Rosie’s CIAA cautionary tale.

Let the record show that I have not, in the time that it has been hosted in our fair city, chosen to participate in the activities surrounding the  CIAA’s (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) annual tournament.  The reasons are varied, but not limited too: Hating crowds, Hating myself in crowds, Hating crowds of drunken black people , Hating crowds of pretentious black people, and MOST important – I hate being in crowds of black people who’d spend $75-100 on a day party, but who will hem and haw about financially supporting local programming for children. This year I waxed sentimental and decided to go because all the buzz seemed so exciting, that one party sounded like what the business is (it was dope as hell, I won’t lie) and I won’t be here next year … so what the hell, right?

The night started out well enough. I did somethings to ground myself in sanity (prayed, burned incense, listened to the ATLien’s album), then headed out to an event called Grits & Biscuits. All southern hip hop, all night. Yessir! After I had sufficiently twerked away my cares, I exited the party into a sea of half naked self proclaimed “bad bitches” and the men who loved/lusted/thirsted after them.

As awesome as all of that was, my friend Danielle and I were ready to go and process the levels of ratchet debauchery we’d just taken in over artery clogging food stuffs. We’d ran across a group who was in need of a jump and I was glad that I was able to be of assistance (being the ever faithful good Samaritan I am) with jumper cables I had in my car.  However … when I got to my car I realized … I was actually in need of jump, as my car wouldn’t start.  Things promptly went to hell from here.

With the help of two eager young gentlemen I get the car started again, and head out into the mean side streets surrounding the NC Music factory that at this point looks a lot like Juicy J‘s rendition of Kolkata. I’m visually overdosing on bare tri-fold midriffs and men doling out piggy back rides to colored girls who considered crawling with them rainbow pumps became too much, when … my car stops in the middle of the street. Just stops. Right in front of this dude who is drunk out of his fucking MIND and believes, somewhere in his delirium that my car has arrived to pick him up.

I, distracted and disgusted, could not process why this man was getting in my car, and before I could say two words, he was in there. CHILLIN’.

I’m like:  Sir … get out.

No response.

To add to the fun, his drunk friends get into the act,  facebooking  and tweeting videos of all the festive shenanigans as I sit, mouth agape, looking on. The good times were soon to get better, when the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department gets involved, those champions of justice.  They actually SWEAR that my new friend is actually my estranged boyfriend/hook up and that I need to attempt to manage the situation.

This is when drunk man in my car starts flexin …
… like he’s on Instagram
He’s angry now …

He’s all: Get the fuck off me yo! Get the fuck off me son!

I promptly exit the vehicle, cause I wanna live and shit. There are now 3-4 officers in a heated debate with the drunken gent in an attempt to get his drunk ass out of my car. The officers are STILL swearing I know said drunk and disorderly negro, a fact I adamantly deny. After realizing the real possibility that their friend/brother may be tased or shot they beg the police officers to let them remove him from my car.

Negotiations are successful, the drunkard exits my vehicle.

CMPD: Ma’am I’m gonna need you to get back in your vehicle and move along.

Fuck. My. Life., I think to myself and am surprised by my ability to remain calm (probably had to do with my own non-desire of being tased or shot) and tell the officers that the reason why I didn’t take off and drag the dude down the street when he attempted to get in my car in the first place was because it would. not. start. (SIGH).

The officers FINALLY realize that hey … she really didn’t know that guy, and wait, her car won’t start! That’s why she was in the middle of the road! They determine that they will  offer me the assistance I need to get to the side of the road when just then, a clutch of ratchet pussy decides that my predicament is funny …

“Aw sheet that bitch done ran outta gas!”

“Ha. Ha. She slippin’!”

I verbally abuse the shit out of them.
It was quite satisfying.

The rest of the evening, that did not end until 5:30 am, ended with little more event than: me coming to the aid of two scantily clad “bad bitches” whose phone was dead and ride “had done gone” by allowing them to sit in my dilapidated vehicle, and me thrice having to give a Charlotte based tow truck driver direction to a major Charlotte landmark.

The lesson: I’m not sure there is one. Just a lot of individual shit that could have happened on any other day happening to me at the same damn time.

To all CIAA in CLT visitors: I enjoyed you, now please … go home. ❤

Rosie.

*Warning: The preceding song should only be enjoyed in controlled environments and under the clear understanding that you are probably not now nor will you ever be a drug dealer that … enjoys … two “bad bitches” at the same damn time.
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Pssst…Come here little girl, I got somethin’ to show ya!

Having bad credit (and I mean really bad credit none of this 500s shit) can send really nice people to pretty smarmy places. Case in point; my recent search for an automobile. With two repos, a barrage of charge offs, judgements, and a tax lien sitting on my credit like raw canker sores I wasn’t gonna be headed to Carmax anytime soon.

Nope, I had to get my hands dirty. Reeeaaaallll dirty. With $1500 in hand and a dream that I could buy a car that would withstand at least two years on the open road I set out on my search. First stop: Craig’s List, the emerald city of the internet! I figured if one could purchase animals, furniture, and illicit sex acts from this virtual Oz, surely I make my dream come true (for $1500 or less).

Initially, trying to at least be smart about it, I waited around for the trusty (and I use that world very loosely) men in my family to show up and rescue me from the “woman-buying-a-used-car-curse” . This did not happen. So with Google by my side I searched for used car check list that would serve as a guide. After looking over it I found it was pretty thorough which allowed me to let go of some of the anxiety I was feeling around the whole ordeal (I only wished I’d given myself more time to look at it). I spent about a few days looking finding many hits that wound up being misses, but I finally settled on three vehicles.

Vehicle 1: 1989 Nissan Maxima

Alright, so this car had been in existence since I was thirteen, but Nissan’s have a fairly decent name for themselves right? Plus, considering some of the vehicles I see on the open road still kicking up dust…literally, I thought it was worth a shot AND I mean geez, he only wanted $900 dollars for it (and had even dropped it to $800 by the time I got there!). That would leave me with more than enough money to buy an iPad after it was all said and done. (GOD I need help.)

Despite my initial optimism, in the back of my mind I knew with the driving I do on average this was a shaky option. It didn’t help that I’d spent so much time waiting to be rescued by men folk (hell that’s a whole other blog all together). This left me with only 20 minutes to view the car. I had to skip much of my check list, which left me with a pretty unsettled feeling, and I only got to drive the car around the neighborhood because of the time constraints. It didn’t run poorly by any means and it even looked pretty decent cosmetically even with the age of the vehicle. I decided to tell the seller I’d think about it until after I’d seen the other cars that I’d planned to look at that day. Which brings me to the next vehicle…

Vehicle 2: 1998 Volkswage Passat…or maybe it’s a Jetta?

I arrived at Rock Hill auto auction with my game face on. I had a fresh list, and I had PLENTY of time to peruse and examine the vehicle that I’d come to look at. The listing (and actually this one was on autotrader.com) was for a 1998 Volkwagen Passat. The ad sounded really promising and I couldn’t wait to see the car. I caravanned to Rock Hill and ghost road past a car lot that looked like a used vehicle waste land. Determined not to judge a book by it’s outsides I pulled in and asked for the vehicle that had been listed. I got a hem. I got a ha. I got that the vehicle probably didn’t exist. I’m no quitter though, so I laid on the line what I had to pay and let the dealer (we’ll call him “Harold”) know that I was there to play hard ball. (Oh the depths!)

So Harold who is now my bestie because he want’s to “put me in a car” but his boss has “tied his hands” *sigh*, but…but wait! There’s hope! a 1995 VW Jetta sitting all on it’s lonesome on the lot. It’s only $500 more than what I wanted to pay anyway, and if I was just willing to give him the $1500 I did have, I could make up the rest later! (Yes, I saw through this bullshit. Geez people.) I did want to see the vehicle though. I figured I could get ‘im where I wanted ‘im once my handy dandy check list had diminished the value of the car.

You all should have saw me. I was an auto analysis master of the universe! I had magnets and coins. I tested the body and tires. I threw Harold for quite the loop. Even he had to say “Damn girl, you know what you doin’!” It felt good, because I actually did. After careful inspection I found the Jetta was not worth $1500. It probably wasn’t worth 900 (do you attempt to sell a car for $2000 when the accelerator needle doesn’t work and sleep at night?!) I walked away from Rock Hill Auto Auction completely confident in the fact that I’d made a sound decision. It felt quite amazing. So it was on to my last stop Chik-Fila! This is where I would take a look at…

Vehicle 3: 1994 Mazda 626

All the adventure of the day had left me 100% drained. All I wanted was a kids strip meal, and a nap. I had agreed to see one more vehicle, a 1994 Mazda 626. Ironically, or whatever you’d call it, I graduated in 1994 and one of the first cars I ever owned was a Mazda 626 (I did get shot at in that car though =/…again that’s a total other blog). I’d called the young man who owned the car. He’d agreed to meet me and I’d pulled out blank check list number three when my phone ring. It was the calvary. My uncle Grover, he said he was on his way to Rock Hill to look at the car. In he rode on his white horse (disguised as a white Chevy pick up truck.) The young man showed and they talk that special car talk that men talk when they get together that begins to sound like the adults in Peanuts after about 5 minutes in my ears.

What I hate is, I folded. A man showed up, and I forgot about everything. My list. My stubborn determination. I just let him do it. It took him five minutes to decide that the car was worth what the young man was asking $1500 (no iPad for me…wamp wamp waaaaamp). I negotiated the particulars of finishing the purchase and picking up the car with none of the confidence I’d walked away with after my earlier experiences.

Epilougue:

The upside is I finally have a vehicle after going $600 in debt in rental car fees (wait, that was my iPad…*bumbed*). The downside is I’m not at all confident in my decision which was ironically made based off the help I initially wanted. The bottom line is that it’s done, and I’m glad for it. It was a learning experience. It was a practice in learning to trust myself and a lesson in trusting other people. Ultimately when buying a used car you can NEVER really know how long said vehicle will last, and it’s not lasting is not always some diabolical plan of the seller to rip you off. Some times cars, (and people) pass on and we can never know when, where, why or how it’s going to happen. We just have to put our best foot forward to avoid unnecessary issues.

If I had to give myself a grade it’d probably be a C+/B-. It’s the first major purchasing decision I’ve made in a long while, and probably one that I’ve been the most responsible in making since I’ve been an adult…seriously. The greatest gift is that I can see that this is a new beginning for my financial future. My credit score may be in the shitter, but I’m as determined as I was on the lot of Rock Hill Auto Auction that it won’t stay there. Most of all I believe that this number does not diminish who I am as a person.

Well, I have to go and drop off the rental, and thank GOD it’s homework time with Zion!…not really.

Rosie.

p.s. I got in the car, drove it for a while and the check engine light came on. It’s running fine, I’m taking deep cleansing breaths, and calling my mechanic in the morning.