I am tentatively dipping my toe into the new car waters. People have been asking me how the search is going, and I’m hesitant to respond because I admit, I haven’t been very proactive. While Brandon has been researching cars online, I have done nothing, except wonder if it’s normal for my car to shake while driving down the interstate.
This past week, though, I decided I had put things off long enough. While Brandon was working late, I drove over to a local car lot and determined that I could at least narrow my options, even if I didn’t make a final decision.
When a salesman came out on the lot, he asked me what I¿was looking for, and I told him a car.
“Any idea about your price range? Model?”
I¿started to get embarrassed. No, I really didn’t have any ideas. Just ask my husband. I told him something that would be roomy enough for a tall person. Four doors. That was about as descriptive as I could get.
Good thing I wasn’t planning to buy that day. I’m pretty sure I would have managed to get myself the worst deal possible, since I¿have absolutely no idea what constitutes a fair price, or how to negotiate.
That’s why I married an accountant.
In retrospect, it probably would have been a good idea to get a more firm budget in place before I started tooling around town in cars I don’t own. It’s kind of like “Say Yes to the Dress” — why try on something you know you can’t afford?
But I didn’t feel like lack of negotiation skills or budget would hinder me from test driving, so I just hopped in the first car the salesman suggested. It was a 2010 model, and I was shocked at how much nicer it was than my own car. I know that sounds silly, given the fact that it was a decade plus newer, but I mean, seriously, it was nice.
Now, even a CD player is passe — apparently cars made in the past few years have built-in plugs for playing an iPod. It reminded me of something I read about developing countries in Africa. Villages that never had telephones totally skipped the landline era and went straight to cell phones.
Cruising around town with no dents or rattles was a lot more fun than I¿expected. It made me want to take a road trip. Granted, I know my Rav4 could be in a lot better shape if I had given it the tender love and care it deserved over the years, but it’s too late for that now. I’ll live a better life the next time around.
I have to tell you, somewhere between wheel bearing replacements three and four, I lost all loyalty to my car. Remember the days when I¿was waxing nostalgic, and wanted to keep my little Toyota that could forever and ever, amen? Yeah, that’s not today. Driving down the road in a Ford Escape with leather interior will do that to a person.
Yes, I admit it — I let the new car fumes go to my head.
Lest you think I’m a traitor, remember all I¿have been through with the Rav4. A driver’s test. OK, a failed driver’s test and a passed driver’s test. Wheel bearings and wheel bearings and wheel bearings. Life in three different towns. Listen, I have given her all I¿have to give (except for regular oil changes, much to my husband’s chagrin).
But little green Toyotas giveth, and little green Toyotas taken away. They take your money (remember all those wheel bearings?) and they take your dignity when you have to get them serviced One.¿More. Time. They take your mobility. And they most definitely take every ounce of patience you can muster when, less than one month after the last time you had the bearings replaced, there comes that rattle.
Dear readers, thank you for indulging me as I vent my car woes One. More. Time. Will it ever end? I know that’s what you’re thinking. But remember, we have made progress. There was actual driving of actual cars. Multiple cars even. I call that light at the end of the tunnel.
For the past few weeks, whenever I¿have attended a meeting or gone to an interview, people have asked if there are any car updates.
Some of you have offered to take a look under the hood, and I¿thank you profusely.
I’ve even had a few, “You’re STILL¿driving that?” I¿know what they’re thinking — I don’t want to be driving on the same streets as that thing. Add being more proactive to the list of things I¿should have done. My husband tried, he really did.
So here is my goal — no more car news until I can announce what the winner of the “What Will Rachel Drive Next?” contest. Seriously. Say your good-byes to the Toyota now, because you won’t have another chance.
Yes, I’m still talking about my car, lo these many paragraphs later. Break-ups are hard, even when you are the initiator.
Although, I could definitely make a good case that my crazy wheel bearings have initiated the end of this relationship. I turned my head for so much, but you can only do that for so long.