We first met almost 11 years ago when she was brand new. I was taken by her style, and the new car smell was positively intoxicating. Making this purchase meant I had arrived! I was an independent woman with my own money and my own agenda, and I negotiated it all by myself! Actually, I didn't haggle much...I'm sure the salesman saw the stars in my eyes and knew he had me at hello.
Now, 140,000+ miles later, she came down with a sudden and severe case of engine-itis. That's right, the rest of her organs worked perfectly fine, but her ticker finally gave up the ghost. I visited her at the shop to check on her and told her she would pull through, but in the end, the capable hands working on her had done all they could do. She needed a new engine, and we just couldn't afford it. We decided to donate her organs (i.e. sell her to a salvage yard), but we found someone to buy her from us and fix her up like new. I hope she'll bring many years and miles of happiness to someone else.
So, now what to do? We really did need a larger, more practical vehicle without surrendering my membership to the one-member club I coined MAMs (Moms Against Minivans). Lots of people I know have the Mom-mobile and love them and swear I would love it too. I was so torn! In the end, I said adios to my vanity and we drove home in a shiny, and pretty sporty minivan (can you use "sporty" and "minivan" in the same sentence?). It is a TIGHT SQUEEZE getting it in our garage, so I have to say I'm glad for the automatic sliding doors instead of ones that open out. The combination of the interior features and the sensation of riding up higher does make me feel like a rockstar at times.
Matt, I just have to say is my hero. He is THE person to have with you when you buy a car. When I would have long ago stopped negotiating a price, he kept at it, and it was like we were on the game show "Deal or No Deal". When we got ready to go, the manager said "Just a minute!" and ran upstairs to talk to their used car buyer. An hour later, Matt had talked them into an awesome deal for us. He is immune to car dealers' rehearsed lines like:
- Believe me, if I could come down on the price, I would because I want you to have this car.
- We're not making money off this sale - we're actually losing money!
- You were meant to have this car.
- This is such a great deal that if you wait and come back, it may be gone.
Has anyone heard these before? Anyway, I'm warming up to the idea that I'm now a Minivan Mom, not that there's anything wrong with that! Matt made me chuckle when he reassured me that in 10 years or so, our kids will think it's lame that we drive a minivan and we can go back to driving something "cool." In the meantime, I'm queen of the road with my family, and I feel pretty cool about that.