Do you want the good news first--I am the proud new owner of a prius. When I was searching on the internet for information about hybrids, the commentators all rated the prius the best and one even called it the King. Me, I was sure that if it was the best, it would cost more than I had and only be available in an ugly color. So I went last night to test drive a honda civic hybrid. I have a honda accord now and I like it a lot--heck, I love it and I don't want to give it up, but if I don't buy a new car now while I have the funds other things will come along and then I won't have any money and my seven year old car will break down and I will be very, very sad. Adrienne is looking for a car and my honda is a great car--it'll last another 10 years (well, maybe 10 is stretching it).
I hated the honda civic hybrid. They are going for the sports car look on a car that has the drawback of being rather slow. Well, I don't want a sports car. I'm pretty conservative in my style (ha, ha, I said that I have style). Anyhoo, the honda guys were very nice--I told them that I wanted to look at a few other options and I think deep down they knew that I was not buying that car. The internet said that there was a toyota dealer in Glendale and Sirapi said that her sister had a Camry hybrid that she loved. Norm also has a Camry hybrid that he recommended, so what the heck, I'll take a look. I walk into the Toyota dealership and it was pretty quiet. There was a guy in a white shirt who looked like he might work there, so I asked him about the camry. He said, oh yes, and thus started his very enthusiastic sales mode. Rocky used to be a truck driver--he takes me upstairs and we walk around for hours in the heat while he goes back and forth trying to find a camry, but finally after he says sorry we don't have any, I find one. It is red. I am not buying a red car. It only gets 32 miles per gallon and after looking at the civic hybrid, my heart is set on 45. Rocky will not be deterred. Why don't I try a prius. You have a prius on the lot I ask, oh yes, says Rocky and I can get it any color you want, because we have them in stock so we can trade with other dealers. I liked the mint green that was not on the internet. The colors of the prius on the internet were awful, but Rocky says, we can get you green, gold, anything you want. While he's going back and forth looking for keys and such, I check out the stickers in the eight or so prius' that they have on the lot. The price is right (well outrageous, but within what I was expecting to pay), the mileage is not the average between 40 and 45, like the Civic, but 45 on the highway and 48 in the city--that's right higher mileage in the city than on the highway. So I'm not liking any of the colors too much, but Rocky is promising me any color I want, so I agree to a test drive. I fell. Completely and irrevocably in love with that car. There is a camera in the back so that you look at a screen to see when you are backing up. The controls for the radio and climate control are on the steering wheel. It was a smooth ride and the acceleration was very good. The back seat folds down making a great deal of space in the trunk area.
So I am telling myself that I am not buying this car tonight, but I'll let him give me a price and see if there are any surprises. Of course there was a surprise. They wanted me to pay an additional $5,000 premium because there is such a demand for the prius. I knew there had to be a catch so I said thank you and got up to leave. No, no, says Rocky, let me see what I can do. Long story a tiny bit shorted, I signed a contract and I own a dark grey prius. It's nice and conservative (I didn't want to wait for him to try to find a mint green or gold and then find other reasons to charge me more money).
So this morning should be a red letter day--I should be shouting from the rooftops with my overwhelming joy and I am-- when I forget the other stuff. The bad news is that I woke up at 6:19 a.m. to the sound of water flowing. A lot of water flowing. I thought it was just too loud to be a shower running, so I went outside to see if the sprinklers had run amuck. Sure enough there was a large geyser going off in the back yard. My sleepy eyes could not focus on the sprinkler controls so I just unplugged the thing after pressing every button. The water didn't stop. So I called the plumber. The office opens at 7 a.m., do I want to call it an emergency or wait until 7 a.m.. Knowing that my bank account was a whole lot lighter with my latest purchase, I said, I'll wait. Five minutes later, I called back and said I can't wait--the water was just gushing and gushing. At 7:30 someone finally came. I have no idea what this latest in a long line of plumbing problems is going to run.
Then there is the irs. A few years ago I finally had a few extra bucks and I have been contributing to an ira--it was long overdue and I was so happy that I was finally able to put something aside for retirement. Last week I got a letter from the irs and they said I do not qualify for the deduction, because I have a retirement plan. No I don't. What are they talking about. That's just silly. But wait there's more. This year I have a bunch of money that needs to go into a self employment ira. I really need to protect this money in a retirement fund--it is very important. But if the irs thinks that I am already in a retirement plan, then I can't do it. This will be a financial disaster. I look back at my old tax return to figure out why the irs thinks that I belong to a retirement plan. Horror of horrors, there is a check in a box on the tiny little w-4 that I get from the school district for my little part time teaching job. I belong to the teachers retirement fund. I think I actually have about $200 in that fund. My current tax liability for losing my ira deduction is over $2,000. But wait, there's more--no further ira deductions while I belong to the plan. So I call the school district and beg to be dropped from the plan. I will have to separate from service (terminate my employment, abandon my class, ditch my unruly group) for six months to get out of the plan. But wait, there's still more--I haven't worked for the school district in a year. If the irs had told me about this problem last year, I could have fixed it. I'm doomed. I'm going to spend all my money on iphones and prius's and stupid plumbing and really stupid taxes and stuff I don't need and I'll be a little old lady with a walker going to court. I guess I better call my insurance agent, now that I have a new car. I'm sure that they will want me to pay them more money too. Good news completely destoyed.