"What's wrong with my truck?" I ask, more out of habit than actual disagreement.
"What isn't wrong with your truck?" she retorts.
"The fuel injectors, the cab mounts, the bolt that holds the steering column on, the tires...oh, and it just had an oil change." I helpfully list the most recent repairs.
Sarah rolled her eyes.
"Face it, Karen. Sooner or later you are going to be stranded somewhere with a trailer full of horses. What are you going to do then?"
"Been there, done that." True enough. "It wasn't so bad. You meet the nicest people on the side of Interstate 75. And lately, my truck has been very considerate. When it dies, it dies in my driveway. That's why I park it over there, easy access for the tow truck driver." I'm on a first name basis with AAA.
"I thought you were going to go look at trucks last week with Betty?" Most of my friends agree with my sister regarding the reliability of my vehicle. Two of my friends even volunteered to go truck shopping with me. I was the one traveling under duress.
"We did. Do you know how much a 'new' used truck costs? 50k! That's outrageous! i can't afford that. You know how many lessons that is?" I tried to do the math and gave up. "A lot of lessons!"
"You can finance it," Sarah explained. "You have decent credit."
"Yeah, right. The payment on that is over $600 a month. Not in my budget."
"You have a budget?" Sarah asked optimistically.
"Metaphorically speaking.... I have a checking account that is gasping for air. No, I'm stuck with my truck . Anyway, it's not so bad. It makes me happy."
Sarah looked skeptical. "How?"
"I no longer assume it's going to start when I get in. When it does, I'm ecstatic. It puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day."
"That's your secret to happiness? Assume the worst?" Sarah looked dumbfounded.
"Yup. Lower your expectations and you'll thank me for it. See, that was my problem," I explained. " I expected things to go right, and was upset when they didn't. Now, I expect everything to go wrong. When it doesn't, instant joy. Voila, life is good!"
Sarah shook her head. "Are you serious?"
I smiled broadly and laughed. "Maybe. Come on, we have to go." I looked at my truck, then walked over to her car. "Just in case, you drive."