Disaster Magnets

Have you ever noticed how some people just are? No matter what they do, “stuff” just happens to them. They don’t seem to want it, they always say they want the opposite of what happens, yet it continues to happen.

Specifically, I’m thinking about my daughter and cars. In the 11 years that she’s been driving, she has gone through more cars than I have had in my entire life. Seriously. I bought her her first car when she was pregnant or right after she had the baby in 2000. It was a H0nda Civic and we bought it from a private owner (who assured us he was “Christi@n” a sure sign to run away), and she ended up getting it totaled in a parking lot. My dad always said parking lots were the most dangerous places to drive, and I think he was right.  She actually had 2 separate accidents in parking lots in that car, and the 2nd one did the car in–and to be clear, SHE got hit both times, as she was driving correctly in the lane or backing out.  So, car 1.

Car 2 was a Cutlass Supreme. My daughter at the time ADORED all things “lo-rider”, and the Cutlass is a prime lo-rider car.  She had all kinds of crazy offers for that car and she actually had it quite a while (for her). But then the shine wore off and she began to mutter about “piece of shit car”.  I have learned that whenever she utters those magic words about a car, certain disaster is not far behind. Sure enough, someone slammed out of a parking space in a parking lot (!!!!!) and ended up totaling the car.

Her next car was a BMW that someone gave her. Yes. Someone gave my daughter a BMW. It was some guy she had known somehow who lived in Denver. I have no idea who he was or how she met him.  Her story was that he had a lot of friends who didn’t have cars and he would let them use this BMW (it was a 90’s model) and when they didn’t need it anymore they gave it back to him. Whatev. He gave it to her.  She drove that for quite a while, too, and when it finally gave up , she took it to the junk yard, and sold it for parts and watched it be crushed up in the car crusher.

After that, car 4, she and GS2’s dad bought an Iszuzu Rodeo from a dealership. Bad move. That involves payments. They drove it for a while, but couldn’t keep up the payments, so they (or her–I lose the time line here) surrendered it back.

After that, all kinds of things were going on with her, none of them really good. I was over this car stuff.  I had recently bought myself a little Subaru wagon but I was just going back and forth to the law office at the time, and G and I talked and I told her she could just have the car. That was car 5.  She drove that one into the ground. I finally called my mechanic, Jerry, who actually walks on water, after she blew a head gasket or shot the radiator or something. He told me to bring it in so he could look at it.

Sadly, he said it wasn’t worth fixing, but HE had a little “Subie” as he called it, that had been sitting in his yard taking up space and he said he would see if he could get it running.  Well, he did, and he basically gave it to me…actually, I swapped him my junker Subaru for it, so he could take that car and get parts value, but still, the man is totally a saint in my book. So, car 6.

She drove that little Subaru for a while, which was quite a sporty little car, and finally she blew a head gasket on THAT. This was around the time my mom died, and I had a little money, so I told her to go look for a car under 5K and I would think about buying it for her. NO PAYMENTS.  By this time, she had learned not to grab the first car that ran across the field of her vision, so she finally settled on a Neon that got good gas mileage. This was in 2006.  She drove it over with the dealer so that G could look at it and I negotiated with him in the driveway. I just told him I wasn’t paying more that 4K and he said all right.  So, I bought that and kept it in my name because she had just had a very bitter split with GS2’s dad and there were restraining orders in place, etc. Figured he might steal her car, but probably not mine. You know? That was car 7.

That was a good car for her for as long as it lasted. It actually got totaled twice.  The first time was from a hail storm that happened as I left for London to be gone for a month walking across Spain.  Of course, I told her that I was not going to total a car for some dents, but the insurance was going to pay, and I thought why not? G and I had done our powers of attorney, so she was actually able to do the paperwork with some fax support from me in London. Talk about international dealings!

So, great, car runs, we got some money for it, all is well. Right? You’d think so, wouldn’t you?

I got off the plane from Spain (no rain), and was driving home from Denver. G’s phone rings and who could it be? My daughter saying “Don’t tell my mom, but my car got totaled!” Somewhere along the lines she had uttered the magic words. This time, she wasn’t even driving the car! She had let a friend drive it to pick up the kids from school and a senior citizen (i.e. OLD PERSON who had no business driving) ran a red light and creamed the car. The police report confirmed this.  So, we presented to the insurance company and got another lump of cash for it.

This time, I handed my daughter the money and told her I was forever out of the car loop as far as buying cars went. She was on her own. Of course she bought car 8, her “dream car” a Pontiac Gran Prix, black and fancy. Gas hog. Payments too high. She turned that back in and by this time she had taken up with hubby to be, so they went through a few car iterations.

Then we found out that one of our friends wanted to sell her car, a 2003 Grand Am.  Daughter had some tax money, and friend set a reasonable price, so they did the deal.  Actually, G and I ended up making sure it was finally paid because I wasn’t going to let my kid come between me and a friend.  She is now driving car 9 in 11 years of driving.

She’s still driving it, but she’s been muttering “those words”. This is the one that also blew the head gasket and just recently got a whole new cooling system as well as some re-milled pistons and valves.  Then it overheated AGAIN, but this time, all the work and parts was under warranty so it was fixed for free.

But just yesterday, she tells me she was at a red light off an exit and a car came flying off the exit, hit the car behind her and that car got pushed up into her.  As luck would have it, the driver of the car that caused it all actually OWNS a body shop so she is fixing both cars for free.

And THEN, her hubby’s car–a whole OTHER car than what he had when they were together–ALSO blew the coolant reservoir last night, so now BOTH of their cars are out of commission at least temporarily. (Piece of shit cars…mutter, mutter, mutter….)

I don’t get this whole car thing at all.  She has more car stories than I could ever even think up.  My car stories go like this:

“I bought a used car. I took care of it and drove it till it wouldn’t go any more. Then I bought another used car…”

So, tell me, do you know any disaster magnets?


4 thoughts on “Disaster Magnets

  1. Yes, my son is a disaster car magnet. Let’s see….my caravan when he got his license (age 18) then a chevy little pickup, then a saab, then a chevy full size pick up, then a dodge daytona, then a mustang, now a maxima. Untold amounts of repairs, the full size chevy went through 3 transmissions, 4 engines, and a rear end. the dodge caravan was totaled by hitting a deer,the little chevy pickup blew the engine too, the saab’s transmission went 3 months after we bought it, the daytona was totaled just one week after being registered, ugh, I’m sure I’m missing a car in there somewhere. Oh btw, he just turned 22, so that’s 7 or so cars in less than 4 years. and lots of $$ too in repairs. Thank god for the most part he does the labor himself, but I used to have a savings account (to save for my divorce) and now that account has about $10 in it. Also, he’s dropped the exhaust system off the maxima twice now & has had to replace other things on it, I’m sure he’s told me, but I just blank out when he starts to explain why he’s not paying any $ back to me because something or other has broken on his car. Oh and just for shits and giggles…the welder that he borrowed to fix the floor of the mustang( yes, that’s still here) was stolen out of my yard last week. You asked! LOL!

  2. Oops, yup, I forgot the cavalier he had that he blew up somehow, I think another transmission issue. I’ve had flatbed tow trucks in my yard so often, I tell ya, that AAA membership is worth every penny. And also, he’s hit someone at least a half dozen times and even my current van has not gone unscathed from the wrath that is my son. And I have a 15 y/o that will be learning how to drive next spring…..Halp! LOL!

  3. OMG, Barbara, I think we need to start a support group!!! I’ll pray that your 2nd son is a better driver and/or manages to be easier on cars.

    Bless your heart!


  4. I’m like you, GG, and my daughter is shaping up to be that way too. But, she didn’t start that way.

    First, she was backing the car out of the driveway with the door open and of course the door hit the concrete retaining wall. Not too bad, we just replaced the door. Next, she got hit by some loser who turned left against traffic and yep, totaled the car. I know it wasn’t her fault because I was in the car with her.

    This was a little, used Ford Escort. It lasted us both a long time. Then, when she was getting ready to move to the Seattle area, I bought her a used Camry. She drove that for a couple of years and then gave it back because her boyfriend had two cars and they didn’t need three. I’m still driving the Camry. She’s still driving the Dodge that he doesn’t like anymore. She’s taking after me in the car department and that’s a relief.

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