Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What Have I Done??!!

We leased a new car today. A brand new Honda Accord.

My old car died a few weeks ago. It experienced the kind of slow, miserable death that had me considering auto-euthanasia. I was spared that by the fact that the old gal gave up the ghost on her own.

Since then, I have been driving DD's car, which has been totally cool for me, to be honest. It's a really small BMW. Handles like a dream. Zips around in traffic like a race car. Makes me want to buy a pair of leather driving gloves. I always thought BMW's were stupid and pretentious, yuppie-lawyer cars. That was until about five minutes after I got behind the wheel for the first time. From that moment, I understood why BMW owners are repeat buyers.

DD wanted us to get her a new car and let me have the Beamer. Not even!! Much as I love pretending I'm on the Autobahn, it is an old car with a lot of miles on it. Much as I love the way it handles, the fact is we all agreed we wanted a new car with a warranty, and, well, we just can't afford a new BMW... and I wouldn't buy a brand new for her even if I could afford it.

DH and DD sniffed and turned up their noses at my (very serious) suggestion we get an electric car or at least a hybrid. They both wanted a "real" car. For a long time they both wanted a SUV. I managed to hold that idea off by telling them they could have their damned SUV but I would never, ever ride in such an evil, wicked, selfish monstrosity, so they could forget any notions of family outings. Fortunately, I held them off long enough for gas prices to flirt with $4.00 a gallon. Now an SUV is out of the question, thank god.

Recently Honda ran a lease special on Accords and Civics. Our favorite car ever was a Honda Accord which we bought as a salvaged total wreck and drove for another 100,000 miles. Since we can't afford a German car, a Honda would be the next best thing. [Correction: we do have sufficient credit and income to qualify for a loan on a German car and to make the payments. We are, however, much too frugal to extend ourselves that far. Frugal is a good word. Cheap is more accurate.]

DD finally backed down from her insistence that we get an SUV or some kind of ridiculously expensive luxury car. She was willing to go with a Japanese car but insisted we need a full-sized car for when we all go places together (when do we ever do that, I asked??). She said we would do it occasionally if we had a car to go in. I'm doubting that, but, hey, it could happen...

So.... today DH and I visited an actual car dealership. The only time DH ever entered car dealerships in his life was to go to work during a previous incarnation as a car salesman. The last time I entered a car dealership was in 1977. My last car payment was sometime in 1980 upon the termination of that 3-year loan. Walking into the dealership, I was swallowing hard and trying to keep from running away.

We test drove an Accord. I totally freaked. The car was HUGE. I like zipping around in tiny little compact cars. It's been a long time since I've driven a big vehicle. I know I used to zoom around town like so many other Yuppie moms in a full-sized conversion van, but that was a long time ago.

I lost my nerve and felt myself leaning toward the Civic, but ... there was that remote chance that we might take some family outings. So, we went with the Accord.

The plan is for DD and me to switch off. The Honda will be mine during the week and she can use it on the weekends while DH and I use the BMW for our beach- and running-around car.

That is the plan.

I'm considering starting a pool for how long it will be before I am driving the BMW full time and I don't even have a key to the Honda.

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