For over 10 years I have been driving a VW Golf. Since I bought it right after my divorce, the car represents freedom. Freedom and fun. It is silver, has 4 doors, a moon roof and a stick shift. Stick shift? Yes, you know, manual transmission or dare I use the word ‘standard’? In these days of automation it seems archaic to have to change the gears yourself. Do kids have to learn how to drive a stick shift before they get their driver’s license any more? I suppose not. I still remember taking my driving test and freaking out the instructor who couldn’t believe I could drive a stick. I think he gave me my license simply because I was capable of smoothly taking off – even on a hill like the ones you see in San Francisco.
Today I wandered around a Honda showroom looking at all the new cars and dreaming of a new one. I noticed that manual transmission does not seem to be popular in cars these days. I seem to be gravitating to the Honda CRV which sadly does not offer manual transmission. The Honda CRV is quite a bit bigger than what I am driving now, but is probably more practical than my Golf when you are regularly driving 2 kids around in the back seat. With the Golf I can’t even make a trip to Costco because by the time I fill up my cart in the store, I would have to leave the kids at the store in order to get all the ‘stuff’ home.
Why a CRV and not an Odyssey? Sorry, but I cannot come to terms with buying a mini-van. I think it is because I still have bad memories about having a mini-van back over me in my ‘little car’. I never want to be that person backing up their mini-van over a Smart Car. I had a mini-van back into me several years ago and then they blamed me for running into them. Excuse me, but I still don’t see how I smashed my passenger side door into the back bumper of a mini-van, especially since I was sitting completely still! The same incident almost happened a few months ago in the parking lot of a Paradise Bakery. A van backed up and almost hit me. I honked my horn to alert them that I was there. The only thing that awoke the driver was the sound of my car tires screeching as I slammed the car back into first gear and sped back into my parking spot. I guess I can only hope that I can be seen in the CRV since apparently a Silver VW Golf looked invisible. Invisible was not the paint color I had ordered, apparently the color just looked invisible.
As I sat in the driver’s seat of the CRV in the Honda showroom, I thought about how nice it was. Unfortunately, I also thought about the colossal car payment and the other negatives. No more manual transmission and the loss of a lot of memories from my VW Golf. Memories like my friend barfing in the back seat after a drinking binge 2 weeks after I bought the car (new car smell didn’t last long!), driving to the mountains and to the coast of Oregon, attaching chains at Mt. Hood during snow storms, and last of all, bringing my son home from the hospital for the first time. I suppose a new car would provide a place for new memories.
I did not drive away with a new car today, but I definitely am warming up to the idea. I realize now that getting something new, requires getting rid of something old. I guess I neglected to consider that I would need to give up my old car for a new one which turns out to be harder than I thought. Maybe by the time I have money saved up for a new car, I will actually be ready to part with the old one.