Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Little Green Lady

Previously, I told you all about my first car, my awesome 'Stang.

Today I want to tell you about my 1997 green Toyota Corolla. My little green Toyota was an excellent car – although not as awesome as the 'Stang. She got good gas mileage (27 mpg). She handled very well. She started every morning and took me everywhere I needed to go without ever breaking down. Well, almost every morning, because of course she was not immune from the usual problems that cars have here in Arizona – she would refuse to start once every couple of years or so and I would buy a new battery and then all would be well again. She got a flat tire a few times. Twice in one week, actually, but it wasn’t really her fault. There was just way too much construction debris between my home and my office for a while there. She was, overall, a very reliable car. I didn't drive her just for the sake of driving, the way I had with my 'Stang, but that was probably a good thing. Better for the environment, anyway.

My kids loved that car. She was the only car they had known me to own. I bought her when my daughter was 3 months old and the car was 1 year old with about 25,000 miles on it. At the time, it was the closest I had ever come to owning a "new" car. My little boy named her "Lady." My little girl’s favorite color was green.

But Lady’s paint had become faded, mottled, and chipped – not very impressive when meeting clients of the new law firm I had opened, so if I were to keep her, I’d have to paint her. She needed new tires (immediately) and new brakes (within a few months), and she was due for the "big service" (the scheduled preventative maintenance package that costs about $500 where they replace not only the oil and filters, but also all the hoses, belts, etc). The driver’s side sun visor was shredding, dropping little pieces of foam all over my lap every time I drove the car. I couldn't just remove it, as a sun visor is a necessary piece of equipment here in Arizona. A new one would cost $175 (highway robbery!), and I had been unable to find one in good shape at a junkyard. The air conditioning still worked, but not as well as it should – it would need some work, too, if I were to be able to drive to court wearing my lawyer suit in the summer. And her blue book value was just over $1000.

In short, Lady needed much more in maintenance and minor repairs than she was worth, money-wise. She was also old for a car (11 years old, with well over 100,000 miles on her) and therefore possibly due to start having engine problems. It was just time for a new car.

So last January 1 (2008), I announced my intention to get a new car. My kids were, shall we say, less than thrilled with Mommy's idea. "NO!" they cried. My little boy kept repeating that I couldn’t possibly sell "Lady"! My little girl flatly declared that I could only even consider buying a new car if it was also green. Both kids were close to tears at the prospect of not riding in Lady ever again. Both kids embarked on a ceaseless campaign to change my mind. ("But it's Lady!" "You can't sell Lady!" "I don't want to ride in a new car, I want Lady!!") Holy cow, you'd think I was taking away their toys, or their dog!

I have to admit I was a little sad, too, to give up my reliable little green Lady. But I was determined to get a new car. Next time, I'll tell you about the search for her replacement.



SkylersDad said...

Poor lady, tell the kids you are sending her off to live on a farm where she will get to run and play with the other cars all the rest of her days...

Alice said...

Believe it or not I had a problem with Sausage buying and donating our Vaccumm cleaner when I was 8. It was the worst, I loved it.

Vodka Mom said...

I am driving the ANCIENT HOnda Accord with 204,000 miles on it, while my daughter's drive my SUV. It's my son who loves it. However, we have YET to name her.

Angie said...

I feel the same way about my Tomato. Hubby's buying me a new (used) car in October (when his car will be paid off) and I'm already getting upset about it.

Side note, when I was little, I thought it was so cool that my winter coat was the same color as my Grandma's car. I cried the summer they sold that car and bought a new one. But, as luck would have it, I grew out of my winter coat and needed a new one that winter...and we found another one the same color as Grandma's new car. I don't know why that was so important to me.

I totally understand your kids.

Jenners said...

Awwww...that is kind of sad that your kids got so attached! But I imagine if you get them involved in car shopping they will drop Lady like a hot potato and got for some shiny newcomer!

Peggy said...

I am new to your blog but have been lurking since finding you from Butterfly. This post made me remember our black Chevy Impala convertable...my boyfriend,now husband spent many a summer night under the stars. It came to a violent end when it was sideswiped by another car and lost it's door and more. Nice memories! Thanks

LegalMist said...

Skyler's Dad, Vodka Mom, Angie, Peggy -- it's funny how attached we get to these inanimate objects, isn't it? We start treating them / thinking of them as if they are alive. Movies like "Star Wars" and "Wall-E," with their robots with personalities probably contribute to this phenomenon.

Alice -- not sure if you were attached to your vacuum cleaner because you thought of it as having a personality or not, but I can see how that would happen with some of them... I vacuumed so rarely when my kids were small (we have a lot of wood and tile, not much carpet in our house), that my kids were actually afraid of the vaccum cleaner and would have been thrilled if they never had to see it again.

Jenners -- you hit the nail on the head; see today's post

Peggy -- welcome, and thanks for your comments! I've been lurking over at your space, too; haven't had much time for commenting lately (sorry!)