Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Let there be white
I am taking my latest automotive acquisition as a good indication that treatment is working. Actually, this was a lease and, before I sound like I regularly swan out and pick up brand-spanking-new cars, I have to point out that the last time I bought a car I was under 30. That's right, I have been driving my loyal, dependable, though currently dented and filthy Acura for -- deep sigh -- 17 years. Before that, I drove a used Volvo station wagon for years. (It barely made it onto the lot for the trade-in for the Acura.) Automotive planned obsolescence has never been a personally held belief for me.
Still, as many of my exasperated friends and family members can tell you, I have talked a good game in terms car acquisition. Since before my son was born, I have been threatening to buy a new car. Through wrestling his baby carrier into the back seat of my two-door, I have been telling people I'd get a 4-door. Through hauling bushes home in the hatchback, I've been swearing I'd buy a pickup. After adopting a big (often muddy) dog -- and then another -- I mused about switching "up" to a bare bones van, something I could hose down quickly. In the end, my impractical Acura has hauled everything from heavy sheets of stained glass to bicycles to babies (a la three carseats wedged in the back with bottles and Cheerios a-flyin').
And now I've done it. I have gotten a new car. Today, I am stylin' in my ride -- a hybrid Toyota Highlander -- bigger than I had wanted, but quiet and confortable and a hybrid, which I have wanted for years. My son cheered and danced on the sidewalk when I showed up to the winter dance at his school to pick him up in our snowy chariot.
He was even happier when I explained that I had leased the new car for three years.
"You mean you have to get a new one then?" he asked. Yes, I nodded.
"Good, mom!" he huffed, climbing up into the car. "No more old, cruddy cars."
I smiled, but a in a bittersweet way; it's hard to give up what might be my last, best habit in hippie economy.