I Can’t Be An Accessory To Chicken Murder

So a couple months ago, we got chickens. Our friends really wanted chickens but didn’t have space at their place, and Gil had been saying he wanted them since we bought the house, so when spring rolled around we headed over to our local feed store (guys, I live somewhere with a local feed store – wrap your head around that for a minute) and picked up 4 hens so we could share all the eggs amongst the four of us.

They were 12 weeks old when we got them (so, like preteens in chicken years?) and the nice people at the feed store told us they’d start laying at around 6 months old. They also told us they were all lady chickens, because we did ask. Why? Because I DEFINITELY DID NOT WANT A ROOSTER.

I initially vetoed the idea of chickens because I thought you had to have a rooster to get eggs. I must have slept through biology in school because when I said that to Gil he just shook his head at me. Apparently you don’t need a rooster in order for chickens to lay eggs because OBVIOUSLY they come with eggs, just like humans, and you only need rooster sperm if you want little baby chickens in your eggs instead of just delicious breakfast ingredients.  Also, I might still need a biology refresher because I just realized I said “they come with eggs” and don’t actually understand how any of it really works.

Anyway, we brought our 4 hens home and everything was going great. We named them Dolly, Shania, Loretta and Reba. Unbeknownst to us however, our redhead Reba turned out to be a total cock. (OK, that was really bad, but there was no way I could get through this whole thing without a terrible cock joke, and I just had to get it out of my system. First and last one, I promise.)

Seriously though, one of our hens is apparently a rooster. How do I know? Well, it crows and it has sex with our other hens and doesn’t lay eggs. So either it’s a rooster, or a barren and very vocal lesbian hen. Either way, all that noise isn’t really working for me. Especially since it apparently didn’t get the memo that THE SUN ISN’T EVEN OUT AT 4 AM, SHUT UP YOU STUPID BIRD.

So once we figured this out, my first thought was “We have to kill it.” My second thought was “Whoa Courtney, the country has hardened you.”

This was all about a month ago, so since then we’ve been waffling over killing it. My boss grew up on a farm in upstate New York so he had an endless amount of tips for the proper way to kill and prepare it so we could eat the freshest chicken in the world. Turns out, that is A LOT of work. Like, you have to pluck all the feathers and cut all the nasty parts out and it really just sounded like “and then Gil has to wahwahwahwah, and then Gil will need to wahwahwahwah but Gil will also have to be careful to wahwahwahwah.” Because I’m really more of a supervisor when it comes to this kind of stuff  – I’m not trying to get chicken guts on my new summer maxi dresses.

So the other day we decided to see if we could even catch it. We had put it in a different part of the yard because it would not stop mounting the other chickens and it was getting aggressive. Gil and I tag teamed it and chased it around the yard until we could corner it. It took a couple tries because that thing is FAST but we finally caught it with the help of a trusty bucket.

Gil pulled out his knife and looks at me and is like, “Well? You ready?”

No. I was not ready. I was not ready to be an accessory to chicken murder. Especially because Gil wasn’t sure he wanted to do all the work required to actually be able to eat it. Beheading it and burying it in the yard just felt very backwoods mobster to me.

So we let it go and put an ad on Craigslist, as one does. We live in the country so it didn’t take long for someone to hit us up and arrange a time to take it off our hands. We both felt relieved, and were looking forward to the weekend so we could close the chapter on the big red cock that had been causing so many problems. (OK, I lied that I was only going to make one cock joke, but you knew that, right?)

So on Sunday,  we were heading to the airport to pick up friends and decided to drop the rooster off with its new family on our way. We just had to catch it and get it in a box for transport. No problem, right?

Wrong. So wrong. We should never have practice caught it before. Because as soon as it saw both of us it took off in a dead sprint. Gil and I are a lot of things, but “speedy” is really not one of them. So there we are, chasing this thing around the yard, each of us grabbing at it as it zooms past us and just laughing hysterically. I’m in a crouch, basically the same way I used to play 3rd base, trying to shuffle around and block it as it shoots past. We finally cornered it on a woodpile and Gil got a bucket over it, but then we had to figure out how to get it in the box for transport.

Guys, I am a badass country girl now because I just told Gil to hold the bucket up a bit while I reached in and grabbed this big ol panicked rooster to safely transport him to his little traveling container. BOOM. Rooster apprehended.

Your next question is probably why is that box INSIDE YOUR HOUSE? That’s a good question, you should ask Gil. We were running late to get the airport and were trying to get out the door and for some reason he decided to come through the house instead of around it and dropped the rooster IN OUR BEDROOM while he changed.

When the box started rocking, I turned around and told him if that rooster got loose in our bedroom he was going to have a whole new problem to deal with. Although, if it DID, I’d have way more material to share with you guys, so, silver lining?

Spoiler: it didn’t. So Gil still gets to sleep in the house instead of the barn.

We Are Officially “Those” Neighbors

So, it turns out when you buy a property on 7 acres, it requires a lot of upkeep. I know, when I read that back to myself it seems insane that one wouldn’t fully realize that, but what I can say? I’m a city girl in the country, figuring it out as I go.

When Gil and I bought the house last year, we had a deal. He would take care of the land, the barn, fixing things in the house, helping me hang everything I bought, doing small renovation projects, and I would…. wait, what exactly WAS my side of the deal? Oh, right, he was going back to school full time and working at a local high school (more for the experience than the pay) so I agreed to take care of everything on the financial side for the house, because I could. That way he could focus on school, his job, and the 4 mile long list of things I wanted him to do around the property.

So, it’s been going really well so far. He’s done a ton of work in the house and I’ve been decorating up a storm, so things have been slowly starting to come together. Our well broke at one point (yep, we live on a well in California – seemed totally reasonable to buy a property on a well in the middle of the craziest drought in history) and since neither of us have any idea how wells really work, we called in a professional. $1,200 later, and it was good as new. But other than that, the property itself hasn’t given us much trouble.

Until a few months ago. See, California got rain this past year. Lots of rain. More rain than we’ve seen in years and years and years. Record breaking rain. Which was amazing because we’ve been in a drought for so many years that we had forgotten what rivers and lakes were supposed to look like. And I was thrilled, because the ground water was great for folks living on wells like we do.

HOWEVER. I did not consider that it also meant that the grass (weeds?) on the property would start growing at record speeds. Across 7 acres. And that no one was coming to take care of it for us.

So I started nagging Gil to figure out what we were going to do about it. What kind of mower did we need to handle it? Could we get a push mower? Or a riding one I could tool around on like something out of a movie? How much would it cost? Not more than a couple thousand dollars, right?

I mean, how cute. I thought we could just get a riding mower for 7 acres of 5 foot tall grass. Turns out that belief is not based in reality. And the heavy duty tractors cost upward of $10,000 which we couldn’t afford in that moment. We didn’t really know what to do. So we did what any responsible adult couple would do: we ignored it.

Well, not entirely. We bought a weed whacker. A WEED WHACKER. Which I’m pretty sure is meant for someone’s front lawn in a suburban neighborhood, not 7 acres in the middle of the country. But to his credit, Gil was out there sweating his balls off, hacking his way through our property. But at the rate he was able to go because he’s a human man, it would take about 10 years to get through the whole property.

Sidenote: I really wish I had a picture of Gil weed-whacking on 7 acres to show you, but I know when not to push my luck.

So anyway, a week or two later when I was out of town for work, I got a call from Gil. Our next door neighbor had stopped by. He must have seen Gil out there with his weed whacker and just laughed at the poor naive city folk infiltrating his neighborhood. He knocked on our door and asked Gil what was up with our grass, and if we had plans to cut it. Cue TOTAL MORTIFICATION.

We had become THOSE neighbors. The ones making the rest of the neighborhood look bad. Those entitled city people who decided to buy a farm without knowing anything about actual country living. People tease me that I am a living embodiment of Green Acres, and I’ve never felt like it was more accurate than when Gil called to tell me that.

green acres

In fairness to our neighbor though, he wasn’t coming around to criticize – I think he truly just felt sorry for us. Plus, it would have turned into a fire hazard once the rain let up, and they do live next door to us, so it’s just good sense. But when Gil called to tell me I wanted to die of embarrassment.

Our neighbor was really just offering to help us poor city schmucks out by bringing over his tractor to clear the brush for us. Which he did, because he’s a wonderful guy, and we offered to pay him whatever he thought was fair because we’re city people who have no idea what it should cost to have someone mow 7 acres with a tractor.

So now, I just keep thinking about what’s going to happen this fall and winter, because we will be right back where we were. Luckily, we have a plan. A super practical plan. That nothing could possibly go wrong with. We’re going to get a bunch of goats and let them roam the whole property and eat all the grass.

But as it turns out, you need something called a “goat rated” fence to keep those fuckers where they’re supposed to be. And I don’t know much, but I have a feeling that fencing 7 acres with heavy duty fencing is going to make quite a dent in my Amazon Prime and Homegoods spending money.

So we’ll start pricing fences, and when I regain consciousness after fainting from the sticker shock, we’ll start to really plan out our timeline. Until the next project that requires our immediate attention pops up. Because, you guys, apparently living on 7 acres IS A LOT OF WORK.

Gil & Courtney Go Country

I’ve been MIA for months, and it’s really made me feel bad, but to be fair, I’ve been a little overwhelmed.

I sold my condo, and Gil and I bought a new house on 7 acres that needs some work, and uprooted our lives in the city to move 3 hours south and become country people. Which, honestly, I thought just meant being able to not wear pants with the drapes open since there are no neighbors close by, and having sex really loud with the windows open. Gil has informed me that sound carries out here since there are no buildings to absorb it and since it’s pitch black out here, a neighbor could easily see in at night when our lights are on.

Fine. Country: 1, Courtney: 0

Although our neighbors across the road (it’s not even a STREET out here guys – we live along a mile long dirt road we share with a handful of other houses) have a for sale sign up and are planning to move, so if they happen to see my butt through the bathroom window while I’m getting ready for bed, I think I can live with that. And the sound traveling thing? I am currently choosing to believe that is false, and proceeding with zero caution.

dirt-road

There are other things I don’t think I was prepared for out here as well. I envisioned basically having a very glamourous farm property like Chip and Joanna Gaines on Fixer Upper, and that I’d magically develop the design chops to make the inside of this place look like one of the “after” houses on their show within the first month or so. Turns out, shit is EXPENSIVE when you’re trying to furnish a whole 2100 square foot house and make improvements because the previous owners did a lot of weird, questionable stuff. So you’re damn well going to keep the high quality pieces you already have, and then work around those. We’re making progress, but like everything we’ve encountered so far, it’s more work than I thought it would be.

Plus, it’s like this twisted catch-22 with everything. There are cracked tiles in the master bath and the tub leaks. Well, they only way to access the tub for repairs is to rip up all the tiles. (Nice work, whoever installed that). So we could do that… but then I’m paying to have tiles I don’t even LIKE repaired, to fix a tub I want to replace eventually. So maybe we should replace the whole tub then. And maybe just rip out ALL the tiles and replace them with ones I like. At that point, why not just renovate the whole bathroom? Then it starts to sound like a huge, expensive project, and I decide maybe we should wait. Now I finally understand why my mom hasn’t changed out the flooring in her kitchen in the last 20 years. She’d basically have to renovate the whole first floor.

It’s this same logic that is the reason we don’t have door handles on some of the rooms. They were so old and defective they would lock and stick, and then I’d start screaming from my office because I couldn’t get out, and claustrophobia aside, it was inevitably when I was trying to get out to the hall bathroom to pee, so things got a little dicey. Panic and a full bladder do not go well together. Finally Gil just took the handles off.

So, a normal person would just replace the handles. No. I hate the doors. I don’t want to spend money on something I hate. We’ll just get new doors. But that means picking doors I like that don’t cost a million dollars and that Gil doesn’t hate. And then priming and painting those. And picking out all new hardware. And sanding and painting all the door frames. There are like a million doors in this house. We’re both working a ton of hours right now, so instead of all that, we choose to live our lives without door handles at the moment so at least I can pee without having to break through a window or ruin the carpet in my office.

And then there are the little things that I didn’t think about. I can’t flush tampons out here. I know, you’re not really supposed to flush them anyway, but I definitely do that sometimes. No wet wipes for my tushie anymore either (and I ALWAYS flushed those)! Which if we’re being honest, those are pretty clutch after sex, so I’m bummed about it. BUMMED…. get it?

In the past, if there was a plumbing problem, one quick call to the landlord or home warranty company, and they’d come clear the pipes (although I never really had that issue with any of our toilets in recent memory). But NOW…. now if I accidentally flush anything other than the bare minimum, I risk DESTROYING our septic system and triggering a poopacolypse. Because we have our own septic system now. I mean, I knew that when we bought the place, but now I’m realizing I never really thought through what that actually MEANT. I basically live on top of an underground poop farm. Or lake of poop? I admit, I have no idea how a septic system works, but that’s how I envision it and now apparently if I anger the septic gods, there could be a poop eruption on our property. Gross.

So OK, no flushing things. But now I have to research things like whether I can use bubble bath. I can live with throwing my tampons in the trash. But I don’t think I can live without bubble bath. Also, by “research,” I clearly mean that I will tell Gil I’m going to to it, and he’ll research it to tell me if it will destroy our house or not.

Spoiler alert – it’s been a stressful couple months and I AM going to go buy bubble bath today because bubble baths can solve almost any problem and we have a second bathroom with a non-leaking tub I can use. I’ll report back on how that goes.

bubble-bath

But honestly, even with all the adjustments and new challenges we are encountering along the way, I wouldn’t trade this house or experience for anything. We finally have a home where we both have seperate space to do our own thing (even if those spaces are works in progress) and we are basically alone out here, which was the goal. When I stand on our deck at night, I can see more stars than I realized there even were in the sky, because there isn’t light pollution out here. The only sound I hear is the whinny of a horse or two on one of our neighboring properties. No traffic, no sirens, no screaming babies. Just quiet.

AND I’ve gotten to see deer up close and personal – which for a city girl, feels weirdly magical, like something out of a Hallmark Christmas movie.

It really is everything we wanted for ourselves at this point in our lives. There is always work to be done, but when I look out our kitchen window to the views and realize that this really is all ours, I have zero regrets.

kitchen-view

 

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:

court

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.

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.

Mazda

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.