A blog about writing . . . and a lot of other things

Friday, October 12, 2012

My dysfunctional relationship with cars

So I got in another car accident this week.  It was probably the mildest car accident I've been in, although the one where I rear-ended that guy on the freeway because a spider was crawling on me was a pretty minor one, too.  That one felt less minor because it was officially my fault.  According to the claims adjuster, the spider was uninsured and couldn't be held liable.
Wasn't the Mazda pretty when it was brand new?

This time a truck was turning left out of a gas station and didn't see that I was already occupying that space on the road.  Luckily I saw him coming and swerved into the right turn lane.  That's why it was a mild car accident that requires replacement of a car door and some touch-up painting rather than the "Jaws of Life."

Our cars have been in a lot of accidents - many of them all by themselves while legally parked.  My little Mazda alone has now been in three car accidents - this last week's, the spider one, and the one where we got rear-ended by the kid in the Jeep in which I got whiplash and the poor kid cried while his drunk friend remained unconscious.  The only side of the Mazda that hasn't been replaced now is the passenger side.  

Even though the Mazda is coming home soon with one side all shiny and new, the truth is that its days are numbered. Why?  Nothing personal, you understand, but it has nearly 100,000 miles on it, has had to have several thousand dollars of repairs over the last couple of years, and more importantly, it doesn't meet our needs any more.

The only one of our car accidents I took pictures of, probably because
this one was so awesome.   The Subaru was slaughtered in dark of night
only inches from where the Mazda - only a few weeks old - was parked.
It will be the end of an era.  From the days of our old Honda Accord hatchback we have always been a family that loved small and zippy.  The Mazda is the zenith.  Bright blue with plenty of horses, the little guy has been intensely fun to drive.  Mazda isn't lying about the whole zoom-zoom thing.  I love driving that car.

When the time comes, our little blue Mazda will be replaced by something  less fun to drive.  It will have all-wheel drive, probably have an automatic transmission, and it might even be a small SUV.  I might as well hang a sign on the back saying, "I have abandoned my youth."  The truth is that getting in and out of the low-slung Mazda wrenches my knee nearly every time and working the clutch in traffic can be awful.  Zoom-zoom has a price.

We aren't buying a new car yet, though.  You know how I mentioned in my last post that we'd done Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University?  I didn't spend all that time getting out of debt just to jump into another car payment.  We're going to wait until we can pay cash for a car, and that's going to be a while.  

It's hard to be patient and wait, though.  It's hard when I had to spend another $1,200 on car repairs last month.  It's hard when my knee complains every time I get into the car.  It's hard when I'm in a little blue Mazda (without side airbags) staring down a large Chevy truck aiming right at me.  It's hard when everybody else is driving shiny new cars that they financed and my cars have developed that "old car smell."

But I'm staying strong.  And I'm watching this because it helps me remember why I'm waiting:

I wish you safe driving.  Keep your eyes peeled for those big Chevy trucks, and watch out for spiders, too!

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