The Truck

When I married him at just barely eighteen, we were just starting out and really didn’t have anything. What we needed most was a dependable vehicle. I brought a 1980 Ford Mustang into the marriage. It had cute black painted racing stripes and a not so powerful four cylinder engine.  It constantly broke down. ( Looking back, it ran fine until he started messing with it and saying what a piece of crap it was.) To be able to get to work, the store, anywhere we needed to go, we decided something new would be the most reliable. My father said he would give us money for a down payment if we found something affordable.  At the local auto dealership my husband picked out a small basic pick-up with a bench seat and am radio.  It had a manual transmission with a very tall stick shift coming up from the floor. Of course, it didn’t matter that I didn’t know how to drive using a clutch. As we sat with the slick-haired, fast-talking salesman, I just didn’t have a good feeling.  I was quickly learning how impulsive my husband was and car salesman are so high pressure.  This guy was no different.  He easily convinced my husband he needed this truck. I didn’t know a thing about loans and had no idea what interest was.  I was just learning to write a check and have a bank account.  I called my dad and after he spoke to the salesman, he said it was a very bad loan and he advised me to wait and keep looking.  He told me it would be a very poor financial decision and he couldn’t in good conscience be a part of it. He would not send any money for a down payment unless we waited. My husband was furious.  He cursed my dad and told  me he was buying this truck right now, with or without me. His exact words to me were “You either choose me or your dad right now” and if I chose wrong, he would throw me out and I can find my own way back home where I came from. He sat there glaring at me in front of the salesman and everyone around.  It didn’t matter to my husband what I thought, or how bad the deal was, he wouldn’t hear a word. I just didn’t feel I had a choice.  I had just gotten married and it was my duty to support my husband.   We drove away in that truck that night with a contract at 19.99% interest with a Rule of 78 interest clause in it.  Today, that still stands as the worst financial decision I was ever a part of, albeit out of ignorance and pressure. It was a very costly lesson and a huge mistake.  The truck was a horrible truck and a daily reminder of his ugly ultimatum to me. He had animosity towards my dad from that moment on.  I was the only daughter with three brothers and my dad was just trying to protect me.  It sort of put a rift in our relationship that I will always regret that can never be undone because he passed away. After that, I couldn’t share any details of my difficult lonely marriage or feelings with my parents because I didn’t want to worry them.  I didn’t want them to know how miserable my marriage was. I just tried really hard to make the most of every day and be accepting and forgiving.

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