I have had my car for 14 years. It is my first car and it has gone everywhere with me--or rather taken me everywhere. I drove it to my first graduate school classes, pushing the gas to make it to Shakespeare's Comedies and Tragedies on time. It went with me to College Town where it sat outside my very first apartment and braved the ridiculous winters, never once groaning because of the many feet of snow nor throwing me into a spin-a-round when we encountered ice. I welcomed my new husband into the passenger seat (more often driver's seat--and that's not a metaphor in any way). I parked it in front of the building of my new job as an English Professor having just earned my Ph.D. I drove it back and forth from my apartment to my new house, transporting clothes and crafting materials and boxes upon boxes of books. Later,my car reliably took me to the hospital regularly to sit with my daughter as she battled it out in the NICU. And eventually, many months later, I nervously, cautiously drove her to the babysitter on our first solo ride together. Just the other day, as I picked The Popcorn up from school, she ran to a car that was the same color as my car thinking it was my car and revealing that she is learning to distinguish it from other cars. My car has been with me for a long time.
But, now, in spite of its almost-problem free history, it is starting to have some problems. It doesn't always go forward immediately after I press the accelerator and sometimes, it will not only stall, but go backward. It pains me, but we have started looking for a new car.
I want something the same size as my car--economy-size--but DH wants a mid-size car. Really, he wants a cross-over, but that's not going to happen. We went car shopping this past weekend and I test drove a Volkswagen Jetta. Ever since I was a non-licensed teenager, I thought I would want a Jetta. The ride was okay, but I had to press harder on the accelerator than I was used to in order to make it accelerate. DH was concerned that when he had to drive the car, he would not be able to fit in comfortably on long trips. My brother said he should be able to fit; he would just have to leave his manhood outside. Jokes. He got jokes. Anyway,I guess the Jetta is out.
My mother-in-law tried to help me out by telling DH that a professor should be driving a Mercedes. We looked at a sweet white one online. I could see myself behind the wheel in that, shades on, radio playing Nina Simone. Bringing sexy back to the English professors. DH said professors don't drive Mercedes; they ride bikes. I could only laugh because it's true. Especially for someone making an English prof's salary.
So, where does this leave me? I'm taking my car to a transmission shop today and hopefully they tell me, "Oh, you just have this minor (read: cheap) issue and we can fix that right away." Leaving me many more years and miles to go in my car. Maybe, just maybe, it will last long enough for The Popcorn to not only distinguish it from other cars, but eventually drive it, too. Okay, I know that's just wishful thinking.