I hate this stuff…

Perhaps hate is too strong a word but “loathe” seems just about right. That is, when the topic is buying cars, which I did yesterday.

First there’s some of the folks who sell cars and seem to be inspired by a primal masochism. I believe there are people who would choose a simultaneous root canal and prostate exam without benefit of anesthesia or glove over the process of stepping in to a car dealer.

Second, there is my own baggage in all of this. I despise debt and have a tendency to second, third, and fourth guess myself which, added to the original pain of just doing this whole thing, makes for a mad, mad tilt a whirl of the weeks surrounding this process. And believe me it takes weeks for me to do the painful and minute research to feed my obsessive approach to all of this. That my wife has stayed married to me through the purchase of roughly a half a dozen cars is a testament to true love.

But facts are facts and my venerable Suzuki, she of good speed, pleasant seat height, and satisfactory mileage, was beginning to show her age and my own body began to ask, in various aches and pains, for more comfort and a few extra conveniences.

Of course there was nothing that was perfect. Perfect would be a car that gets above 30 mpg on the highway, has the performance of a sports car, the reliability of the sunrise, and enough space to haul a lot of suitcases. There are cars with great gas mileage but they force one into yogic poses. There are sports cars that have two doors and an open top but I need four and convertibles and kayak transport don’t mix. There are cars that are big on storage but drink gasoline by the bucket.

I ended up with a 2004 Saturn VUE, red, with a five speed manual transmission and 2.2 liter four cylinder motor. It won’t win any races but the seats are comfortable, the amenities good (cruise control and ABS), the carrying space large enough and some, and the highway mileage is close at 29. Gently used at less than 30 thousand miles it’s a little of most, none of all, and did I say it was red?

Being a Saturn dealer there wasn’t the feeding frenzy about buying that usually accompanies these rites. It was actually quite serene and if anything I was getting tired of them taking up time trying to make sure I understood everything and had every question answered. Washed up and ready I took her home with that funny fake new car smell stuck in my sinuses.

Now the fun part comes. After every car purchase I’ve ever made comes the sleepless night. Did I do the right thing? What happens if it breaks down? How about a crisis in the Middle East and here I am stuck without a Prius? What if I lose my job? Didn’t I hear that an asteroid could hit earth? Lots of late night television.

And this morning thoughts of taking it back, running away, selling off a few guitars to pay for the car, blah, blah blah. This too shall pass, they say, but this stuff always passes like a baseball size kidney stone. Two months from now when I’m driving through the snow to LaCrosse and I can see down the road because of the good driver’s seat height, am able to stretch my legs and actually immediately walk away from a car after getting out, and feeling safe with ABS and traction control none of this will matter. Right now it’s just a tired unfocused hell.

You’d think that a person in the faith business would be better at this. I’m not, and I’d better snap out of it quickly. If this continues for too much longer my wife will kill me and there won’t be a jury anywhere that would convict her.

0 thoughts on “I hate this stuff…

  1. Father, bless,Isn’t that the truth? We have a Geo Metro, and while I like the gas mileage, I’ve gotten used to the ride in my Jetta, and find when I drive the Metro now, I get a bit creaky in the back.


  2. If I recall, red is the color!! (remember the Ford Festiva?)I always believe that God leads us to the vehicles he wants us to have. So don’t worry. Payments get made and Priests need good cars. Northing better than a Saturn!!!and red to boot.:-)


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