Life can be so funny sometimes. When I woke up yesterday, I thought that deciding whether or not I should go on a date with Woody was going to be the most stressful thing I had to think about all day.
That was not the case.
Other than on my “About Me” page, I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned my soon-to-be-ex husband, “Jeffrey,” on my blog. It hasn’t been deliberate or anything, it’s just that at this point, with the exception of the financial ties that bind us, we are pretty much leading separate lives, so he hasn’t become a blog topic. Until now.
Yesterday morning while I was at work, Jeffrey called me to tell me that his car had been towed. Again. I swear, this is like the 6th time in 3 years that this has happened. The reason why? Jeffrey is ALWAYS getting parking tickets. Between January and June he got SEVEN tickets. Four for an expired parking meter, two for an expired registration (one for his work truck and one for his regular car), and one for an expired inspection.
Jeffrey is a painting contractor, and he drives around in the city a lot, going to clients, or the supply store, or wherever. If he’s in with a client and his parking meter is about to expire, he’s NOT going to interrupt a meeting so he can run out and feed the meter. It’s a Cost of Doing Business, he says. Fine. I can understand that, to some extent. (Although I’m sure if he planned just a little bit better then he could figure out how to have the right amount of money in the meter before he goes into a meeting. Just saying.) As far as the expired registration and inspection, well, a ticket on my windshield is usually how I’m reminded that it’s time to get those things renewed. So I understand.
Still, the City doesn’t tow your car just because you get a lot of parking tickets…unless you forget to pay them, that is! Which he did. He never pays them. It’s not like he’s a deadbeat or broke or trying to scam or anything, it’s just that when it comes to certain things, like knowing when a payment is due and making said payment, he is absolutely useless. It’s crazy, because in most respects he is pretty Type A. He’s a hard worker, ambitious, and basically gets shit done. Except for paying his tickets. So he doesn’t pay, the tickets go into judgment, and then his car gets towed.
And what does all of this have to do with me? Well, since my name is the only name on the car registration, whenever his car gets towed, I’M the one who has to deal with it. I have to go down to the Marshall’s office and make a payment, and then go to whichever lot the car was towed to and pick it up. Once I was lucky and the Marshall’s office was close to the lot. Today, the Marshall’s office was in downtown Manhattan and the car had been towed to North Brooklyn.
Theoretically I could sign a paper that would allow HIM to pick it up..but that would only work if he had the current registration in the car. Which OF COURSE he doesn’t.
Me: Is the registration in the glove compartment?
Him: I don’t know, did you put it there?
It’s so frustrating.
So here’s how my day went:
He called me at 11 to tell me about the car. I went online to see how much the fees were and get the number for the Marshall’s office (I’ve been through this so many times that the NYC Finance Department is now one of my bookmarked pages.) He owed $660 in tickets, plus an additional $310 in towing fees, for a grand total $970. I hung up with him and called the Marshall so I could find out where the car had been towed to. Then I mapquested (google maps, actually, but “mapquested” makes a better verb lol) and printed the directions from my job to the Marshall’s, and then from the Marshall’s to the impound lot. I also went into my boss’s office to let him know I had to leave work early.
After all of this I called Jeffrey to give him an update, and he said he was going to try to borrow a car so he could pick me up and we could go. Why couldn’t he use his other car, you ask? Because the keys to the other car were locked in the car that had been towed! Smh…
While he was doing that I decided to check the DMV website to make sure that the registration for the towed car was still current. The website let me know that there was a “Hold” on the registration. Sigh…I called the DMV to find out what the hell that meant, and after waiting on hold for 30 MINUTES I learned that because he’d had a 13-day lapse in insurance a while back, he wouldn’t be able to renew the registration unless he paid a penalty. But the registration was still good and isn’t set to expire until July 30. (See?? If I hadn’t called to find that out then the registration would have expired next week and he DEFINITELY would have gotten another ticket!)
I try to cut him some slack, because I know that he is ridiculously stressed out from all the financial stuff we’re dealing with. And he’s a really good guy. But I was Such. A. Bitch. to him on the phone today.
Jeffrey picked me up from work at 3:30 and we headed downtown to the Marshall’s office. I paid the fine, we grabbed sandwiches at a deli, and then we headed to Brooklyn to get the car.
When you pick up your car from an impound lot they are supposed to make sure you have a current registration and that your car is insured. But in all the past times I’ve dealt with this I have NEVER actually been asked to show insurance. Most times they don’t even ask for the registration.
I knew I was going to have a problem right away, because the (very cute) guy mentioned it as he was making a copy of my license. Him: “Do you have your registration and insurance?” Me: “They’re in the glove compartment…I think.” Of course I KNEW that they weren’t, but I was hoping that if I flashed him my cute smile he would cut me some slack.
And he did, to an extent. Since the actual registration wasn’t in the car, he said that he would check the registration sticker on the dashboard and that should be good enough. Later I heard him tell his boss that the sticker said the registration was good until July 2013 – which I knew wasn’t true, since the DMV had just told me that it expires at the end of THIS month. Maybe he just misread it, but whatever the case is, it worked. So that was one thing taken care of.
But the insurance. The only insurance card in the glove compartment was from 2007! I ended up having to use my phone to go on to Geico’s website and then download the current card and show it to his boss, who was hovering. This added another 20 minutes to my ordeal. I know my cutie would have let me go if his boss wasn’t there.
Finally it was all over. I got in the car, but before I closed the door the cutie asked me if he could take me out to dinner sometime. I gave him my number and then left. So at least something positive came out of the shit show that was my day!
By the time I got home at 7 I was mentally exhausted. So, for those of you who are still wondering if I ever met up with Woody tonight, the answer is: No. I didn’t even text him to let him know I wasn’t coming. I meant to, but forgot. Then around 9:30 he CALLED me. We’ve never spoken on the phone before. He tried once but I shut him down, because I HATE talking on the phone. When I saw his number on my phone I didn’t know what to do. I was going to answer, but I was too, I don’t know, nervous, I guess. So I didn’t answer it. Instead I texted him, like 20 minutes later:
Me: Hey. Sorry I didn’t come tonight. Today was a bit of a shit show, had to leave work early to deal with some stuff. I meant to text you earlier but I forgot. =-x
He said “No worries.” Then he called me again! This time I answered it. We talked for about 20 minutes. He asked me what had happened, and I told him everything (prefaced by: “I know you’re not supposed to talk about an ex with a guy that you’re currently talking to, but…”). Then we talked about one of his past relationships…which happened to be with an older woman, btw. So overall it was a pretty positive experience. We made tentative plans to hang out next week.
So that was my day. I’m really glad it’s over! Next week Jeffrey and I are going to the DMV so that I can transfer the car into his name. Problem solved.