Man…what a week it’s been.
Over the weekend we got drinks and dinner with some old coworker friends (one of whom now knows I have a blog haha). While we were there, I was talking to one of my friends about how being able to work from home is awesome.
We were expecting some rain late Sunday night, which would turn into freezing rain, followed by copious amounts of snow. 5 to 8 inches, they estimated.
The decision was made right there that I’d probably be working remotely on Monday to avoid the inevitable cluster that would ensue on Monday morning.
However, things didn’t look so bad come Monday when our alarm went off. It hadn’t really rained, and there wasn’t much snow. My excuse now gone, and no emails from anyone saying they were working remotely…the decision was made for me.
In to work we went, with me dropping Kristin off.
Shortly after getting to work, I get emails from everyone I work with. They’re either working remotely or home sick (or both). Uuuugh what timing.
Those that made it in only did so for a meeting, which got rescheduled.
Around 9am it starts to sleet – it looked gross. Kristin and I were exchanging emails, trying to figure out what our commute would be like with the incoming winter assault.
Being a one car family makes these sorts of logistics tricky. There’s no easy way to manage it, but the less driving we had to do, the better.
Everyone – smartly – decided to bail before lunch. Kristin unfortunately can’t work remotely, but recommended that I drop the car off and then take a Lyft home. At least if one of us could avoid driving in the snow that’d be a plus.
It Piles On
Around 10:30, I drove to drop the car off and then hailed a Lyft, which seemed to take forever. The snow kept piling up in that time. Eventually my driver shows up and we make it back to our house. Kristin’s now on her own with the car waiting for her later. Hopefully she can get out early…
We ended up getting slammed with just over 13″ of snow, most of which fell between 10am and 4pm. Kristin was able to leave early, but not nearly early enough for how bad the roads were.
As she was leaving, she called me in a panic, unable to get the car to even move out of its parking spot. We (stupidly) didn’t remember to put a shovel in the trunk this season, so she’s got few options. Almost nobody’s around to help.
Some choice words were exchanged. We don’t fight often, but this call ended with a hang-up. And so did the next one. Among those words was a declaration…an ultimatum: we needed a second car.
I felt trapped. With no car at home and no hope of getting a ride to Kristin’s work, she was on her own.
Coming To Grips with Reality
And she had a point.
Having just one car can be inconvenient on a regular day, but it’s even worse when a snowstorm decides to run in your neighborhood. Not being able to even try and get to her was frustrating.
I knew she’d be fine if she couldn’t move the car. It might suck to sleep at the office, but it’s not unheard of at her company. That’s what my first thought was.
The second thought sucked more: what if she DID get the car out but couldn’t get home?
I remember one time when I was in college, I was coming home for Thanksgiving. There was a bad snow storm moving through the area but I was ahead of it. I was getting in pretty late, and my parents never stayed up for me – no problems.
So when I got off the highway, I decided to call one of my friends and see what he was up to. We hung out at his place, played some video games, and caught up. Since his parents were home (and sleeping) I decided to silence my phone.
My friend eventually hops on Facebook and sees that apparently my brother is looking for me. He was at my parents place waiting for me – which literally never happens. So I get my phone out to call him and tell him to calm down.
27 missed calls. Tons of text messages and voicemails. Turns out he woke up my mom, and they called every hospital and several police departments along my route. They were worried I’d slid off the road and ended up in a ditch or in the hospital.
Sooo that’s kind of what was playing through my head. With no way to even venture out if I wanted to, I just had to wait until she made it home.
The Plan To Bulk Up to Two Cars
It’s been a long day and a half talking about the merits of a second car. On one hand I really, REALLY don’t want one.
Cars are wealth killers, and the longer we can delay getting a second one, the more money we’ll be able to save.
On the other hand, it’s got some advantages. For starters, my schedule frees up a lot. Kristin can actually take lunches away from the office when days are bad. And in situations like Monday, neither of us would feel as helpless.
So our plan – I think – is to tough it out for the rest of this winter, and then deal with one car for the summer as well. Inclement weather shouldn’t be a concern then, so AWD won’t be missed. (Sidenote: Don’t try to discuss the physics of AWD vs. just getting some good winter tires, I know all about it). When the fall comes around, we’ll be in the market for a second car – probably a small SUV.
Since this will be Kristin’s primary vehicle, I’m leaving all of the research to her. We’ll agree on a general budget and exchange a list of ‘must have’ things, but the ultimate choice will be one she arrives at.
As much as I want to save the money, there’s no denying that having two cars will help. It’ll free up my time a bit. Since I drive Kristin to work and pick her up, our schedules are bound together.
The biggest way this causes a headache is if I’m working on the blog after work and need to stop what I’m doing to pick her up – sometimes right away.
I’m caving and we’ll get a second car eventually this year, but a lot is still up in the air.
We don’t know what we’re going to get yet. We definitely aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on a budget yet, either, but we’re working on it. Things are still early, and we’ve got time to figure out what we want. I’m sure there will be more disagreements, more fighting, and some heartburn on both sides.
At the end of the day, though, I think this is one where convenience, emotions, and safety win over pure numbers. What say you?
In light of the topic, any small SUV’s you’d recommend, or steer clear from?