When I was a junior in college, my uber-generous aunt gave me my first car, her bright orange 1983 Jetta. I learned how to drive stick bringing it from Chicago to Boston over Spring Break.
When it kept giving my trouble during my first ‘real’ job back in Chicago a couple of years later, as I drove all over the South and West sides of the city visiting crazy principals and inquisitive and observant children — ‘You Puerto Rican or something?’ ‘You married?’ ‘You’re taller than my Daddy!’ — I sold the Jetta and bought a new 2001 Ford Focus. The day I paid my last payment, five years later, was one of the most glorious moments of my life. The following month I threw a party with the $239.49 I wasn’t sending to Ford.
When Best Friend moved in in 2011, bringing with him his 2002 Honda Civic, we realized two cars was superfluous. I sold Rosita in the easiest Craigslist transaction I’ve ever had.
Fast forward to 2016 —
A rear defroster that won’t work.
Seat belts that no longer retract.
A broken visor.
Stains that have stains.
A door handle about to fall off.
A Maintenance Required light that is on more than it’s off.
Dumping thousands of dollars into repairs a few months ago.
Groans of pain you can hear down the block.
I don’t want to put more money into Groan-y McGroanerson. I want a new car.
Here’s the rub —
Best Friend is an amazing saver and planner.
He hates all things luxurious. You should’ve seen his discomfort level when we splurged for one night on our honeymoon on the Four Seasons Maui; he refused to make eye contact with anyone and apologized to the Towel Girl for taking the towel she offered him.
He’s wary of all things lifestyle inflation.
A new car does not fit into the financial plan he’s meticulously spreadsheeted.
He wants to run this one into the ground and by then, there’ll be driverless cars so why buy one you actually have to control, he says.
When I was growing up, I’d see the commercials where a pretty person in an off-white sweater would walk outside and a new car with a big red bow would be in the driveway and they’d put their hands to perfect-teethed mouth in glorious surprise and be forever happy with their pretty significant other, and dream of that happening to abnormal Saya.
I have an off-white sweater. Years of braces closed my mammoth toothy-gap and gave me straight chompers. In the right light and on days I shower, I can be pretty.
Best Friend will bemoan the burden of gloriousness, but he can be won over.
If we red-bow him.
Cheese-Its, any chance you’ve got a contact at Subaru? Can you tell him/her what a nice person I am and that being a part of the Life of Yes℠ world would be a good thing for their place of employment?
Subaru, any chance you’ve got one of those red-bows lying around? And something to go under it?