Photo: Welp, there she is…

 

My husband was up at 6:30 on Saturday morning. He showered, he dressed, I got his coffee together, got his breakfast set up, and we sat together in the early daylight and put together the gameplan: 4 dealerships, 4 cars to test drive, a set budget, today is the day to get it done.  The ideal goal was to buy a car and keep the Fusion, making the budget tight for a solid 8 months, but making us a 2-car family, a major goal. It was a long shot, but we were determined. He would head out, I’d hold it down at home, we’d meet back up with victory or failure. There was a kiss goodbye at 8 and then he was out the door. The boys were up, so I got straight to work.

It was the waiting that sucked the most. I kept the phones close but refused to pester him. I didn’t want to distract him. But as the hours passed without updates, I’d get hopeful, or frustrated, depending on the boys and their behavior. Then he’d call. “No go.”

“Ok, what happened?”

We’d debrief, then he’d hang up and go on to the next place.

Ultimately, The Husband would visit three dealerships. The first was our best shot, and when it fell through, we both understood that we were not going to get what we were hoping for. They were only offering $300 off the sticker price and we knew they could do better. The Husband walked away from it. When the next two dealerships wouldn’t price-match, or wouldn’t even negotiate (“No haggle pricing is what we do! It’s best for you and easier for us! It’s fair for everybody!”), we felt discouraged.

On his way to the fourth dealership, The Husband called.

“Oh God, what happened?”
“Guess who just called me.”
“[Dealership One]?”
“Yup. They say they will take an additional $700 off on top of the $300 already offered. They’ll do that if we trade in the Fusion. With the value of the Fusion, it would bring it down to [$500 under our budget price].” There was a pause. “I… think I want to take it. Should I take it?”
I thought about it for a moment but understood there wasn’t going to be a better deal than that. “Take it.”
“Ok then. I’m turning around. I’ll see you in a bit.”

Because my name was on the registration, I had to go down to the dealership to sign papers, too. We had to go down as a family after church. Two little boys in a car dealership? Lordy, it was hard to keep them from bubbling over at every little thing. How do they get the cars INSIDE the building!?  Lordy Lord!

So. It took a Herculean effort, a lot of time and, ultimately, the sacrifice of a car that I loved and needed (but was broken and needed a lot to get her back in her best condition), but we have a car. No, not a car, a minivan. I officially drive a minivan! I can’t even believe it. The suburbianfication of my life is now complete. Just need another kid and a dog. And a white picket fence (never ever gonna happen).

At least she’s Black. 🙂 I need more Blackness in my life.

She doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that I would have loved to have, but she’s got bluetooth and that’s all that really matters. She has all-wheel drive (we couldn’t afford all-wheel drive and all the bells and whistles. I chose easy winters over the fancy screen and XM radio), which is what we needed most of all, and yes, she has space for days. She’s massive. But she has a big ol’ engine to move her, too! When I tap that gas, she has no problem with the giddyup! Ya’ll know I have a speedin’ habit! She and I are fast friends and will probably get ourselves into trouble!

Two little boys love the automatic doors. They also love all the buttons and having seats that belong just to them. My husband loves all of the places to tuck away all of the things that a family puts in their car (“So… it’s not going to get junky like the Fusion did, right?” Sure, honey.) There are even roof racks! What for? I cannot tell you. I ain’t tryin’ to put stuff up there.

I did get a chance to sit in my Fusion one last time. As ya’ll know, I’m in the business of saying thank you to inanimate objects because I’m sentimental and strange. That car brought my two babies home. She got us up and down the east coast twice a year every year, it even to Canada once. She safely got us to and fro on these curvy country roads during these New England winters. She deserved better than to so unceremoniously discarded. So I had to apologize, I had to thank her, and then I had to say goodbye and give her a kiss. There were protests from the boys as we drove away. I told them they could say goodbye and then we had to welcome our new car. There were tears, but then they were distracted by new buttons and features. They’re fine.

Now that this is done, we can turn our concentration to other things.

We’re relieved beyond measure and feeling grateful that we were able to do this under terms that make us comfortable. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. Summer awaits, and that will be plenty.

So we breathe a little easier and celebrate the start of the week with a toast and good food. How was your weekend, Dear Reader? What are you looking forward to? Let’s get something done this week.

See you Wednesday.

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Salmon smothered in a mango coconut sauce, grilled over a cedar plank. It’s grilling season, ya’ll! It’s about to go down!

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9 thoughts on “The New Girl

  1. Congrats! She’s a beauty!
    We are in the process of figuring out purchasing a replacement car as well. Our 15 passenger van (yeah 15 passenger) is about to bite the dust after nearly 19 years of being our family car/bus. We can downsize since seven of our nine kids can drive (actually two are married and no longer live with us. Of course). We are thinking of getting a minivan which is weird because that is what we had before the monster-van. We are facing the same dilemma you did – money. Ugh, cars are so much more expensive than 19 years ago! I know I will be the same way when I say goodbye to the van. 19 years worth of memories!
    Well, enjoy your new car. Have fun with the new gadgets and buttons. 🙂

    • I have so many questions! Like: how/where do you buy a 15 passenger van? Do you need a special license to drive it? What’s it like to parallel park it? Is that 4 rows or 5? How in the world did you keep it running for 19 years!? How many miles does it have on it? I’m just enchanted by this!

      You should, after all the babies leave the nest, buy a 2-seater! A hot little 2-seater! Just so you can know how the other end of the vehicle spectrum feels!

      I hope that you find a car that you love. Car buying is absolutely no fun, but the result is wonderful. 19 years of memories will certainly be difficult to say goodbye to. Oh, but the potential of a new beginning! Wow… 19 years… that’s legendary.

      • Hahaha, you made me laugh KC! So many questions indeed! We actually bought the van off the Ford lot. It looks like those vans that businesses use as shuttles, y’know – the typical church van you see on the highway. We do not need a special license to drive it. I try not to parallel park whenever possible but when I need to, the mirrors are my best friends…or I ask a kid to look out the back window and direct me. There are four rows behind the two front seats. We have been very diligent with the van’s upkeep – regular oil changes/maintenance check ups, etc. At this moment there is around 221,000 miles on it.
        I also laughed about the 2 seater. My sister owns a miata and I feel very vulnerable when I am in it.
        I just shared your comments to my husband who happens to be checking out a car online right now.
        I just realized I wrote about my van in a post a few years ago. https://mithriluna.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/gratitude-for-my-wonder-wagon/
        I am looking forward to a new car. I will probably post about it like you did today.
        Mar

        • 221,000 miles on it. That is just amazing. Legendary. Incomprehensible to me. Just awesome! And I just read your post about it, too. I can’t believe that thing fits into any parking spaces at any regular grocery store. The stares must be even more obvious when ALL YA’LL come hopping out of that thing! Like, dang! How many people are in that van!? I love the photo that you took of it. Who knew that a 15-passanger van could look, dare I say it? Elegant? It looks elegant surrounded by that autumnal scenery! Not utilitarian at all! Does your van have a name? Someone MUST have named her after all these years and all those miles!

          I clearly have #VanGoals now.

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