all of this than most of the patrons there. I was upset, and in my own head, and my brain still spared a few thoughts about what assholes the other customers where. There is no need to take out your misfortune on the nice lady doing everything she can to help you. Thanks.