My new wheels!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, our long national nightmare is over. I have transportation.
We did, obviously, end up with a mini van. It’s an ’05 Kia Sedona. I’m totally okay with this. What happened was we went ahead and bought from the first place we stopped. Probably not the smartest way to purchase a vehicle, I know. But it’s a major dealership in the Oklahoma City area, not some fly-by-night establishment. I think both Robert and I were so surprised when they said they could actually help us that we were afraid to turn them down, lest we not have similar luck at another place. Plus we are both just so worn down from the past 9 months that we had reached a point where we just wanted a damned car already. Neither of us had the heart or energy to do the full-on car-shopping tour. And we got a fair deal, too. Robert looked the car up in the Kelley Blue Book and the price we’re paying is appropriate. Our interest rate is a little high but that’s just how it’s going to be for a while because of our credit score. We feel that in a year or so we ought to be able to refinance and get the interest rate a little lower.
So how do I feel about it? Well, I think I pretty much summed it up when telling some friends about our purchase yesterday. My exact words were: “Is it my dream car? No. Wait, scratch that. Is it my dream car? Yes! Why? Because IT’S A CAR.” Have I always fantasized about driving a mini van? No. But it’s pretty new, it has low mileage (under 22k), it’s a pretty color and it has a lot of neat features (power locks and windows, cruise control, CD player, tons of storage, rear air, tinted windows and removeable back seats). And all of that is, really, way more than I thought I had any hope of coming away with. Also, I do adore all the space inside. My last car was a Toyota 4Runner (very small inside for an SUV; we couldn’t even fit a fifth person in it) and the car before that? A Dodge Neon. So you can imagine having room to spare is a new experience for me. I got in it this morning to put JZ’s seat in and I monkeyed around with the seats a bit just to see how they work. Both the middle seat (a bench seat) and the far back seat (a bench seat that is split down the middle with both sides able to move independently of one another) can be moved forward and back to change the balance of the leg room. When the middle seat is scooted all the way forward and the back seats all the way back there is leg room for miles. I can only imagine how much junk we could fit in there with both seats removed.
And you know what else? I am enjoying driving it. Yeah, it’s a “Mom Van.” No, it isn’t hip. Then again, no one has ever accused me of being hip or even caring about it. We are going to have a DVD system put in for the kids and most likely put in XM radio for the grownups and then I think we will all be as happy as clams with it. I don’t forsee having any problems being content with this car for a couple years, until we can upgrade to a fancy conversion van. I admit, I’ve been having fun personalizing it so far. Today I bought a matching steering wheel cover, trash bag and front floor mats (purple velvety material with dragonflies embroidered on – the interior is gray so it looks nice). I also bought a little dashboard duster, auto wipes for the interior, Febreze for vehicles and “Car Coasters,” which are little stone coasters that sit inside the drink holders and soak up any liquids. I also bought an organizer for the back and have stocked it with a box of baby wipes, a box of disposable bibs for JZ, a box of napkins and the Febreze and auto wipes (more stuff to come as I think of it). Tomorrow I will restock the tote bag I use for the kids with all the stuff they might need (diapers, crayons, paper, activity books, non-perishable snacks, etc.) and then we will be ready to hit the road at a moment’s notice!
So far, though, the reality hasn’t really sunk in yet, that I have a car after all this time. I did go out today and take the kids but it’s the weekend — even if I didn’t have a new car I’d still have been able to go out because Robert’s home with his car. I think it will really hit me on Monday morning when Robert takes off for work and JZ and I can actually leave the house and go to the park or to run errands. I have been bugging Robert for weeks about dropping off some papers somewhere for me and he hasn’t been able to get to it. Today I was able to tell him, “Just leave them on the counter and I can take them on Monday myself!” It felt great. Unless it’s happened to you it’s hard to imagine just how much you feel like a useless slacker in this situation. I couldn’t even go get milk when we ran out. I’d have to call Robert and add it to his list of things to do — like he needed that!
All in all I’d have to say it’s been a great weekend so far. Not only is getting the car wonderful in the short-term but it also represents something far more. It’s a milestone on our road to financial recovery — both in the fact that it will help us reestablish our credit and, in the abstract, it’s a marker of how much our situation has improved from where it was four or five months ago. Back then we wouldn’t have been able to take on these payments at all, whether someone would’ve given us the car or not.
I’m a happy girl.