Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Chitty Chitty Bling Bling

I almost feel like I'm tempting fate by writing this, as if somehow my good fortune will disappear, like the England team always managing to snatch defeat from certain victory:

I have a new car.

This is absurdly overdue, as I've already mentioned, here and here.We have been in crisis mode with both our cars for a long time, managing to staunch vehicular hemorrhaging with regular oil changes and duct tape. My car was in particularly poor shape, because:

1. Smoke would curl ominously from the bonnet every time I drove on the freeway.

2. I didn't feel comfortable driving it more than 15 miles for fear it'd blow up.

3. Last time I went to get my oil changed the bloke said he couldn't do it. He couldn't change the oil if I didn't have any oil. That's how I found out I had an oil leak.

3. I was rear-ended about 4 years ago and as the insurance paid us rather than a garage and as the car was bashed up but still drivable we never had it fixed. The advantage to this was having the only easily recognizable Teal Honda Accord out of a sea of similar ones in Santa Barbara.

4. It was a 2-door. When I was pregnant I knew it would be impossible to get an infant in and out of a car-seat in a 2-door car. Almost three years later, I can add that it's almost impossible. As she got larger and larger I was flirting with the laws of physics to get her in to the back seat. Recently it was proving impossible to do it without banging Anna's head an the car roof as I literally had to fling her 28lb frame in to her car-seat as I couldn't take her weight with my arms outstretched. She's a great car passenger mostly due to a constant state of mild concussion.

The only cons to getting a new car were:

a. Paying for the damn thing.

b. Our tenants thinking we're living large off their hard-earned rents and keying the new car out of spite. Oh how I wish we were living large off their rents.

c. Having 14 feet 2 inches of pristine paint on each side of the car, and a narrow parking space. (this last comment seems to have been added by LK while I was away from the computer - thanks love).

Well, we've thrown caution to the wind and I now have a terrifyingly brand new SUV. Hello Soccer Mom-dom! This is a momentous occasion, as this is the first vehicle other than a bike that I've had any hand in choosing. All my other cars have been hand-me-downs. Not that I'm ungrateful you understand, but I have always merely ended up owning a car, I've never been instrumental in the decision-making process. I mean God Almighty, I drove a red Geo Storm for months that LK bartered from a friend (technically a 'Torm' as the S fell off never to be found). That car blew a head gasket after a matter of months - some would call it assisted suicide.

Going through the car-buying process has made me wonder though - how do you pick a car? There seem to be so many choices out there - how did you end up with yours? Was it a carefully weighed decision made with Consumer Reports in hand? Or did you just nick one you fancied from the local mall parking lot? Does anybody really say yes please, a brand new Dodge Neon, that's the car for me? What's the story behind your car?


Amy said...

congrats!!! but please do tell, what did you get?

chilly said...

That is GREAT news! What a nice Christmas present. Do let us know what you're driving now so we can see you coming :)

The Daring One said...

Oh how I jump for joy at the thought of a new car. Yay for you. I'm so glad you love it.

Anonymous said...

Hooray! I'll miss those automatic seatbelts though. Our car story - Greg's mum was getting a new car and we bought her old one from her. We're still not allowed to tell his step-father that the steering wheel is, in fact, adjustable and that he didn't need to be driving around sitting on 5 cushions in order to be able to see properly! S xx

Anonymous said...

the story behind my truck right now is that i take pretty good care of it. i just thought i'd share a little story that happened this past weekend. my husband was standing out in the street, we had over a foot of snow in our driveway from the night before, we were going to the grocery store then home to clean snow. i was parked in the garage and he was going to flag me out so i could gun it and make it out into the road.... well he waved me out and as i left the garage i hit the garage door opener to close the garage behind me.....well it closed on top of me, i heard a big bang and thought i ripped my mirrow off my truck not to realize i had hit the garage door and it caught my roof and scrapped across the top making all these nice neat scratches on the top of my roof. so much for my pretty little truck. my husbands comment was "What were you thinking?"......i guess i wasn't.....he, he, he

Fresh Hell said...

Curious . . . the check engine light in Esmeralda just started glaring at me . . . AGAIN. I fear her days are few in my possession. If she needs to have hard earned money dumped into her transmission . . . AGAIN . . . I'm through with her.

Anyhow, when I bought Esmeralda (in Esmeralda County, Nevada) I was living in a town of 3,500 people that was 120 miles and a huge mountain range away from the nearest movie theatre, and covered in snow half of the year with many of the hilly roads being dirt paths. There was only one dealership (more important to have a vehicle than to go to the movies in Nevada) and it was a Ford dealership. I needed something robust that had four wheel drive. Esmeralda was the prettiest Explorer on the lot and my boss who was a serious gearhead went over the vehicle and gave her an ok. Thus, I have a soccer mom vehicle and no children to fill it. But I have and do take my SUV off-road.

Now, I'm considering a new vehicle. I want to go with the one that sings to my soul, but I'm researching with mechanics, consumer reports and personal experience of people who have owned the type of vehicle that sings to my soul. It's not so practical, but hey, if I'm going through life as an aging spinster with a cat and all, dammit, I'm going to have a bad-ass vehicle.

(Jeep Wrangler Sport or Rubicon . . . manual transmission . . . fuck automatics and their poo-butt transmissions!)

jenny cook said...

i've always drove pontiac's. my first grand am was my parents i drove when i got my license. then, when i went to college, they traded me their newer grand am for the older one so i had a more 'durable car'. then i sold that and bought a grand prix gt (fully decked out) from my uncle (who is a used car salesman). i told him exactly what i wanted and he found it. so i guess i had a hand in that pick. now, when the grand prix dies, i will hopefully be getting a suv - i'm leaning towards a ford escape right now, but who knows. my mind changes all the time. no minivan for this girl though. never. ever. EVER.

jenny cook said...

by the way - what'd you get? let's see pictures of this sweet ride! :)

Elastigirl said...

The teal Honda is dead! Long live the velvet creampuff! (Is that what the other one was called? I forget.)

I'm terrible buying cars, I've done it twice and both time I've just bought whatever the salesman wants to get off the lot that day.