” $5-spouse ”
On my desk is a list of licenses & documents that need regular renewal. Reminder pra di ko makalimutan.
Uy, malapit na pla e-renew ang insurance ng Sorento ko. Meron tuloy akong naalaalang kwento. Heto yung very first time na magkaroon ako ng sasakyan dito sa States.
Sa Pinas, hindi ako nagda-drive. Pero dito sa States, napilitan akong matutong mag-drive. I cannot afford to hire a driver eh.
Dahil hindi ako magaling mag-drive, limited lang ang route ko: most of the time, bahay – hospital ( 2 miles one-way) & once in a while, bahay – nearby stores.
Dahil hindi ako magaling mag-drive at limited lang naman ang pinupuntahan ko, I just bought a secondhand vehicle as my first car. That was in 2007. I bought my brother-in-law’s 1993 Mazda MPV. That way, kahit na ma-disgrasya ko, hindi masyado masakit, kasi luma na.
While I live in Loma Linda (para malapit lang ako sa workplace ko), my sister & her family live (at that time) in Victorville, about 42 miles away (45 minutes drive).
It was Jan 18, 2007. Paano ko naalaala ang date? E kasi kinalkal ko sa diary ko.. hehehe.. kala nyo magaling ang memory ko? Nope.. ulyanin na nga, based on my previous story, di ba?
I worked the previous night. So, tulog ako sa araw. Tony, my bayaw called me sometime in the afternoon. Susunduin daw nya ako para ayusin ang papeles ng MPV. At that time, ginagamit ko na kasi yun kahit na hindi pa formally nasa pangalan ko.
Mas kabisado ni bayaw ang offices & business establishments sa Victorville kaya mas gusto nyang mag-transact dun.
We arrived at the AAA office at about 4:30pm. We were successful in transferring ownership of the Mazda MPV from Tony to myself, including signing of documents & paying certain fees. Mabilis lang pla, lalo na pag among relatives.
The lady asked: “Is this a family thing?” “Yes”, said Tony. “How much are u selling?” she asked. “$2000.”
“Are there taxes to be charged?”, tanong ni bayaw. Fortunately, wala daw.
Pagka maliit na amount and between family members, libre tax na pla.
From there, we rushed to the insurance company that will accept me even if I only carry a temporary driver’s license. It was less than 10 min away. Buti na lang opened sila until 7pm. Hay salamat, umabot pa kami!
The initial quotation ke bayaw (on the phone) was $41.16/mo. But when we got there, humirit pa si bayaw. He asked: “What if she has driver’s license in the Phils?” (implying that I have years of driving experience, which will lower the premium).
Martha, the secretary who assisted us, recomputed. “If you allow us to automatically deduct from your checking account, it will go down from $36+ to $32+/mo.”
“Okay,” I said. Then I gave her a voided check.
Then she asked: “Are you married?” I said: “No.”
Martha: “Oh, the computation I told you is for married people. For single people, you pay $37+”
Tabs: “Why is there discrimination against single people?”
Martha: “Oh, I don’t know but maybe, they think married people are more responsible.” (Implying that if one is married, he/she is more careful in driving because he/she considers the welfare of his family)
There was a young Hispanic guy waiting for his turn to be assisted, probably is in his early 20’s. He asked: “Is proof needed to be presented?”
Mmmmmmm…. mukhang single pa ang kumag a. At mukhang nagbabalak mag-declare na married din sya pra makatipid.. tsk tsk tsk
Martha: “No.” Then she said to me: “They don’t check anyway. So you can just give me a name which I’ll just type on the blank space for spouse..”
Tabs: (smiling) “No, thanks. I’ll pay the full amount.”
I could have saved $5/month had I declared a name as my “spouse’ (hence the essay’s title is “$5-spouse”) but I don’t want to invent a non-existent husband.
Si bayaw, alam kong nagpipigil lang. I’m sure gusto na naman akong tuksuhin nun. Siguro kung nagkataon na kami lang dalawa ang magkasama sa lakaran, patay na ako sa tukso. Buti na lang at kasama namin si Pombs, ang Ate ko. Hmmm, behaved tuloy sya. Di nya ako mabiro ng ganyan.
On our way home, di mapigil ni bayaw na mag-comment: “Buti Tabs, honest ka. Di ka nag-declare ng husband”.
Before I could give an answer, Pombs quipped: “E syempre, ‘single’ ang civil status nya sa application form, tama lang na di sya nagsinungaling. It’s deceit.”