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Love Wheels

June 13, 2009

I just sat here at my computer for far too long, rooting the dark recesses of www.cars.com, looking for cars for the graduate.  She has saved her money and now has enough for a very modest, higher mileage, older model car.  She has a love for sporty little things, which are pretty much totally out of her price range, and her parents are insisting on a car with a good reliability record.  She’s been hitting up the websites herself, with the last annual ratings issue of Consumer Reports in hand.  Personally, I am bleary-eyed after just a couple hours of this.  Maybe it would be more exciting if I were 18 and looking for my first car.  But I’m not, and all I have to show for the past couple of hours is a crick in my neck.

My first car was a hand-me down Buick Skylark.  It was the family car and when my parents bought another car, they let me have the Skylark for driving around town.  When I went off to college it stayed behind and they eventually traded it in on something else.  I was car-less for the next three years, when I finally acquired my grandparent’s 1976 Toyota Corolla.  Decent little car.  Didn’t get driven much when they owned it…it went to church on Sundays and into town once in a while, and the rest of the time it sat in the chicken coop.  Yes, that’s right, the chicken coop.  Not the part of the coop where the chickens roosted, thank goodness, but a lean-to garage that shared a roof with the chickens.

My daughter loves a sporty little car, as I mentioned previously.  I struggle to relate to this, to be honest.  I want a comfortable car and above all a reliable car, and I prefer it not be totally boring, but beyond that I just don’t much care.  I’ve come to like sitting up high now that I’ve driven a minivan for so many years, but once again– that is about comfort, not about appearance or prestige.

Only once have I ever been stopped in my tracks by the sight of a car.  It was just a couple of years ago.  A friend and I were at the outlet mall down in Sandestin.  I was walking out of a store and across the parking lot when I pulled up short.  There before me was the most gorgeous car I’ve ever seen.  It was one of those re-made Ford Thunderbirds, the ones that are rather retro-looking.  The color was a soft (but not too pastel) blue that was somewhere between robin’s egg blue and turquoise.  It was a convertible with a black soft top and black interior.  It was beautiful and I am pretty sure there was a halo of holy light surrounding it.  I bet Jesus drives one.  And I bet His never breaks down in spite of the lousy reliability those things are supposed to have.  I then did what I have never, ever done before.  I stopped, walked around that car, and peered in the windows.  I don’t think my drooling damaged the paint job any.  I’ve never seen another one of those cars.  It’s probably a good thing, too, because that car could make me lose my sensibilities and purchase Love Wheels instead of Practical Wheels.  And that couldn’t be good, because when it comes to high-ticket items like cars, I am normally unfailingly practical.

I have to admit, however, that lately I’ve been entertaining the thought of what I will drive when my nest has emptied and I no longer need to drive a minivan…

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 14, 2009 2:47 pm

    …you’ll be like me and drive what you can afford…”practical wheels” namely — a Nissan Sentra (4 door :). . . which Chip found on http://www.cars.com (over at the Imports place in Ft. Walton — on Beal). Good price, good people over there, and a good little car)…not the “sports car” that Hannah wants, I know…but think of the insurance!! :)

  2. June 14, 2009 2:48 pm

    btw…I’ve ALWAYS wanted a 58 Corvette…you know with the double headlights in the front….RED. I’ll never own one though….

  3. HannahRuth permalink
    July 18, 2009 7:30 pm

    Okay, maybe i do need to give up the dream of a nice first car. Its not entirely my fault. You let me hang with the boys for years and now its catching up to me. Those dirty car influences. Dang them.

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