by Kate on May 27, 2009

The minivan needs new rear break pads. Also the nice guy at Louisville Tire & Auto says that I should think about replacing the Timing Belt. It’s supposed to be replaced at 90,000 miles and my car is on 110,000 “You don’t have to do it,” the nice man at the counter says, and then adds, “But it is recommended. It won’t change the way the car drives, but it will add to the life of it. And if it breaks, you’ll break down.” A cacophony of ka-chings go off in my head. New belt, new rear break pads and oh yeah, the belt on my tire is broken and that’s what is causing it to vibrate, so I’m going to need two new tires. (The van has more belts than I do, no joke. Between the timing and the tires, and I think there’s a fan belt somewhere, that’s at least six. I’m totally trumped, thought do wish I was born with at Timing Belt.) I want to call up the Car Talk guys and cry. I am in love with the Car Talk guys. Have been for twentysome years. I wish I lived in Boston so I could just go to them and weep on their hilarious Italian shoulders. If you’ve never heard them, listen to them on the weekends on NPR and you will understand my undying affection. I am, however, in Colorado and I start rattling off future debt in my head like that billboard on 42nd Street in New York that keeps flickering the national debt second by second. I am 49 years-old and I am embarrassed that I can’t afford to fix my car—the car I drive my children in. I realize however, that I am lucky, because I do, after all, have a car and I can call my big brother and he will help me out. I am embarrassed about that, too but also grateful. Also I am thinking that I can use this. When my daughters fight, I can explain that one day, one of you will be much richer than the other and you don’t know which one of you that will be, so be nice because some day in the distant future you may need to borrow some do-re-mi from the other to fix your mini-van and they may not say yes if you continue to steal their hair brush.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

wendy May 20, 2010 at 5:31 am

I feel the same way. I am 43, and am incredibly grateful to have received more than one check from the oldest of my three brothers. I pay the money back, but little by little as I can, getting a thank you call after he gets each check in the mail. No interest, no questions about when the next tiny chip off my giant block of debt will be paid.
I can safely say I will never be the sibling that is able to front a loan.
I love this article Kate!
Wendy (lu’s sil)

Alexandra April 27, 2011 at 9:29 am

Car talk.

Those wonderful brothers, who I wish I could call up b/c you know they’d be over in a minute.

And would do your minivan right.

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