Oh man. I got a new thing.
Something you should know about me: I have ALWAYS driven beater cars. Even now, if we’re being honest, I prefer them. They’re worn in and less expensive. You don’t have to worry about parking sixteen miles away from wherever it is you’re going out of fear that someone will open their door into you.
For YEARS I drove a 1989 Subaru Loyale, candy apple red, that was sorta given to me by a boy I had a crush on. (This was 100 years P.N. or Pre-Napkin.) I drove it around the state of North Carolina forever, visiting my parents, playing out of town shows with my sister, teaching eight different preschools a day (I was a preschool music teacher for a while) ….even starting my career as a performer.
Like my parents always have, I drove every car I had into the ground. I learned how to point out the starter or the compressor. I knew that “timing belt” equaled BAD NEWS. When the Sooby finally passed on, I sold it for spare metal (bless its heart) and drove around in a very gas inefficient old Jeep cherokee. For, like, a year or so. Nothing ever went wrong with it, I just traveled too much to pay for the amount of gas it needed to stay alive on the highway. Napkin and I were together at this point, and he had a friend who was getting ready to move to another continent and trying to unload a red 1998 Honda civic.
We paid next to nothing for it, and Napkin went and had a few repairs done and gave it to me as a “please be safe on the roads” gift. We the sold the jeep to a high school wrestling teacher. That Honda was amazing. It ran beautifully, only had a few things go wrong (mostly because of how old it was) and it drove me from the mountains of Asheville to Wrightsville Beach multiples times A WEEK for five years. I loaded my sound system into that car and showed up at country clubs to play private charity events like a BOSS. Something about girls in old cars is apparently attractive, too… so there’s that.
When I moved to Murl Beach, Napkin and I started the very casual conversation about my getting a new car. It wasn’t serious or time sensitive. But I suddenly started getting some pretty awful anxiety every time something minor would happen to the car. On the weekends that Napkin doesn’t visit me, I drive home after my show on Saturday night. Home is about three and a half hours away from my beach house so it’s pretty scary to be on the roads so late. Or it started to be, anyway. When the car would make a weird noise or something, I would shake or cry. I can’t really explain it and I solemnly swear that it wasn’t a tactic to get my hubby to buy me another present. Pinky swear. Maybe it has something to do with us being long distance? I dunno.
A couple months ago I had to replace the radiator and it was an expensive repair. My air conditioner started not to work. My water pump was on its last leg. And then the words “TIMING BELT” were uttered and I knew it was time. Or, rather, Napkin did. We had gotten up one Murl Beach morning together and were going to go get breakfast at Bojangles (don’t judge me, I have a billboard above a Bojangles) and when we piled into my car, it started making pretty terrible noises. I have a mechanic that I trust (another perk of driving a beater) and so we took it up there and he sadly gave us a terminal diagnosis. Napkin was prepared to fork over the money to fix it all (therefore buying us a little more time) but I had another one of those anxiety attacks and he squeezed my hand and said, “Let’s go to the Honda Dealership. I know that’s what you want. Now calm down a little.” (***editor’s note: He didn’t tell me to calm down. He is a sweetheart.)
We drove my shaky old Honda down the street (also stopped at Bojangles to get the breakfast we had missed) and it took…I dunno… half an hour to decide on a new car? I LOVED my old Honda civic. I loved that I had always (almost always) driven red cars. I had been looking up Hondas for a little while because I loved mine so much and decided that I would get a new one when it was time. I didn’t expect “time” to sneak up on us the way that it did… but I was prepared with questions about fuel economy, safety ratings, standard features and carriage designs when we got to the car lot.
The guy who was our car salesman sounded like Hank Williams and looked like Zach from Saved by the Bell. I have never even been to a car lot before so I didn’t really know what to expect. We also were just looking. We were prepared to walk away. We didn’t HAVE to commit to anything. Thankfully, the country star heartthrob car salesman was very-not-pushy.
Guys, I drove TWO cars. They were both Honda civics– one from 2012 and the other 2014. I actually saved MORE money getting a new car. The warranty was better, the listing price had more wiggle room… and the 2012 Honda was silver. The 2014 was, you guessed it, red. I also know exactly what I want when I see it. I’m like this about a lot of things. Shoes, Christmas trees, Husbands. Napkin haggled and was smart and attractive and prepared and just the best… and all of a sudden (by sudden I mean after three and a half hours of paperwork) I was driving off with a sparkly, new, red Honda civic. My very first new car. And if I wasn’t empowered by the safety of a reliable car– It’s under my name. I paid for it. By singing songs to people every night. Pretty radical, right?
I, of course, have been driving around listening to Beyonce on repeat, flipping my hair and wearing cool sunglasses ever since then.
It’s not really about the vanity of it all, honestly. I’m just proud of myself. I’m proud of Napkin and I. It’s sort of comforting to think that, with all the sacrifice we’ve made this past year, I was able to make a huge purchase that would actually make it easier to see him more often, you know? Like– we could drive a baby around in this car and not worry about it breaking down. (I’m not pregnant, Mom(s.) Sorry!)
And I made my first long trip this past weekend to see my dad! It was amazing! But that’s for my next post.
I need some name recommendations for my new car! Any ideas?
More soon! ❤