Let us all take time now to throw things at our heroine as she hangs her head in shame, for shameful it is.
It is true. Three. Cars. In a family of two drivers, who, truth be told, almost always carpool anyway.
Let the justification begin!
Let us now take time to go find new, heavier things to throw, having already let fly with our stock of rotted tomatoes and wormy apples. There must be a "D" cell battery or 3 around here, somewhere...
The first vehicle is el minivan, complete with 57 cup holders and a good safety record. It has surprisingly reasonable gas mileage, too, as good as the small sedan it replaced. We tote kids and often a grandparent or two, at least once a week. We anticipate that our children will have friends that will need toting in the near future, too. So, really, the van makes good sense. Fine. I am somewhat able to sleep with that and rarely cringe as I get into it anymore.
The second vehicle is a several-years-old (mumbles) SUV. It has 4-wheel-drive and is paid for. It has horrible gas mileage but there are about 10-15 days each winter that we have to have it to get to work. Neither of us has a job that recognizes "snow days". We live way out in the country with the cows and deer. Wisconsin is also surprisingly hilly, the county road that we drive for much of the way resembles a rollercoaster, enough so that Colin shrieks with glee when we drive it. We are into cheap thrills in this family. Try as we might, we just can't get around needing the shameful SUV. We need the weight as much as the 4-wheel-drive and anti-lock brakes. A nice little Subaru just won't do it. The wind in a blizzard will just blow it off into the ditch and the cows will then laugh and shake their heads when they find us come spring. Cows are like that. Bitter creatures.
That leads us to the new car. It is small, it is stripped down, it is fairly gutless, and it gets really great gas mileage. If gas stays at this price, we actually make money with the purchase, given the commute. The seats are less comfortable than a gym bleacher, the windows, mirrors and locks are all dealt with by using your hand, rather than some remote, infra-red button or switch. It has 2 demi-cup holders. The radio is pure, tinny crap. It happily takes regular gas rather than "super". It is a stick shift. It feels like you are driving faster than you are, unlike the other two cars, where you frequently glance at the speedometer and then quickly in the rear-view mirror, expecting the flashing lights of the patrol car.
It is little and black and sexy. Well, sexy to two people with a minivan and a shameful SUV.
We have taken to covertly staking our individual claims to this piddly car. I started things by saying, "I love it. This is MY car," during the test drive. Hah. Dibs. Charles trumped me by driving it home while I took the kids and his mom in the minivan. Grrrrr. I drove it last week on the day we couldn't carpool, citing some obscure law about wives getting to drive the vehicle of their choosing on Wednesdays. Plus, as principal, he often has to drive kids home (yes, chaperoned, of course, such are times). He should have the vehicle with most seating. Yesterday, we were again unable to carpool, as it was "Family Fun Night" at school and I really didn't want to wait hours after the clinic closed to go home to the kids. I again claimed the car on the grounds that he should have the more deer-resistant vehicle as he would be coming home after dark. He countered with "squatters rights", placing HIS lunch, work-out clothes, pile of papers, coffee mug, PDA, and all in the front of the car. I ceded defeat of yesterday's battle, glaring beetle-browed through the car window, MY coffee mug, coffee pot, purse and lunch bag in hand, and vowed to piss on the driver's seat in the near future. Today, we are at a limited cease fire as we carpooled.
I am drinking lots of water and coffee. Better to fill a bladder.
So, there we are. A sad, sad pair.