Another happy late night driving through the wilds of Central Florida.
I left out a lot of stuff that we have gone through trying to get that car for F. We nailed down a 4.99% interest rate but that obviously was not done at the dealership, so there's been a lot of phone calls and emails and faxing - you'd think no one had ever arranged their own financing before. Friday we thought it was taken care of, but no. R had left me and F there b/c he had to get to work. Somebody swears she faxed something - somebody else swears he didn't get it - no, we couldn't take the car yet. The salesperson who had sold us the car was kind enough to drive us the hour it took to get home - she lives on the way and was coming into town anyway. She was fairly mortified that we weren't able to drive away but is new at the dealership and couldn't budge them. On the way we stopped at her place and picked up her spouse, an electrical engineer, and he and I had a happy convo about science and numbers all the rest of the way to my house, so it wasn't all bad.
But we thought we'd get the paperwork squared away today, and after a bunch of back-and-forth I think everybody just got worn down and said, come get the damn car, we'll work it out.
So F and I did. I left work at 4:30 or so and drove the 1.25 hours back to her apt and picked her up. We went to the dealership and signed the rest of the papers we had to sign, and then she followed me back to her apartment. Let me interject that F had a terrific wreck about four years ago. Totalled the car. Even though she walked away, it was somewhat traumatizing for her. She could drive a few blocks at a time after that, in little or no traffic, but it was always a heart-pounding experience for her, and she's only done that about five times in the last four years. So for her to follow me home in Kissimmee, driving this new-to-her car, in multilane traffic and unfamiliar streets, took a great deal of courage. F is one tough cookie.
We got back to the apartment, and had something to eat, and she got hold of herself, and then I was going to sit in the passenger seat while she drove the 35-minute drive she will have to her workplace and back. Then I was going to follow her to work, and then come home myself.
So we got a short distance away from her apartment ... and the car died. Shut down. In traffic. F sat there and quietly freaked.
"Stop the car," I said, "and turn it off." We happened to be in the right lane, at a traffic light that quickly turned red, which gave her a little cover to get hold of herself.
There was a BP station on the corner, so I told her that when the light turned green she was to turn the car back on, and pull into that gas station.
"I can't," she said.
"Yes, you can," I said.
She was seriously shaken up. It would have been so easy for me to go around and get in the driver's side and take over, but no can do.
"Nothing has happened," I told her. "We're all right. You can do this."
The light turned green, she turned the car back on, pulled into the BP station, and parked it. And I called the dealership, they sent a tow truck, F and I were dropped back off at her apartment, and I took her to work. L will pick her up in the morning. And tomorrow I'll start calling AGAIN to try to figure out next steps.
Sick of this. But as I told F, this kind of thing happens, and sometimes the only way past it is through it.