I finally did it. Following at least three years of languid research, six or so weeks of intense discovery, nearly a decade of recommendations from kith and kin; and the favorite friend who scouted two cars I’d identified and
- cross-referenced across multiple car-buying services and Motor Trend, Consumer Reports, NADA, etc.,
- ran through VIN-check services
- and the Better Business Bureau (re: the sales team at All Star Auto, LLC)
- secured pre-approval for the portion of the car’s price I want to finance …
I traded in the Sweet Vibe for a Chevy Equinox … made in Canada, eh.
In the impromptu celebration with peeps on the roof of the local Taphouse, I heard myself say a few things like, “I put more subjective research into that car than … ” and “I can’t believe it has heated seats!”
But what I keep thinking about — when I think of the new yet-named automobile — is gratitude and a weird wonder about getting more than what I had asked for and I had asked for a lot.
For months, I’ve listed out what I want in a car and only half-expecting to find one car that fit the bill. And this conveyance to-and-from work, Konza and adventures more than fits the bill. By keeping a physical list of what I’d like in a car, getting out of my comfort zone of where I’d like to look, taking the time to do my research and tap into others’ research and experience, asking for help, trusting the help given and then navigating the deal alone, somehow it worked.
In my life, this getting-what-I-want is rarely the case. Whether it has been a failure of asking or an inability to accomplish the desired end by lack of time, collaboration or divine appointment, I – like most of us – have learned to make it work. Whatever “it” is – we make do and make the best out of a given situation. (Cue up Monty Python’s, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”)
Let me be clear: I have many reasons to be grateful, excited and very Germanishly-pragmatic about this new car as it is a car.
It is not world peace, wisdom, wonder, great love or the thing that will feed the hungry, clothe the naked and embrace the wounded.
But it is a thing I’ve done without for a very long time – a car with a complete paint job. And bun warmers … heated seats.
And there is that one thing that I have hoped and stretched for longer than a car with a good paint job and cachet.
And an awareness that if everything changes and if nothing changes, I will still need to look within to find my happy.
And a call that the results of the wee biopsy came back as not cancer.
Perspective. The Sweet Vibe was mechanically reliable and had seen me – us – on so many good adventures and a swift flight in the night. My kids had sat in the front seats and sung along to my goofy music while I sat in the back and grinned. Izzy had made a few trips in it. I had learned to not judge myself by appearances – in part – because that variegated blue, kayak-racked, putt-putting Vibe was both sweet and looked better wet and away from direct sunlight.
This new conveyance is lovely, connected and meets the must-be-able-to-fit-a-kayak-and-goofy-pup in it at the same time, low-mileage, good-mpg, good-deal, no-smoke-aftersmell, automatic lights wish list I had created. I saved for it.
In the meantime, I will appreciate with no little measure how sometimes we do get what we want and ask for. And work toward. Especially when we stretch and work in good company.
Look for Izzy and I on the road. I’ll be driving a bit slower for a while until I know how to hit the turns and use the center of gravity to my advantage as we’ve all grown accustomed to re: my driving.
Wonder and adventure friends.