Epilogue (of sorts) to the car crash and subsequent mirth and merriment of living in a "No Fault State." Apparently, if you detest someone badly enough, you can ram some junker of a car right into their family-mobile, and give them three weeks of headaches and phone calls.
No matter. After hemming and hawing, and waxing and waning, and switching frequently from cat pose to cow pose, our insurance company decided to total the car after all. We then had a whirlwind week and a half of looking at used and new cars, weighing our options, deciding if a lease was a good idea or a bad idea (we voted, "BAD") and finally landed on a Saturn. A fairly nice, new Vue that will get the whole family too and fro, Doula-Dog and all.
When we bought the car, we did it at the last hour of the last day of the month, and as a result, didn't get the whole washing and detailing process, as the service center had gone home for the day. I went back the next day with one-year old in tow, and crossed all my fingers and toes that they could get me in and out of there.
At 9:00 AM in the morning, many very extremely elderly people converge upon Saturn dealerships for coffee and TV. I had no idea. Fortunately, they seemed delighted that a baby was in the vicinity, and cackled and encouraged her in her raucousness. "What a handsome little guy!" bellowed one man, as my pink-ruffled-with-flowers-frocked child swept all magazines from the coffee table to the ground. Two women, who had initially sat down next to each other and started to talk about various maladies, cheered on the bambina's attempts at walking. Gianna mistook this friendliness as an invitation to peel brightly painted, but seemingly necrotic toenails off one of the women's toes.
In between treating one and all to some good old fashioned lactation-phobia exposure therapy and the mayhem and madness of letting a near-walker loose around some caffeinated seniors, I frequently popped Gianna into our pouch sling and wandered over to the door that led to the service center. There, service personnel would cheerfully wave and continue to not detail and wash my car. In fact, I suspect that as soon as I'd leave their sight, they were taking turns changing all the pre-programmed stations on my radio and mooning one another from the back windshield.
Around and around we circled. Checked out the autos on the showroom floor. Peeked at the tiny, spoiled pooch that someone was wearing in a dog-baby-carrier (Gianna shouts, "no No NOT!" or sometimes, "Woof!" at strange dogs). Took a break at the waiting area, in order to completely dismantle the daily newspaper all over the floor (which delighted the caffeinated seniors). Peeked at car, wondered at the service people who were now playing a good old fashioned game of "Cram as many workers as possible into the car."
Finally, after hovering close to a salesperson trying to make his sale at a table, and allowing Gianna to add her two cents as necessary, they were able to get us out of there.
Without our free tank of gas.
We would... have to...
GO BACK ANOTHER DAY.