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?


Dru said...

First you'll have to give new car a name and then you're going to have to make Baby Blue disappear for a little while.

Julie Hyzy said...

I had that with my current minivan at first. She's an Odyssey, named Homer (giggle). Anyway, I avoided driving her in favor of my old clunky minivan (gone now) because I wasn't sure, wasn't comfortable, didn't get the controls for the new car, etc. It's 13 years later and Homer and I are best buds. I rarely drive the newer car (also a minivan even though I'm not carting kids - Lorraine, were we separated at birth?) because Homer's my girl. They will have to pry her steering wheel from my tight fingers before I'll let go of her.

You'll name the new one soon. You'll *have* to take it out soon. And before you know it, you'll have found a new friend.

Anne said...

I always pay cash for my cars, never taken a loan. It all dates back to my first working years as a temp. Since I couldn't guarantee my income and making the same size payments, it was all or nothing.

I had my last car for 14 years and only gave it up because my sister needed a car and couldn't afford anything. She's had it two years.

I had no new car problems. I bought the same type, a Toyota Corolla, but it is different. I sit much higher (a plus with my stiffer bones) and the ignition is now on a hair trigger, but I felt very at home immediately. It is very likely in another 12-14 years that I'll buy another one.

Ann said...

Maybe it's the smell. I'm not a fan of the 'new car smell.'

Chèli said...

I too give my cars (minvans) names.
Sandy (her color was sandstone) looks like your Baby Blue and I really loved her. But my hubbie only lets me keep my car for three years and then I have to have a new one. Silvie (she's silver) arrived with all the bells and whistles (including the stow and go) I was afraid to take her out of the garage until one beautiful day when I had an audio book and my audio players wouldn't play it. PC, MP3, CDplayer none would cooperate and I really wanted to hear this book. So I thought I'd give Silvie a try and when her voice came forth with the audiobook, we became fast friends.

So just explain to your new companion what it is that you want to share, and I'm sure she'll come through with flying colors. Maybe you just need to speak to her by name.

Cheli's Shelves

Anonymous said...

I'm driving her tomorrow (with Sentenced To Death on the CD Player). Someone suggested it might be the new car smell. Hmm. Also several people said I should just name her. I'm thinking of Angelica. What do you think?

Linda in MA said...

I think you just have to name her. Until then she is just a car and can't replace baby Blue. I admit it must be hard while you still have the older car. My old car is parked at the neighbors. They made us an offer we couldn't refuse and so we bought a new car. Took a while took get used to Opal bought now we are doing great!Love how easy she is to park.

ponyswimgal said...

On one hand, I can sympathize with your reluctance to use your new car. I LOVED Rudi the Red-nosed Audi (do you remember that snow-from-hell trip back from Pittsburgh?) but when he died ... he died. So, my other hand comes in to play with this question ... Are you nuts???! A beautiful new car and you're deliberately leaving him/her sitting in your garage??!! Bad new car mom! Name that beauty and let her/him take you to your destinations in comfort and style!! Go for it!!