A Series of Unfortunate Events…the Toyota MR2

“A Series of Unfortunate Events”

The series of unfortunate events began with a Friday that started out like any other Friday. Coffee. Makeup. Clothes. Check the time. Gotta Go! I got in my car, drove to work, locked the door to my car (even though where I work there is more of a chance of a cow breaking into my car than an actual human being…still… locked the doors; you can never be too certain), I did my time and then when work was over I rushed over to my car feeling that sense of freedom one feels on a Friday at 4pm. I reached for the handle and pulled. Oops! I forgot to unlock the thing. I twisted the key in the lock and tried again. The door wouldn’t budge. I tried again…starting to feel panic

This is what my car looks like!

This is what my car looks like!

rise in my chest. I looked at the key, just in case I had been trying with the wrong one. Nope, didn’t think so. After a few more tries I was at a loss to what even happened. I ran to the other side of the car…hoping…praying that at least one door would open. Like a good little door it opened when I turned the key in its handle. I sat in the passenger side of the car and reached over attempting to manually unlock the driver’s side door. Didn’t work. I have to tell you first, that I have a 1991 Toyota MR2. These little sport cars are TINY. Like a Toyota Camry looks massive in comparison. Often I loose my car in parking lots because it gets easily hidden behind other cars. Even though I am only 5 ft and small I knew climbing from the passenger seat to the driver’s seat would be a hassle. Grumbling I pull myself across the middle of my car attempting to avoid the emergency break and shifter, and after hitting my head I  plop into the driver’s seat. Stupid door. For some reason I am not too alarmed. My boyfriend works with cars…he’ll know what to do.

Once I reach my destination I also realize I cannot exit through the driver’s side either. I crawl out the passenger side…again.

2 months later…

I have become a master at entering and exiting through the passenger side. I no longer care at the weird looks I get from people watching.  I also figured out that I must avoid wearing skirts or dresses at all costs during this time. Finally after attempting to put away as much money as I can  from my meager paychecks I feel like I have enough to hopefully get the door fixed. I was able to set up an appointment with this friend of ours, Jerry. Jerry is this older guy that always…I mean always has a smile. And he knows his stuff when it comes to cars.

Last Wednesday he set off to fixing the the door. We thought it was just a broken lock. Not a hard fix…just complicated with a door that is locked shut. After several hours I check on the progress. The door is open! I clap my hands and squeal with joy and then stop. Jerry and my boyfriend look less than thrilled. “What’s wrong?” I ask and then add, “I don’t care if it can’t lock anymore…just as long as it can open and close!”

“We have a problem…” Jerry starts and after a conversation that was filled with so much car lingo I felt like it was another language, Jerry drove off. Quickly I turned to my boyfriend to interpret.

“I mean…it seems OK! At least it opens right?” I say hopefully running to the door…suddenly I realize the problem. The door indeed opens…but now it no longer shuts.

I realize the gravity of the situation. A door that doesn’t open is one thing…one that no longer shuts…well you can’t even drive it! I am completely frazzled. The past month I have been dealing with copier issues and other expensive equipment breaking down at work, my computer giving me the blue screen of death, and a dishwasher (that is new) just failing. I am seeing the dollar signs rising to a frightening amount.

Josh tells me the problem is something about the alarm system on the car…and how it went bonkers and malfunctioned. Even time I tried to unlock the door I was adding strain and several parts ended up breaking. The new parts were outrageous for my little 23 year old car.

I had no other spar car and neither did my boyfriend. I had to go to work…I needed money. I wasn’t even sure how I was going to get there. A light bulb goes on.

Duck tape. The fixer of all things.

Duck tape...I love you

Duck tape…I love you

Using nearly half a role I taped the door shut the best I could. It looked like my car had escaped from a junk yard…or from an experimentation lab. But the duck tape had bought me some time. Time to hopefully find the parts I needed or another door that would be cheaper than buying the stuff brand new.Tough part was going to be finding a 1991 MR2 door…they don’t just grow on trees these doors!

In the hot humid weather the tape began to loose it’s sticky qualities. I ended up clutching the door praying it wouldn’t fly off some days while  heading to work. And then I realized if I got pulled over it would be a nightmare. I imagined the scene unfolding…at night in particular…the cop comes over to my heavily tinted driver’s side window. I frantically try and shout through the door that I cannot roll down the window…or open the door. I will have to climb over to the passenger side. Yeah…each time I imagined it…the scenario never ended well for me. Finding a door was imperative.

Finally I found one on Craigslist. The person selling the door was less than civil….in fact he was down right rude and weird. He accused me of waking him up one day when I texted him at 10:30am…on a weekday. Just a weirdo that expected us to be mind readers. After several days of dealing with this guy I actually wanted to text him, “You can keep your door! I wouldn’t buy a door from you if it was the last door on the planet.” But…his door was my only hope, so I refrained myself from sending the text.

To make a long story short…I got the door.

Jerry started working on it on Tuesday and then called on Tuesday night with the glorious news, “It’s fixed!”

Excited… Happy…are understatements for how I felt. I still felt the pain of writing a very large check to cover the work Jerry had done on it but I was so grateful to have a working door again. We tested out the door several times and it worked like the car was brand new. I thanked Jerry and almost hugged him. Then I handed him the check. Yes, it was kind of like handing him one of my arms but I would manage. (haha!)

Jerry puts up his hands. “No No! I won’t take any money!”

WHAT?

“Jerry, you have to take it!” I say thrusting the check at him.

“Nope. I won’t take it. I wanted to help you out.”

After arguing with him a few more times I realized he wouldn’t budge, he wouldn’t even take a $10 bill from me.

I just about lost it.

It’s so good to remember in the midst of a world filled with a lot of bad things…there are good people out there…that do good things; people that make you want to be better. People that are like lighthouses to boats in a storm.

 “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa

Has anyone ever paid for your Starbucks or helped you out in some way that really made a big impact or left a big impression on you? I’d love to hear about it!

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