Friday, November 16, 2012

The Car I Do Not Drive

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

A month ago I bought a brand new car.  I'd been saving up for it for seven years.  My dad taught me that the minute you buy a new car, you should start saving for the next one.  Good advice.  I've only ever had two car loans.  One I paid off in three months; the other I paid off in less than a year.

I am not a soccer mom.  In fact, I'm not a mom at all, but I bought my third minivan.  I love them.  Lots of cargo space for junking, comfort, and good visibility.  Mr. L took possession of the old minivan, so my beloved Baby Blue (its color) is sill in the family, and is still the car of choice to drive--for both of us.

Less than a week after buying the new car (so far nameless), we traveled to White Plains NY for the Novelists Inc writers conference.  Did we take the new, more comfortable minivan?  No! It might get scratched in the hotel parking garage, or dirty from road spray.  (It rained--and was really foggy.)  We took Baby Blue instead. 

During the weekend, Superstorm Sandy reared her ugly head.  Friends from Rochester were also attending the conference and were scheduled to leave on the Monday--just when Sandy was due to strike.  (Yes, their flights were canceled.)  So I invited them drive home with us.  Unfortunately, Baby Blue doesn't have the best backseat configuration.  Some design engineer must have thought that only small children would ever be sitting back there.  My one pal gets carsick, so we traded seats and I sat in back, while my other friend, with the bad knee, needed as much legroom as possible.  And there sure wasn't much.  Of course, there was PLENTY of legroom in the new van, which was snuggled in our garage back  home.

We made it back before the storm hit.  None of us lost our power, either.  We were home safe and sound, thanks to Baby Blue.

Meanwhile, I have only driven the new car 5-6 times, and 3 of those times was to the grocery store.  I've put about 100 miles on the car in a month.  At this rate, I won't have to buy gas until New Year's. 

What's the problem?  I don't feel comfortable in the new car.  I'm not sure I like it, although it's got everything I thought I wanted in a car.  (Especially the stow-and-go-seats.)  I suppose I'll eventually get used to it, but I miss my old car.  And since she's right there in the garage (although not in her old spot), she's still ready, willing and able to take me wherever I want to go.  (Albeit on Mr. L's gas.)

Has that ever happened to you?  What can I do to get used to this big change in my life?