A BIG decision.
A decision that I put off for as long as I could.
A decision that unless you live in the metro cities of New York City or San Francisco or European cities such as London, Paris, or Dublin, and want to live a functional lifestyle you will have to make.
A decision that had I not been forced to make, I might still be found somewhere in a ‘narrowed’ down list of 3, 4, 7, maybe 11 models, upholstery options, and rim packages.
I had to buy a car.
If I had a Top 10 List of things I absolutely despise doing, buying a car would probably come in fourth place. (Fourth behind trips to the dentist, waking up any day before 10:00 a.m., and being forced to eat any kind of bean.) I think I will start a Top 10 List of Things I Absolutely Despise Doing; sounds like a good idea.
My first and only car was given to me by my parents during my junior year of high school: a 2001 Cherry Red Oldsmobile Alero named Ruby. That little car got me through 2 years of high school, 4 years of college (12 hours away from home), 3 years of Grad school and almost 1 year post education. She saw many a hurricane, hauled more than her fair share of shopping bags and miscellaneous (and always necessary) finds, and protected me from getting the bugs in my teeth that my bicycle could not have prevented.
since October of 2000 but there is still a 17-year-old girl inside
of me that can keep up with of the rest [most] of them.
We have shared some extremely memorable moments, Ruby and I.
Like the time we backed out of my driveway and began the 12 hour trip back to college. My friend Lauren had flown in to hang out for the week before and drive back with me. I had packed Ruby so full to the brim that Lauren had no other option but to ride the full 12 hours with her suitcase at her feet and my body pillow in her lap. (All-up-in-her-person would probably be a more appropriate description.) She will never let me live that down.
Or the time we got stuck in mud during a 7 month drought. Seriously, it probably had not rained in about 54 days yet somehow I managed to find the only 14 square feet of mud in the entire parish. I was a senior in high school at the time. About 15 of my guy friends stopped to help but were unable to produce any results. So I called Daddy. What else can a girl do when all of her friends let her down? Dad’s can do anything. I will never forget what my 6’-4” friend, Dan, said to me when he learned that I had called in Dad for backup:
‘Do you know how embarrassing it will be if your Dad gets here and is able to pull your car out when we couldn’t?’
‘Well if you don’t want to be embarrassed ya’ll had better get it out before he gets here because he will get it out. You have about 5 minutes,' I replied.
I’m sure you can guess what happened next. My parents had my car unstuck and ready to go in 8 minutes flat. Dad pulled up and started giving orders before he had even put his own car in park. He told my mom to get in my car to steer, assigned positions to 7 of the biggest guys, took the heaviest, most-stuck spot for himself and told everyone else to stand back. On the count of 3, they lifted it out and back onto the safety of the unwavering concrete. Needless to say, Dan was embarrassed but felt fairly good about himself because Dad had placed Dan directly to his right in the ‘strong-man line-up’.
(I would also like to add that I had not been off-roading or driving haphazardly by any stretch of the imagination. I was merely turning around in what I thought was my friend’s driveway. I turned in one driveway too early and unfortunately found out the hard way that said driveway was under construction.)
We have given many rides to many a passenger. I won’t tell you how many people she was able tote around back in her hey-day; I don’t think I could get in trouble, but I prefer not to put it in writing just in case. Let’s just say you would be absolutely amazed at the number of sets of fingers and toes she could pack in at once.
We were pulled over for silly reasons several times, ahem, 7 times before ever getting a ticket.
We got into one fender bender. It’s best if I don’t go into that as I get more than a little heated.
Yes, Ruby and I have made many fond and not so fond memories together.
But last year on March 13, life as Ruby and I knew it came to a screeching halt when she stopped dead in her tracks in my church parking lot and quit on me. Like, Out-Like-a-Light quit on me. I guess if you have to die somewhere just outside the sanctuary doors is a good place to do so. There was no bringing her back to life. Well, that’s not completely true; she could have been brought back for a very, VERY, VERY shiny penny.
Ruby's last picture before being picked up. I'm pretty sure I
was asleep when she was loaded up and driven away for good.
I think my parents planned an early pick-up so that they
wouldn't have to deal with my sometimes uncontrollable emotions!
Still lookin' good after 9 1/2 years!!!
Thus I had to go shopping for a new one.
I don’t remember many details of purchasing day as I have deliberately put them in my mental ‘Recycle Bin’ and have since then 'Deleted Forever'. It was an experience to say the least; one that Mom and I have vowed never, ever to to repeat without the help and physical presence of a trusted male. Mom and I went to the Toyota dealership that day with the sole intention of looking NOT buying. But buy I did. All I know is we were there for 6+ hours with no lunch or dinner break, had my dad coaching us over the phone as he was out of the state or country (it’s impossible to keep up with his whereabouts), and I may or may not have blown up in the manager’s face. My mild and learned dislike towards car salesmen turned into a very strong and experienced dislike that day.
My first car purchase complete with Big Girl Keys!
Can you see the traces of concern and 'What did I Just Do?'
look on my countenance?!
For once, Mom looks like the calm one!
But I do love [Crimson] Ann White and have been very pleased with my purchase. She is beautiful! I have had zero problems with her and she has been a great commute buddy. She has yet to make it out of the state but I just know she would enjoy a trip through the southeast. (I require a plane when traveling any farther than that.)