Last night, my husband and I drove out to look at a car he had spotted on the Internet. Car shopping is a whole lot different than when I bought my first horseless carriage. It almost was painless. He has been in search for the best deal for only a week or so and when he spotted his target, it was a simple quick email and off we went to look at it.
My first car was a 1960 Ford Falcon. I bought it off of someone’s lawn for $50.00. It was the coolest thing in the world to have your own car. I do not remember all the messing around with titles and paperwork. I gave the guy some money and the plates I got and off I went. The steering wheel on this dinosaur was at least three feet in diameter. In the trunk was a set of snow tires that were brand new. Gives you an idea of how big the trunk was and this car was considered a compact for those days. My girlfriends and I tooled around in this baby and my boyfriend and I used it as a private get-away. I taught him how to drive in that car and he went on to try semis.
One day as I was on the expressway and I went to brake. My foot went to the floor. The car did not even attempt to slow down. I still remember the helplessness and yet, I figure it out enough to get off the road to the shoulder and coast to a stop. Once I turned the car off, that is when the real panic hit and I burst into tears. This produced a fellow traveler to come to my aid. We did not have cell phones in those days and I do not even remember how, but a flatbed truck came and took my bomb to the garage. There it was given last rites. The front end was barely attached in the carriage of the vehicle and the car would not pass inspection again. They put new brake lines in and I drove it until I sold it for $25.00. I sold the tires for another $50.00 making me feel like I winner.
The next car was the first in a long line of semi-luxurious used cars. I like big cars and always will. I learned to drive on my father’s 1968 Pontiac Grand Prix. It was his menopause car. It was considered for its time the hybrid of a sports car with a luxury car. It was hot. His next car was a Buick, a sign of passing in my eyes of male aging. My husband made some comments about buying a Buick this time, and I realized he was reaching that age where black knee socks and plaid shorts was a rite of passage. My favorite car was a Ford Grenada which was a version down from the Lincoln Town car. I would get into that baby and my world would be transported to a sense of extreme opulence.
At one point, when we were in college as returning adults, cars took a back seat to tuition. We drove our cars until they fell apart literally. He had a Malibu which we had to replace as it just died on me one day. That was when I bought the car I have now, and absolutely love. He drove my old car until we replaced it because it was time. I got my money out of that Saturn. It was 17 years old. Great car.
Cars are more than just something to drive around. They are memory makers. We have our favorite routes we spend Sundays traversing on. We have our paths that take us to our favorite place to relax; The River. I have enjoyed many activities in cars. From bygone days, my friends and I used to spend weekend nights parked at the drive-in. The movie was not always the highlighted feature of the night. Cars offered freedom and lessons in responsibility. I drove in conditions that no one should drive in and I am not talking about the weather. The car is an extension of your home and a place for privacy and relaxation.
So my husband has a new car and it is not a Buick. It is jet black with heated leather seats. He is jubilant. I am glad it is what he wanted and I do not have to do anything more than just sit and enjoy it when he drives. Gone are the days when buying a car is a traumatic experience. I did not hear anyone utter “does the Little Lady want to try driving it?” The salesman was hardly sixteen it seemed. But he was very pleasant and took my snarkiness in stride. We got to the dickering and even that was painless. He sat us his booth area and off he went. He comes back beaming with what he thought was a good deal. He did not know me. I had to counter and off he went to haggle. I got my deal and I have to say, it was a good one. My husband lets me handle anything with money and purchases as he is too kind hearted to deal with thieves.
He picks up his new baby this afternoon. It was actually a pleasurable experience. The only thing left to fight over is the radio.