Well, we bought a car today.
A new one. Not used.
I hate buying new cars. In fact, I hate it so much I haven’t bought a new car since 1993. And if anyone hates it more than me, it’s Darling Husband. You do know that new cars lose 99.9% of their value the second you sign those papers, right? If buying a new car was a Twilight Zone episode, every time someone would buy a new car, a cheesy looking guy with a pointy beard and pitchfork would appear, cackling, from behind a potted plant. Buying new cars is just that evil.
But Darling Husband drives 80 miles a day and wants a car with good gas mileage. Unfortunately, it’s only this year that cars are finally being made with decent gas mileage. Crunching some numbers, it makes better sense to spend the extra money now for a new car with great gas mileage, so we can save money on gas over the life of the car.
But it doesn’t mean we have to be happy about all this. We bought our last new car in 1993, and we paid it off in 1995. This means we haven’t had a car payment in 17 years. I was going to use exaggeration on that last sentence because I like to exaggerate (shocking, I know.) But I don’t have to exaggerate this time. It’s really been seventeen years since we’ve had a car payment.
Currently our youngest car is 12 years old. Youngest. So, we’ve pretty much leached out all the life from the older cars. In fact, as we were driving two of our four clunkers to the dealer to be looked at for trade-in value, the one I was driving conked out and died on the side of the road. Darling Husband was driving the car with the bad steering column, so I was following him. That way, if he had to pull his clunker over (as we suspected he might), I would be behind him to stop and help. But in the end, I was the one on the side of the road sadly watching him blithely drive on ahead without me.
If you recall, that same car conked out back on January 29th. I wrote about it on The Blog. It hasn’t conked out like that since January. Just like last time, I waited about 5 minutes and it started back up again. In the end, we decided to keep Conked Out Car and trade in both Bad Steering Column Car and Leaks Like a Sieve Car. The mini-van is Almost Stalls at Stop Lights Car, but if you put it in neutral until the light turns green, everything’s hunky dory.
Anyway—we bought an orange hatchback Chevy Sonic. You can google images if you like. I’ll take a picture of our car on Monday when it’s due to arrive in Gettysburg from the other lot that it’s on. I got into an argument with the financing guy about that. I said, “Why do we have to wait until it’s driven here? It’s within a 50 mile radius. Why can’t we buy it, and then go get it ourselves tonight or on Friday?”
Apparently they Just Don’t Do That. And apparently, I could Not Let That Go and kept insisting that that Didn’t Make Sense. People, I do not do well with things that Don’t Make Sense. I’m highly logical and rarely emotional. Well, I have emotions, but I can control them with little effort.
Except for today. Every now and then, my emotions get tired of behaving and throw little tantrums. Buying brand new cars goes against my staid, frugal and deeply held financial belief system to such a degree that I ended up sitting in the back seat of Conked Out Car at the dealership bawling my eyes out from the sheer horror of it all. No, I’m not kidding. Poor Darling Husband was bemused to find me sobbing in the car when he came out to see why it was taking me so long to “get some air.”
Unfortunately, my crying jag was interrupted by the paper signing, so the bad feelings were still lingering when we got home. I’m sorry to say that when I realized I couldn’t just pop out to get a hamburger from McDonalds for dinner because now we have a stinky car payment, I threw a poor defenseless banana against the counter in a fit of misery. And then ate the banana and a $1 pot pie for dinner. Yes, you can expect me to be implementing Pathetic and Draconian Money Saving Strategies for the next few months until I recover from the shock of having a (cringe) car payment. (Gak.) (Jo-Ann, lunch at Olive Garden on Sunday sounds great. I’ll just eat the bread sticks with some water.)
And what makes this whole thing truly horrible is that I didn’t expect to be out of the house today so I wore my exercise clothes. I never (ever, ever) wear my ugly exercise clothes in public. Darling Husband said, “Come with me real quick to test drive a car,” which turned into an 8 hour long ordeal. In those 8 hours I didn’t actually exercise at all, my house stayed messy, I was temporarily stranded on the side of the road in a clunker, had a semi-public crying jag in said clunker, picked a fight with the finance guy, beat up a banana, and hit every single red light in Gettysburg, all while looking like a total slob. (There are 892 lights between the dealership on 30 and the light at Steinwehr.)
But before we signed away all our fun-money for the next 60 months, we managed to nab one last meal at Li’s. In my grey and hot pink running shoes: