Jellie Bean: A Eulogy For My Car

I loved Jellie Bean for a grand total of five weeks. We had a brief courtship. I met her online in the very beginning of January 2011, and it was love at first sight.

Sort of.

Welcome home, Jellie Bean

Welcome home, Jellie Bean

Dawn, my ’98 Pontiac Sunfire, died suddenly on New Year’s Day, after our 5-year relationship, and I was in need of a new car. Jellie Bean was cute and sweet, though hard to compare to Dawn, the car that was named based on the frequency with which she saw the first light of the morning while on her way home from the bar (or a cute boy’s house).

Jellie Bean was a fresh start. An adult car. She wasn’t sexy or a bold hue of teal; she was reliable and an unobtrusive shade of Pacific blue.  She wasn’t going to draw the unwanted attention of police officers looking to ticket a little speed racer. Because I wasn’t a speed racer anymore. She wasn’t going to get into accidents. Only two years old, with 30,000 miles on her, she was the newest car I had ever owned. I loved her.

I test drove Jellie Bean and purchased her on January 3, 2011, wiping a tear away as I said goodbye to Dawn in the Toyota parking lot for the last time. And Jellie Bean and I began our life together.

This is what it looks like to say goodbye to your beloved car from the driver's seat of your new car.

This is what it looks like to say goodbye to your beloved car from the driver’s seat of your new car.

We started out hot and heavy, driving to work, shopping, meeting boys for dates, heading to the bars. We did everything together. And then, it snowed. Poor Jellie Bean was covered from head to toe in white powdery shit after Snowmageddon 2011. For two days, she was abandoned under several feet of snow. I believe it was at this point she decided to ruin everything. Yes, I’m going to go ahead and blame my vengeful car, and not my poor driving skills, for the bad luck that came with owning Jellie Bean.

Those little strips of Pacific blue? That's Jellie Bean.

Those little strips of Pacific blue? That’s Jellie Bean.

Her first accident was a few days after I rescued her from the snow. I was heading from work to a date around sundown. Driving west on a street with a 40 mph speed limit with the sun in your eyes, snow-covered roads and mountainous piles of snow doesn’t exactly make for the best driving conditions, and I was far from speeding. But the guy in front of me? Came to a HARD STOP slightly over a hill to make a right turn. Jellie Bean didn’t stand a chance.

After a few weeks courting a rental car, Jellie Bean was returned to me, good as new. We had a beautiful couple of months together as we got to know Brian, tried on a couple of jobs, and traveled the suburbs together.

As fall set in, and deer season rapidly approached, I never once considered my daily commute passing a deer-heavy forest. At least not until one came at me like a race horse. Poor Jellie Bean took the brunt of that mishap, as well. I had never regretted a purchase so much in my life as I did with Bad Luck Jellie Bean. She was out of control.

I took that opportunity to become intimately acquainted with Brian’s car, which he so graciously offered up to me.

And so it was that Jellie Bean, upon return to me, and never as good as new after the deer kicked her ass (when I opted for the insurance-recommended body shop instead of a quality place), became our secondary car. When we moved in together, I would drive Brian’s car as often as possible for fear of more unnecessary bad luck.

But nothing lasts forever. Due to a few unfortunate circumstances (namely some douchebag with bad car insurance rear ending him), Brian’s car became less available to us. Since moving into our new house, Jellie Bean has been our primary car.

Well.

Was.

When your car is parked in an unmarked flood zone, you may come home to this unfortunate sight.A few weeks ago, Chicago had a bit of a rain shit show. You may have seen pictures of my car. Poor Jellie Bean was drowned in a rain-sewer-made lake on June 15, 2015.

I cried a little for her then. And I’ve cried several times about it. Because I’m an emotional wreck most of the time. And while she was full of bad luck, I had just paid her off in February. We had years left before she was supposed to leave me. I was also really fucking pissed. I was pissed at the village I live it. I was pissed at the rain. I was even pissed at that stupid fucking car for letting it happen.

I was especially pissed at whoever thought to wrap caution tape around my driver’s side mirror, because couldn’t someone come in and tow all that shit before the water rose to the point of destroying my fucking car?

What a car looks like the morning after a flood

What a car looks like the morning after a flood. I swear the sun was laughing at me. And that caution tape? Was definitely there before the water receded. Someone could have saved Jellie Bean.

I said goodbye to Jellie Bean a few days after they declared her a total loss. My lovely little Yaris. I had to wear a mask and gloves just to open the door because she was so toxic and poisoned inside. I cried again, hoping it was for the last time, but her I am now, with tears on my keyboard, pining for a car I must have loved the whole time, regardless of how unlucky she was. She was mine. And she was paid for. A year early.

It's always hard to say goodbye to a car, but it's even harder when that car was flooded suddenly.

It felt fitting that I said goodbye in that same Toyota lot I met her in. And strangely coincidental that a few weeks after meeting Jellie Bean, she was covered in several feet of snow and a few weeks before our final goodbye, she was covered in several feet of water.

Goodbye Ms. Jellie Bean. You will be missed. You were loved. And I hope it was one hell of a ride while it lasted.

After my car flooded during torrential rain storms, I said goodbye to her...and started dreaming of a pink carDo you name your cars? How do you feel when you have to say goodbye to a car? Have you ever experienced horrific flooding?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Peace Out, My Bitches…This Girl’s Headed South for the Next Polar Vortex.

I hear there’s another Polar Vortex thing happenng in the Chi. Fuck that.

I’m on vacation until further notice. Or this weekend. One of those.

Quirky Chrissy at the beach

On Saturday, Brian and I jetted out of town to Marco Island to visit his dad and my dolphin brethren. (BTW, I’m totally writing this shit ON the plane. $8 to write you a blog post and play Simpson’s Tapped Out for the last time until next weekend seemed worth it.)

After waiting in an hour long TSA line, we made our way to the gate JUST in time to send a few instagram pictures for your viewing pleasure and slam and airport breakfast sandwich.

So, in the long wait in line, I found myself encouraging other people who were running SERIOUSLY late for their flight to cut their way to the front. This sweet elderly couple was the only pair that took me up on it, and I was glad for them, because it looked like they were barely going to make their flight.The best part was when the woman looked at me and said, “Well, if anyone gives me trouble, I’ll just pull the old lady card.”

I fucking love old people. I can’t wait to use the old lady card! I’m going to be so inappropriate.

Anyways, it reminded me of the mad dash I had on my way to NOLA in 2010 when the Drug Addict, who was driving my friend, brother and I to the airport made us ridiculously late for our flight. We literally had to do the Home Alone run through the airport, begging for passage through the long-ass TSA line. My friend wanted to kill me, and I wanted to kill the Drug Addict.

This time, the Chicago weather was to blame. Apparently flights were cancelled on Friday night, so everyone was trying to get through security at the same time. Total clusterfuck.

Marco Island Florida

Well, Blog Friends, have a wonderful week! I’ll try to check up on comments and make a video blog post to say hello from Florida.  I’m taking requests. What do you want to see in Southwest Florida?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Welcome to the Tundra…AKA Balls, It’s Cold Out There

It’s cold as fuck outside right now, Blog Friends…if you’re anywhere in the United States (except for you warm assholes on the west coast and parts of Florida and Texas-and I mean that with love. And jealousy. Mass amounts of jealousy.) or Canada.

 

In fact, the Midwest is pretty much as cold as an icy tundra way the fuck up north.

Hey Santa, I think you forgot your subzero temperatures when you dropped off our Christmas stockings last month…

These are the HIGHS for today...BEFORE the windchill, which is supposed to bring everything down into the super negative.  Source: The Weather Channel

These are the HIGHS for today…BEFORE the windchill, which is supposed to bring everything down into the super negative.
Source: The Weather Channel

Luckily for me, I have a boss who took my threats seriously (Dear boss, either we get to work from home on Monday or I’m calling in sick.) Looks like I’m working from home this morning.

I’m also lucky that I have hilarious friends. One of my very dear friends, who spends much of her snowbird winter on tropical vacations, is in the Chi for this bitterly cold front…She shared the following on Facebook:

Welcome to Chi-Beria

During this arctic tundra weather, I’m reminded of SnO-M-G, when we had the horrendous blizzard of all blizzards and then the temperatures dropped. And I did something really really stupid.

Snow Beach

After the last Snomageddon in January 2011, I made myself a snow beach in subzero weather in order to win a trip to Mexico. I didn’t win. But this picture will live on forever.

Aw hell, I’ll even throw in the ridiculous video of me thinking warm thoughts all the way to my snow throne.

I will not be leaving the warmth of my apartment today for ANY reason.

The positive of this whole, it’s-fucking-freezing-Mr.-Bigglesworth weather? We bought our ticket out of here for the end of the month. These baby snowbirds (snowchicks?) in training are headed to sunny Marco Island for a week of 70-80 degree bliss.

What are your arctic tundra meets ‘Merica plans? If you’re one of the jerks enjoying the heat of anything above freezing, don’t even bother rubbing it in. We’ll hunt you down.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

BlogHer Conference What to Pack for Chicago Weather

So you’re coming to BlogHer in Chicago, eh?

I’ve already given you some of my Chicago insider tips.

And I told you all about some of my favorite Chicago snack spots.

As a Chicago (suburban) native, I thought it would only be kind to prepare you (and offer you a packing list) for the crazy Chicago weather.

We’ve got a saying around here, “If you don’t like the weather in Chicago, wait 5 minutes.”

And it runs ridiculously true to form.

The Crazy Seasons in ChicagoThis is from a Caribou Coffee in The Loop. Caribou is gone now, but Peet’s has replaced it. So you have option other than Starbucks.

The weather has been nuts (more so than usual) around here. Just last week it was 60 degrees with torrential rainstorms, this week it’s 90 degrees with humidity through the roof. I’ve seen the temperature drop 20 degrees over the course of the afternoon and spike by early evening. So you’ve got to buck up like a motherfuckin’ boy scout and be prepared around here.

Here’s some of what I’ll be packing for my 3 night stay in the city (a mere 30 minute drive from my home front). I highly recommend you consider the same.

Partial Packing List for BlogHer Chicago

  • Umbrella (one of those GIGANTIC umbrellas that doesn’t get turned inside out because it’s got a wind tunnel and all sorts of bells and whistles. They don’t call it the Windy City for nothing, guys.)
  • A second umbrella–one that packs easily into my purse, in case it starts raining while I’m out. Or the first one manages to break. That happens. A lot.
  • Weather Protective Bag for my laptop.
  • Good walking shoes that dry out easily. (Did I mention torrential rain storms?) Thank you Merrell and Skechers for being awesome shoes.
  • Zip hoodies. In case it gets cold. Because it might. Actually, bring a coat if it’s between October and April. Especially if you don’t do cold.
  • Dresses. Skirts. I like dresses because I hate pants. Don’t expect to see me in any pants that don’t start with “yo” and end with “ga.”
  • Yoga pants. Yoga shorts. Yoga crops. This is how I get away with wearing stretch pants without sounding frumpy. Yoga is trendy. Right? Also I wear yoga shorts under my skirts and dresses. So that my skirt doesn’t fly up in the wind and show you my lady parts (SERIOUSLY. They don’t call it the windy city for nothing, people). Because I am brilliant. And then my legs don’t chafe. Because I am brilliant.
  •  Short-sleeve and long-sleeve tee-shirts. Tank tops. Because you genuinely never know when it’s going to be hot or cold around here.
  • A cardigan or 3, in case it gets cold. Because it will. (If you’re from one of those warmer states or countries, you may want to bring your coat. Because it might get to like 30 degrees one night. You never know.)
  • Clean underwear. That shit’s important.
  • Deodorant. Because that’s even more important.

Next week, I’ll be bringing you some pointers on interacting with the natives. AKA How to Not Make the Commuters Hate You.

Anything you think I’ve forgotten, Chicago lovelies?

BlogHer attendees, when are you getting into The Chi?! Want to meet up?! Let me know!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!