Dot and I went car shopping today. I need her to have her own car. With my new job and her full-time college schedule, the car-sharing thing is getting tedious at best and a little frustrating at least. Thankfully, we’ve been able to borrow a second vehicle when necessary.

I know we can make the current situation work, but I hope it won’t last for long. When driving someone else’s car, I only drive it the necessary distance from home to work and back again. I wait until behind the wheel of my own vehicle before running errands like grocery shopping and mail dropping. My weekends are no longer my own.

So today we went car shopping. And we found one. Actually we found several, but we went back to the first one. It’s nice. Two years old. Affordable.

Except I couldn’t get it financed. My credit score is just a little too low, and I haven’t been on the job long enough. Re-ringing the poverty bell is not ~ repeat, not ~ my favorite pastime. And I know after a few more months on the job, after a few more on-time bill payments, I’ll be back in the swing of things.

I hate how a three-digit number defines whether or not I’m “responsible”. Yes, I’ve had to pay my bills late, but I’ve paid them. I haven’t defaulted. I haven’t allowed them to go into collections.

I chose to bear my burdens as best I could and not pass my struggles “down the line”. I hate listening to media and the public hate-monger against welfare and those who “abuse the system”. There are so many legitimate situations that require assistance; I’ve seen them and in earlier years been in them. But those are the stories we don’t hear.

I’ve been tempted to ride that train again. I sometimes so badly want to stand in the public square and scream, “Somebody help me!” To have someone pay the utilities, buy the groceries, take care of the bills. Whatever it takes to allow me to save enough money to buy my daughter a car. But I can’t go there. I don’t want to take funds away from some other family who needs it more: the homeless mother with a young baby. The unemployed Vet who can’t pay his mortgage. Those who don’t have family and friends to come alongside them for comfort or coffee or car-sharing.

The last year and a half, I held out hope that things would get better.

And I kept paying my own bills.

And I can’t buy my daughter a much-needed car.

And while it feels oxymoronic, I’m comfortable with this situation. Because it’s our situation.

It’s hard to explain the feeling of calm we have in our household right now. It may be months before things get “better”; but I know to so many others our situation is Golden.

Tomorrow is a new day. Tonight I’m home with Dot. We’re together. We’re healthy. We’re happy. In our home.

I’d say we’re faring pretty well.

And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!

There Is No Magic Button. And I'm Okay With That.
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