True Love Means Peeing In The Woods

I am sooooooooo behind in documenting our first foray into camping as a couple, because, you know, life happens. And if you’ve been keeping up, life has been kind of shitting on me recently. So I really just never sat down to finish writing about our camping trip from last summer.

Which is a damn shame, because I really should have documented everything while it was fresh in my mind. Luckily however, it really wasn’t THAT long ago, and the concussion was minor enough (we’ll get to that later) that I have retained most memories from this little adventure. So I am here to share with you what essentially qualifies as my second camping trip EVER.

If you’re not already familiar with my disastrous camping history, you should be. I am what you would call an “indoor girl.” I need makeup, an outlet for my curling iron, air conditioning, and although I kind of thought this went without saying – indoor plumbing.

So when Gil told me one of his best friends was getting married in the mountains and it was going to be a “camping wedding” and that we would LITERALLY be sleeping outside on the ground, this was my face:


But I am nothing if not a trooper. And a damn good girlfriend. Since I knew it was important to him, I faked a smile, said it sounded like an adventure and that I was willing to give camping a second chance. And I was told there would be a bathroom and indoor plumbing somewhere on the camp site, and NO WILD BOARS, so I figured I’d survive.

So Gil, being a good boyfriend, went to a camping store to get a battery powered blow up mattress that would fit in the bed of his dad’s truck that we were borrowing. He had a truck tent (that’s a thing? and I know those words now? what??), that fit on the bed of the truck, so it seemed as close to “glamping” as I was going to get.

But I want to make one thing really clear – he didn’t just do it to be a considerate partner. I mean, he is, and that’s part of it. But REALLY, he just didn’t want to hear me squawking at him the whole time and this was his preemptive strike against it. Seriously, sometimes when I get on a tear about something he just caws at me like a giant bird. HE LITERALLY SQUAWKS AT ME UNTIL HE DROWNS ME OUT. So let’s be really real – he was trying to placate my inner bird-woman.

So away we went. To a camping wedding. And… it was kind of amazing. His friends who were getting married are pretty much the most amazing people on the planet and have the rare ability to make everyone they meet feel incredibly special. They had all their friends and family in one place, and it was one of those weddings where there was so much love it was palpable. Even the bride’s broken leg couldn’t dampen the excitement and activity going on.

Day one was essentially the rehearsal dinner and a huge party. Oh, did I not mention this was an entire weekend of camping, not just one night?

With the party in full swing and what basically amounts to a huge reunion of Gil’s friends, we stayed up well into the night. Gil decided there wasn’t actually enough room for both of us to be comfortable in the bed of the truck, without running the risk of one of us rolling over and falling into the cavern between the airbed and the side of the truck. So he very gallantly slept on the ground in a tent and gave me full reign of the truck.

It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. Until I woke up in the middle of the night and had to pee. Real bad. As I crawled out of the truck, I realized in this particular instance, I would have actually been better off if we’d really been camping in a more remote location, instead of surrounded by other cars and trucks and campers. I was not prepared to just fully drop trow since I had no idea who might be walking around and I do try to limit full on flashing people until at least the second or third time we meet.

And remember – there was a bathroom. It was just up a hill from where we were all camping. Which in the light of day looks like no big deal. But in the middle of the night when you’re half awake and regretting those margaritas from earlier…. well, it may as well be Everest.

But I survived, and we made into the wedding day relatively unscathed. And then I realized I had to get ready for a wedding. In a truck. In the woods.

Turns out, there was actually a shower inside the building where the bathroom was. But the walls surrounding the shower? Glass. Remember my rule about flashing?

I had somehow not anticipated the need for a bathing suit, so I made my way into the bathroom where I gave myself a quick whore’s bath at the sink, and patted myself on the back for bringing dry shampoo. I have to admit, we cleaned up pretty well.

wedding in the woods

And the wedding was flawless. The ceremony was back on the property under the trees, and we got to watch two of the most genuine people I’ve ever met pledge their love to one another. Totally worth it.

From there, it was time for another party! I’m getting a little old for this whole two nights in a row business, but if the bride could get out on the dance floor and bust a move even in her cast, I had no excuses.

But the thing is, dancing is not one of my gifts. I’m not what you would consider graceful. I fall a lot. I trip over my own feet. I lack rhythm completely. But as we stood there watching a group of his friends go through what was essentially a choreographed dance they had perfected over all their years of partying together, I felt a little… inspired.

To be clear, we will never be the couple with the choreographed moves on the dance floor. Gil is actually a pretty good dancer but I’m more of what you’d call a flailer. I flail. Or shake my boobs. Those are my only moves. So I dragged him out on the dance floor and commenced the most graceful flail I could muster. We were both pretty into the song at that point, and since we have an ongoing competition in our relationship over who has the better hair (he’s been growing his out since I met him), we were both whipping our hair pretty aggressively.

But I’m 5’4″. He’s 6’3″. He’s also a long time heavy metal concertgoer. He’s used to mosh pits and has what I am now convinced is literally the thickest skull in the world. Because as I was coming up, he was coming down, and his forehead cracked down directly on the top of my head.

As it happened, one of Gil’s best friend’s is an EMT and his girlfriend is a nurse, so when the world was still spinning a few minutes later, I knew I had back up if I needed it. I didn’t, but I did wind up with a killer headache that had me turning in early, leaving Gil to party on into the night. Which is kind of shame, because it sounds like things really got going after that. At one point in the night, I could hear someone in the tent next to our truck having sex, which if I recall correctly, is essentially the whole point of a wedding when you’re single, so hooray for them!

When dawn broke, there were a few sheepish faces and a couple quick getaways, and I think we were all in desperate need of a shower and a nap. But at the end of the day, it was one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Only next time my request will include no wild boars AND no concussions.

So. Much. Rage.

I hate when people make me be mean. I would rather be nice. I have worked in sales and customer service for years… I know you catch more flies with honey, or whatever that ridiculous analogy is.

However, I have recently been exposed to the 7th circle of hell otherwise known as Mazda, and the experience has required me to go into full bitch mode more times than I care to count just to advocate for myself and prevent arrogant pricks from completely jerking me around. When a company so grossly mistreats a customer who has literally just spent $30,000+ and that customer is ME, I find myself getting very worked up over it.

So much so in fact, that I recently landed in the ER with unbearable abdominal pain, only to be told to that it was due partly to an ovarian cyst, and partly due to other stress-induced medical issues. Thanks Mazda, I’ll be sure to forward my ER bill to you.

I am hopefully coming to the end of my almost 2 month battle with Mazda at this point, and I think we are going to reach an outcome I’m comfortable with. If for no other reason, than that they have literally worn me out and I just want to be done. I can’t afford to spend hours of my life every week fighting these battles anymore – I already have a full-time job.

But now what I’m finding is that as a result of this nightmare with Mazda, along with all the personal health issues I’ve had going on lately, I am becoming more and more filled with rage.

This is a total 180 from the other night, when Mazda called to basically tell me to fuck off, that they weren’t going to try to work with me to replace my brand new car, and were now claiming zero responsibility for the issue. That was the night I had to have Gil drive me to one of my many doctor’s offices for a sleep study, so I could be observed like a zoo animal all night. As if I wasn’t stressed enough about that, getting the call from Mazda pushed me over the edge, and I literally sobbed the whole drive over there.

That was 2 days ago though. Today… today I am filled with violent anger.

Not only at Mazda, but at the ER who discharged me with papers telling me I had been diagnosed with hepatitis, when THEY HADN’T EVEN RUN A HEPATITIS PANEL. (For the record, I do not have hepatitis – my primary care doctor ordered the panel herself when I showed her that, and everything came back negative.)

Rage at the ultrasound tech who was checking for the pancreatic lesion the ER thought they saw, who thought it would be helpful to tell me that the pancreas is the one organ that once they do realize something is wrong with it, it’s already too advanced to do much about it. (I do not, in fact, have any pancreatic lesions.)

Rage towards one of the other doctors I saw who basically said, yeah, I don’t know what it could be, you’ll probably just have to learn to deal with the pain, and by the way, I know you didn’t ask me and I’m not your regular doctor, but I think you should really have weight loss surgery.

That day, tears. Today, in hindsight, rage. So much rage.

I suppose I’d rather be full of piss and vinegar than sorrow, but honestly I don’t think either one really suits me all that well. I find myself wanting to snap at everyone, when I know damn well that’s not fair. Although the reality is that life isn’t fair, as the universe has so kindly reminded me time and time again over the last couple months.

So I find myself at what I wonder may be a crossroads… I feel like it would be so easy to completely cross over into just becoming an angry person. Adopting that as part of my regular personality. Angry at the world, and angry at all the idiots who have done me wrong. I would be justified I think.

But I would also become someone I don’t think I would like very much. I love that I can get in peoples’ faces when I need to, that I don’t back down from a challenge, and that I always make sure my voice is heard, but I don’t want to become someone who is in that kind of battle mode all the time, looking for a fight.

I need to find a way to let this all go… and maybe just sharing it with you guys is what’s going to let me do that. Well, that and finally putting this mess with Mazda behind me, which is hopefully happening very soon.

This Is The Least Fun $30,000 I’ve Ever Spent

Guys. Seriously. February was the shittiest month for me. Other than the fact that my birthday was in there somewhere, it was SHITTY.

There are actually a lot of reasons why, but the one I want to share with you today is because I bought a car. A Mazda CX5 to be exact. Which, as it turns out, has been the worst decision I have ever made in my entire 32 years on this planet.


literally a stock photo because I haven’t had my car in my possession long enough to photograph it!

Let me take you on a little day by day diary, at least for the first week of this saga, and then I’ll recap the rest up through today.

January 31, 2016

I’m having a bad weekend and have some personal issues going on, and really need a pick me up. I’ve been planning on buying a Mazda CX5 for months now since I’ll need a 4 wheel drive vehicle when we move to Colorado. I’m going to buy it today!!!! That will be fun.

At this point, I do in fact, go to the dealership (Capitol Mazda, I’m looking at you) and purchase the car. They don’t have exactly the one I want, but a local dealership does and they can get it here by morning. They want me to sign paperwork tonight, which I do, with a caveat that I have 24 hours from receipt of vehicle to return it.

February 1, 2016

I’m so excited I get to pick up my brand new Mazda today!!! It’s everything I wanted and it’s beautiful. They call me in the afternoon to come pick it up. As I’m playing with my new $30,000 toy, they drop the bomb on me that there has been a recall on all CX5s and that I will not, in fact, be able to take it home today. (Now, the recall was announced in the morning, and they called me in the afternoon to pick it up, but I’m still so excited about the car I decide to let that slide.)

Bonus: They can install the roof rails I want while they keep it to work on the recall. They said it would just be a couple days.

February 2, 2016

I got a call from the sales guy at Mazda AND a text from the service department saying my car was done even sooner then they thought it would be. Yay! I head over in the afternoon to pick it up.

Me (to the service guy): Hi, I’m here to pick up my car.

Service guy: Oh, yeah, I’ve got that right here, the roof rails are all set.

Me: And the recall too right? They told me yesterday I couldn’t have it because of a recall.

Service guy: Oh I couldn’t find any recall attached to your car in the system so we didn’t do anything.

Me: <furrows brow> What? They literally told me yesterday, and you were right there. Can you please look into this further? If there is a recall out I don’t know if I even want to be driving it.

Service guy: Um, OK. I’ll have to look into it.

…… half hour later …….

Service guy: OK, so the recall was issued the morning of Feb 1, and you signed paperwork the evening of Jan 31, so technically your car isn’t prohibited from leaving the lot.

Me: OK… so I’m just supposed to take it with a recall?

Service guy: Well, yeah. You’d drive it for a few weeks until we figured out the fix and then bring it in to be worked on. But I’m not sure if you can really have it.

Me: You just said I could?

Service guy: Yeah, but since you never actually took possession of it, I don’t think we can let you have it. Even though you already bought it and it’s not technically in our inventory anymore.

Me: Sooooo… can I take it or not?

Service guy: I’m not sure, why don’t you just leave and get a rental car while we try to sort this out.

At this point, I go talk to the sales team to express my DEEP DISPLEASURE at how things are being handled. In the meantime, service guy tells me I better get going because the Enterprise Rental Car guy is waiting. Apparently, they won’t give me a Mazda loaner because now they’re telling me the recall could take WEEKS to get resolved and they don’t want their loaner cars out that long. Oh, yes, how terribly inconvenient for THEM.

I swiftly inform him I don’t work on Enterprise’s schedule and I’m not satisfied with the answers I’m being giving. A sales manager gets involved. They all want me to leave. They are afraid of loud, emotional women. (I can tell, they’re not the first.) They still can’t give me good answers, but agree to a free cargo cover for my trouble and usher me out since Enterprise is closing soon.

They tell me I have no right to be upset about the recall because it was out of their hands. Their brains cannot comprehend when I tell them that I am not in fact, upset about the recall. I’m upset about the lack of communication and the fact that I keep getting brought in here for no reason. That every time I call, one person says something totally different than the next. No one seems to be looking out for me, but rather pointing fingers at other departments.

They nod, not understanding, still convinced I’m unreasonably upset about the recall, and say they’ll call with updates. Also, apparently I am supposed to be falling over myself thanking them for paying for the rental? When they told me they were covering the cost of the rental, they looked like they had given me the best orgasm of my life, waiting expectantly for my gratitude. (Spoiler alert – they didn’t get it.)

I go to Enterprise, get the WORST customer service chick who can’t stop talking about her personal problems, and they give me sedan, because Mazda wouldn’t pay for a “comparable car” which would have been an SUV. I can have one for another $50 a day out of my own pocket though. Swell.

February 3, 2016

I’m at work telling my colleagues about all my car drama – they feel bad for me. As I’m sitting there, I realize my car payment is due soon, for the Hyundai Veloster I traded in. When I did the trade in, obviously they paid off that loan, so I log in to cancel my auto payment.

Except, it says I still owe the remaining balance. Slightly freaking out, I call TD Auto to explain the situation and figure out why it’s still showing I owe the money. The worst person in the world answers the phone.

Me: Hi there, I just traded in my car, and they are paying off the balance of my loan, but I still see it reflecting here in my account and telling me I have a payment due. I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on.

Worst person in the world: If it’s in your account, you owe.

Me: Oh, I understand that, but part of the trade-in was the payoff, and they said they work with you all the time. I’m just wondering if there is a delay before it shows up on my account or something.

Worst person in the world: Did they physically write a check and hand it to you?

Me: No, obviously not. They went through their system.

Worst person in the world: No one has just magically paid off your account. You owe whatever is on your account. This isn’t that hard a concept, is it?

Me: Excuse me? I’m just trying to understand the moving parts so I don’t get dinged for a late payment that I’m not even responsible for.

Worst person in the world: That’s not my problem.

Me: Oh, OK, thanks. Go fuck yourself.

So I call the Mazda finance guy in a panic. He tells me to chill out, that it takes 10 days to process and it will be fine. That TD Auto knows that, so should have told me the same thing as well. He asks how my car is, so I fill him in on my frustration. He says he’ll talk to some people to see about getting more information and moving things along.

February 4

Finance guy calls me. Tells me they are getting the parts for the recall tomorrow and my car is at the top of the list. Even offers to install the parking sensors I was interested in free of charge instead of the cargo cover. Great! I tell him I’d rather wait until both the recall and the sensors are done to pick up my car. I’ve seen enough of that dealership at this point. He tells me no problem, he will have someone install them on Friday so it will all be done for me to pick up Friday or Saturday. Fantastic, things are finally coming together!

February 5

Service department calls to tell me the part for the recall is in and they are working on my car. I ask if the sensors are already done. Response? “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Fuming, I call sales and finance to get a better answer, as these were promised to me. Sales guy says he has to check with the manager and will get back to me. Sales guy calls me back and says “No one said they’d be done Friday. That’s not how it works. You’ll have to pick your car up and then make another appointment to have that done if you want it.”

If I didn’t like my stuff so much, this is the point in which I would have hurled something across the room. Instead I calmly informed him that, no, I would not be doing that. I was lied to, and I’m tired of the piss poor communication. You can tell your manager that this is what is going to happen. I’m going to come in to pick up my car tonight, I don’t even want the sensors anymore, and instead, I will just not be paying the invoice for the roof rails that were installed since they are comparable in price. I do not ever want to have to come back to this dealership.

I pick up my car, and the General Manager catches wind of the whole thing. He apologizes profusely, gives me his card and says if I ever decide I do want the sensors, he will take care of it personally.

February 6 & 7, 2016

I finally have my car! We take it on a day trip to Monterey with my parents and I love how it drives, love the interior, and am overall just so happy to finally have it. But then the voice command doesn’t work. And the navigation won’t load. And the whole goddamn system crashes 3 times on the way home from Monterey.

And the rest….

So I took it in to have them fix the infotainment system. I wrote a very lengthy email to the general manager to share with the service department so they could see exactly what issues I had been having.

They replace the “module” that runs the whole thing, and tell me it’s fixed. In the service report, which I read later, it says that they road tested to make sure it didn’t “crash and reboot, as this was the customer’s main concern.” Well, actually it was ONE of my concerns but OK. I got my car back around mid-month.

Then literally just a couple days later on February 19, I realized NO, they did not in fact fix the issue with the infotainment system, and and the navigation in particular. If possible, it’s worse than before. Although to their credit, it didn’t crash again. Maybe I’m being too picky? Those thousands of extra dollars for the tech package and I expect it to recognize where I am? Actually give any sort of directions? Not reroute every 5 minutes because it thinks I’m flying over buildings? So I send another email, this time with 4 different videos as proof of how defective this thing is. This is also where I realize they probably never even road tested the navigation itself, or they would have seen all these issues.

Sooooo, they picked it up again to work on it. That was over a week and a half ago. Since then, I’ve made my first car payment on a car I’ve had for about 4 days total, which didn’t work, and has been eating up hours of my life in phone calls and follow ups every week.

I’ve been told by service multiple different things: they found an error code, they didn’t, the car is fine, etc. They finally told me if I wanted to try to escalate I should call corporate myself, which I did. I talk to them every day now. They told me one story, about another module being replaced, and Mazda engineers coming down to help the dealership, etc. But I literally JUST NOW on March 3, 2016 called the service department myself, and this is what they said:

“Yeah, we have your car. We’ve put like 50 miles on it and tested the navigation. There are no problems with it. So we haven’t done anything to it. It’s just been sitting here since last Monday. We are waiting to hear from Mazda tech/engineers to tell us what to do but I have no idea when we’ll hear back from them or how long that could take.”

Me: I’m going to throttle you. (No I didn’t actually say that, but I’m sure that’s basically what he heard). Is there no way to escalate this further? How is Mazda Corporate just sitting on their hands while I make my first car payment on a car I don’t have? You guys literally haven’t touched it to work on it?

Him: No, there’s nothing we can do. And nothing you can do to expedite it. I don’t know what to tell you, I guess you’re out of luck.

And then my head exploded into a million pieces.

I would tell you more, but this is already the longest thing in the world. If you’re tired from reading it, you will have a glimpse into how exhausting my February has been. I will probably have to start exploring legal options to return the car at this point but that’s a story for another day.