After many years and many transports, I got a new vehicle to drive. I researched for months before finding one that I liked and that I could afford. Well, “afford” is a liquid kind of word these days. In other words, I can make the payments IF the car lasts that long. I think our first house way back when was cheaper than this car – and I got the “basic” model. I did ask about an older model but the salesman nearly expired right there on the showroom floor.
“Oh you don’t want that old thing.”
I said, “I would like to look at it. It is several thousand cheaper.”
He rubbed his hands together and pointed out the finer details to me. “But you wouldn’t like that old model because it does not have an automatic liftgate or the back-up camera.”
I smiled politely and said, “I have never had an automatic liftgate or back up camera, so I won’t be missing anything.”
He sputtered about, trying to convince me that the more expensive vehicle was the better model. I agreed with him and I liked the color but that price was bothering me. So we haggled over the space of a few days and came up with something that I thought I could afford.
And I LOVE it. I love the new smell. I love the smoothness. I love that it does not shudder at the stoplights trying to stay alive. Don’t get me wrong – the old Pathfinder was a great vehicle – but this new thing is, well, new and fresh and no one has thrown up in it or “accidentally” squished gummy bears to the back of my seat with their shoes. You get the picture.
The kids love the new car and most of my family and friends have been very gracious and congratulatory about the new car. So, I not only have a new car with an automatic liftgate and a back-up camera, but it is also loaded with electronic gizmos and gadgets. In addition I have many flashing lights and voices that speak to me from the steering wheel. It bings and dings and starts without a key. When I walk off, the car automatically locks and beeps a “goodbye” to me.
For about a week, I made the kids ride with other drivers. I made rules about cleaning the car and making sure that every scrap of trash was out EACH time. No drinks, no food, and no car seats. For those with no children yet, this might seem harsh but Skittles smashed into the floorboards or hidden in the seat cracks along with spilled soda are common occurrences with children, not to mention vomit and snot and sticky juice flipped out of the end of straws. Hence the cleaning rules.
One day, however, the ten-year old had an ear hurt. I immediately diagnosed it as swimmer’s ear and tried to find a ride for him in one of the other cars, but they were all going to work so he got to ride in my new Cadi. I lectured about the rules and he agreed to all of them. On the way we hooked up my phone to the car so we could navigate. This included my phone calls as well which is very clever IF I am in control.
Turns out he had swimmer’s ear and couldn’t swim for a few days plus some drops. On the way back home, my phone tried to crank back up and we – both of us – pushed a few buttons on the screen beside the steering wheel. A robotic woman’s voice came on announcing all kinds of things but all I wanted to do was hook my phone back up. She kept telling me things and I pushed several buttons.
Ten year old pushed a few buttons on the car and on the phone. She kept talking. I tried to mute her and I tried to power off but she kept talking at me through the steering wheel. It is difficult to read the dang screen while driving on the highway and the ten-year old was trying but she just kept on talking. We drove for a few minutes listening to her explain things and then I pressed several things at once and tried the mute again.
I tried something else. Her voice came on and I said the “S” word (not shut-up and not stupid). Ten year old giggled and the car lady said, “I didn’t quite get that could you repeat it?” I smiled at him and said it again. This time louder. In her calm, monotone she replied, “I didn’t quite get that could you repeat it?” Ten year old was holding his stomach from laughing so hard. I grinned and wiggled my eyebrows as if to ask, “Again?”
We did have fun on the way home and he removed every piece of trash from the new car so he can ride another day.
Of course, he told on me at supper. Oops!