Three Years

Last night, Evil Ex-Roommate (who is not actually evil, nor was he ever, although he and I did have our problems but they are in the past. I continue to call him this for tradition's sake. Just in case he's reading this) and I celebrated the third anniversary of our arrival in Los Angeles. On my way to meet him at the restaurant, I walked past a guy in his car who asked me if I was cold in the light jacket I was wearing. I may have been here for three years, but I'm still not as wimpy as the real Angelinos when it comes to temperature. So there's that, at least.

We went out to a restaurant and ordered a bottle of wine. We toasted to three years out here and reflected on what those three years have brought us. Currently they are: he is gainfully employed but has a lot of debt to worry about, and I am unemployed. His car is in the shop after someone tried to pry his sunroof open with a crowbar the other night and caused $1200 worth of damage. My car is no longer in the shop, but it looks like getting paid back by the tow company who broke my car won't be as easy as I thought it would be. I went to the tow place yesterday with photos of the damage and my receipt from my garage detailing what had been fixed and how much it all cost, and they tried to tell me that there was no possible way their trucks could have damaged my tie rods and that they didn't think the place had even replaced them in the first place. They shined flashlights under my car and pointed out the tie rod and said it looked like they had merely cleaned it to make it look new. Also, they said the 4-wheel alignment I had been charged for was unnecessary since my car is 2-wheel drive. The tow garage guy got very serious with me and said that he has heard of dishonest car repair places that like to take advantage of female customers, and he was afraid that was what had happened here. He also called me "an intelligent girl," and while he's totally right about the intelligent part, I am not actually a girl. I am a woman. My garage does not call me a "girl." If I had to choose between which two places were trying to rip me off, I'd go with the garage that has proven itself to be honest and trustworthy in the past and seems to look at me as an adult, rather than the tow place that has every reason to deny they damaged my car and thinks I'm some little girl who can be taken advantage of. I just told him that I didn't know anything about cars or tie rods. All I know is that before my car was towed, it worked. After it was towed, it did not. Then I took it to the garage, and they fixed it and I could drive it again. These things lead me to believe that the tow damaged my car and the garage fixed the damage. Appealing to my intelligence will get you nowhere when you follow that up by calling me "girl," thereby signifying that you don't take me very seriously.

Anyway. We toasted to that and then sunk into a depression, because we both thought that after three years, our lives would be somewhere else. And then we realized that they at least were somewhere, and finished off the bottle of wine with a toast to our six year anniversary and to coming into it with gainful employment and cars that worked. As long as you have more than you did before, you've done something. Three years ago, I came here with no home, no furniture, no job, very little savings, and no idea what the future held. Now I have an apartment, furniture, enough savings that my unemployment status is of no huge concern to me right now, and some freelance gigs to supplement my non-income. I still have no idea what the future holds, but that's no longer a terrifying prospect. It's kind of fun.

And if anyone knows what I'm supposed to do if the tow company denies any responsibility for my damaged car and my insurance company decides not to do anything about it since the damage was below my deductible and therefore they didn't have to pay anything out of their pockets, please tell me. I thought I paid my insurance company all that money so that they would handle this for me, but now they're saying that if the tow company says they didn't damage my car, then they can't do anything further. I have no experience in these matters, since, while I've paid out the ass for car insurance, I've never ever filed a claim in my history of driving, nor has anyone filed one against me. Right now it looks like I've given my insurance company thousands and thousands of dollars over the years, only to have them refuse to do anything for me and my claim of four hundred dollars.

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