Fare Thee Well, Old Friend

About a week ago, my husband told me that I really should get a car with better gas mileage. We have had this discussion (aka argument) before, and I always disagree, stating that my car is very safe, and that I hardly even drive it very far (it's a 10 minute drive to work). But every time it comes time for us to go out of town, I want to take mine for safety reasons, and he wants to take his for gas reasons (that's a whole other argument). I absolutely adore my car, and I really didn't even know if I could find anything that could even compare. 4 years ago I stumbled upon my car and the dealership practically handed it to me. I signed a 4 year note on it, and had we not refinanced it to pay for our house being painted last year, it would be paid off today. I never thought I'd drive a Lincoln, but I got the BEST deal on it. I got such a good deal on it, in fact, that I looked up the exact same vehicle on cars.com and found that dealerships are selling the exact same car for MORE than what I paid for it FOUR YEARS AGO, and the ones online have way more miles on them than mine had when I got it. It was a crazy good deal, I tell ya. So anyway, I knew that there would be no way that I'd find that great of a deal again, so I sort of brushed off what Hooper said about needing a new car.
But then we went out of town to his dad's house... in his car... with 2 dogs and a toddler in tow. It was NOT a comfortable ride. So I started looking up vehicles. I found a few that fit the criteria that both Hooper and I wanted. He had a list of musts, and I had a list of musts. Combining both of our lists created a very small group of possibilities. Included in that very small group were a few minivans. Yes, that's right. Minivans. My cousin drives a minivan and so does one of my best friends, and they both told me that it is the best vehicle they've ever had. I almost had myself talked into one, but the next day I was headed to work and passed the EXACT replica of the one we had added to our favorites list. I stared at it as it passed by and realized that I am just not there yet. I just couldn't see myself going minivan mama YET. (A minivan will probably be my NEXT car.) So that made the small group even smaller.

Hooper's "musts" were:
Better gas mileage
Not too expensive
Less than 35K miles
(seriously, that's it.)

My "musts" were:
Has to be extremely safe
Have to like it as much, if not MORE than my Navigator (this one was the really hard one)
Third row seating (this was a hard one, too)
Leather interior (Once you go leather, you can never go cloth again)
Exterior color of: silver, white, cream, gray, black, gold, or beige.
Not too old
Preferred backup camera, dvd player, mp3 hookup, heated seats (but those were not deal breakers)
My list kind of makes me sound like a diva, but if those things weren't possible, then I'd be just as happy keeping the Navigator.

Well... my husband (God love him) found me the perfect vehicle. He's been telling me for months how much he loves the new Dodge Durangos, and wouldn't you know, that's what he found me. We did some research on them, and the safety ratings were outstanding. The gas mileage is 16 city/23 hwy mpg, which isn't outstanding, but my Navigator gets 11 city/16 hwy mpg (and I don't think I ever saw it get 16). So it is a major improvement in that area. It's a 2011 with 21K miles on it, has third row seating, leather interior, mp3 hookup, it's silver, with a backup camera, and I like it A LOT. SO... it met all of our "musts". It doesn't have dvd players or heated seats, but remember, those weren't deal breakers. :) As far as pricing goes, we knew it would give us a higher payment than we currently have, but we set a certain "top of the line" amount that we would not go over on our monthly payments. Without going into too much detail, I'll just say that we got an INCREDIBLE deal, and we owe a lot of thanks to Joel at Mike Brown Ford.

But all of that aside, I was still very sad. I get extremely attached to my vehicles, and really sad when it's time to tell them goodbye. My Navigator was my third vehicle, but I had a little bit more of a sentimental attachment to it than any of my others. For one, I was IN LOVE with it. I really think that if it wasn't creeping up on 80K miles, I still wouldn't have really paid much attention to finding a new car. And secondly, I drove that car when Hooper and I were just dating, I drove it when we were engaged, I drove it after we were married, and most importantly, I brought my baby home from the hospital in it. There are a lot of memories in that car. When Hooper brought it up to my work for me to say goodbye to it, I patted it on the side and said aloud, "Goodbye, Old Friend." I felt like I was sending a family horse off to the glue factory. Seriously. It was hard.

Below is a photo of Hooper and I pulling up to our house with newborn Finley in tow.

And here is the new one.

I just have to put all of my sad feelings aside and remember that we will make new memories in the new car. And every time I actually sit in my new car, my happiness outweighs the sadness by a long shot. :)


MeeMaw YaYa said…
Great story, Chelsea. I think your new car looks very stylish! Congratulations!
I can see why you’re finding it hard to let go of the old car - it was because of the memories that you made with it. Like you, I used to have a very cool car that has given me the chance to meet the man of my life. But like your Hooper, he convinced me to replace my car since we’re spending a lot for its repairs. I felt bad ‘cause I preferred repairs so that I can still have the car with me. Anyway, it’s almost seven months since this post, and I hope you’re now making new memories with your new car. Hooper picked a great car for you. :)

Michelina Douglass
Mickey said…
That’s a very sweet effort for Hopper to look for a vehicle that met all your conditions. It’s just the right decision to get a new car than try to save it with repairs only. The repairs will slowly drain your resources and sometimes be more expensive that buying a new car. I hope you’ve already gotten used to your new car and you’re enjoying the ride of your life!

[ Mickey Doshi ]

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