Sunday, February 15, 2009

So Long, Old Friend

Regretfully, I had to say goodbye this weekend to a long-time close friend. She didn't have a name, but she was very important to me...she kept me company on road trips, carried all my stuff and kept my child warm and safe and dry. Here she is:

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.


Jas and Kim said...

Jen, we had the same thing going on at our house, except, Jason's truck lease expired and we needed something else. FINALLY we found a vehicle that he would like to drive (which is hard in itself, esp if it's a car)! It only took us over a month to find. Now you have to post pics of your "sporty" new mini. You kill me, seriously, Jason and I were busting up laughing at the obituary. Have a great one! LOVE YA

Kailey said...

Ha ha! Great post!! When Josh and I got married, I made him SWEAR to me that I would never drive a minivan. We are now on our second minivan and about to start looking for our third. Once that second baby came, I wised up. Now... we just need to look out for eachother and make sure we never settle into wearing Mom's jeans too! :)

Jessica said...

Congratulations on the new car! I love new cars. We skipped the minivan and went to the suburban. I KNOW you get better gas milage. Perhaps I will always be a MAMs member. ( = I think others are great though.

Hope to see you Sunday for Jessica's homecoming.

Kristen said...

Congrats on the new mini-van. I want to see pics!

Rachel said...

Oh, thanks for this post, it made me giggle :) Whoever thought that reading about buying a new car (a minivan, at that!) could be so entertaining?

And don't worry, the MAMs club is not dead - I'm still there! (though I may succumb to a station wagon one of these days ...)

iamwoman said...

oh no! You didn't! Well Jen, our friendship is officially over. hahahaha, j/k! Enjoy the room (which will be so appreciated when baby #2 arrives), and enjoy your new club:)MISS YOU!

Kristie and Ryan said...

What?! No picture?? I totally thought I was going to scroll down and see it. You didn't even mention the make and model. C'mon!! :)

p.s. I love my van. whenever you get van driver's remorse, vacuum it out! 10 to 1 it's just messy and causing undue emotion. I did it today and feel the love afresh!

The Gee Family said...

Pretty cool! I know the mini vans these days are much more cool than the ones from our days!! I'm sure you look like Queen of the road while driving it! Post a pic soon I want to see it. Miss you guys lots and love ya!!

Silly Little White Girls said...

Congratulations! Rob is proud of you ... he would get us a "sporty" minivan, too, if it was all up to him. :) From what I hear, you'll really love it.

Laura said...

I was once a member of the club too. I love love love my van though - if it's possible to love something that can't love ya back. I love it! No other car can handle 3 car seats in one row. That is functional and that, my friend, is cool.

The Hardy's said...

Yes, you will love that Mini Van. They are roomy and spacious. We too had to get a new vehicle when we had our 3rd. So, drive like you don't have any worries and you will be queen of the road.