Jul. 8th, 2011

lemon_says: (Simpsonize)
My dad is a Car Guy. He built half his cars. Back in the 60s he had a Cutlass that was so notorious that the cops recognized it a mile away, and so did all the other Car Guys who drag raced through Orlando back when it was still a backwater. My mom told me once that she and my dad were driving through the suburbs in the early 80s, in a green station wagon full of Brownies, and they just looked at each other and couldn't stop laughing over the "how did we get here" aspect of it all. I imagine he thought more than once about the MG when he was piloting a giant bubble-top van full of kids through town.

My high school boyfriend built his own car, a 280Z, out of parts and pieces of other ones. It was his pride and joy. Years later, I dated a drag racer who once rigged his souped-up Eclipse so it would start when I pushed what I called "the red candy-like button" (in a Ren voice, in case you get that reference), which was actually usually a nitrous button, but I couldn't press that in downtown traffic, you know.

I get loving a car. For a long time I felt like my car was tied to my identity--especially my purple pickup truck, which I loved dearly and got me through college and grad school and many road trips, including the one where we got married. I used to joke (until people got way too freaking touchy about it, even though everybody NOT in a little red hatchback knew what I meant) that I would never want a Civic because I didn't want to lose all my driving skills, or that I couldn't have a green minivan and still respect myself (probably because I'd be out blocking intersections somewhere). Even now I don't have a mom car. But the time has come when we must put away childish things like personal preference and just get a damn car that holds everybody.

There have been two main things on our minds around here lately: one is poor P trying to shoehorn some stairs onto this house working within the limitations that he has (we think he got it last night), like property lines and what can get in under a repair permit.

The other is the car.

We're going to need a third-row car. P thinks of this as being one of those nebulous, futuristic problems and says we'll address it "down the road." Sometimes my husband forgets that time continues to pass while he is planning. Also, he's not the one who has to wedge his hand down between two car seats to try to fasten Monster's booster seat four times a day. I dread having to do that in carpool line next year.

There are some reasons he doesn't want to address it. One is that he'd like the house done first. I get that, but...well, nothing has happened with the house either. Second, new cars are expensive. Even if you don't buy a NEW new car, it is expensive.

Honestly, I think the main reason is that he doesn't want to give up his Precious. He loves his Scion dearly. I like the Scion. It's a great little city car. But here's the issue: it will only hold 2 car seats. No big deal if he's not the one who needs to drive all the kids, right? What if something happens to the other car, or the other driver? What if we got stranded somewhere? Do we just pick a child to leave on the side of the road? My car will at least (legally and safely, if not comfortably) hold three car seats. Not so much the Scion. I understand where he's coming from; our last few cars have been for me to be the primary driver (bigger as we got more kids), so we'd sell his car, he'd get my car, and then I'd get the new car. This was the first one in a while that he got to pick on his own, to his specifications, and he loves it. I just wish it were possible to squeeeeeze one more seat in there so he could keep it, but I just don't think it's going to work. Besides, mine is closer to being paid off.

But no, I'm still not getting a minivan.

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