So I Bought a New Car

I believe it was the early 90s, 1994ish to be exact(ish). The only two cars I’d known my family to have were a white Honda Accord and a White Dodge Minivan. They were just cars to me — modes of transportation from the park to the grocery store. But it was when my dad bought his Chevy Silverado that I first remember wanting buy my own car some day.

I remember a period that seemed like weeks in which we sat in the insurance office and the car dealership. It seemed to take forever. All I wanted was to sit in the new truck — it smelled like nothing I’d ever known. I distinctly remember my parents’ reactions to the whole ordeal. I remember my dad sitting very stiff and intently discussing new-car matters. I remember the look on his face. Like elation turned to nausea turned to happiness turned to dread. And my 4 year old mind could not wrap itself around this image. I told myself, “When I grow up, I’m going to buy new cars all the time and when I do, I’ll be so happy!”

And then I bought my own car.

I am a new owner of a ’13 Ford Focus (thanks, Uncle Gary!). I spent over 3 hours at the dealership haggling — and I got my way, of course. But as I was sitting by myself (which was roughly 60% of the time) I noticed my face grimacing. I was excited for a new car (though sad to see Rudy go). I was excited for our adventures and for Microsoft Sync. But it was in that moment, as I pondered the great debt I had willingly placed myself in, with the pressure of taking care of a brand-new car, that I too had the look my father had shared some 20 years ago. I didn’t understand it then, when I wanted a pink Barbie jeep that was life-sized. But now I get it, dad.

Grown up life is rough. They don’t tell you about these parts in the college brochures. But the red on my new Focus is pretty sexy so I suppose that evens it all out.

Now taking suggestions for car names. I’ve got Donna, Pond, and Scout.

MK

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