Monday, January 7, 2008

Itty Bitty (old) Biddy, the Beast, and a Bunch of Buts

My sweet little Jetta is home from automotive ICU after being gone for over a month - apparently radiator clips are a rare and exotic commodity. Perhaps she just sat in the corner - a body shop wallflower given her age and puny stature.

The Beast (2007 Murano) is gone, back to the rental lot. My daughter-in-law returned her to a lot in Brooklyn so I can't really conveniently visit (steal) her. My very first blog entry was about how intimidating The Beast was to me, how I couldn't park her, couldn't reverse, lived in fear of mowing down tiny toddlers.

Oh what a difference a month makes!

And now I have a dilemma - that's duh-lem-her if you're from Bensonhurst.

Jetta is a sweet girl but she's a 95 - Beast was a 2007. Oh the newness!

BUT ...

Jetta costs $20 to fill up - Beast was a greedy $60 a tank

and I really like polar bears

Jetta is small and low - I could just slide into Beast's seat and recline like Queen for a Day


Jetta is all paid for, insurance is practically nothing - I've been pricing Beasts just to torture myself

How many jobs can I work!?

Jetta needs some work done (don't we all!) - basically anything having to do with a wire is all mucked up; sunroof doesn't open, no dashboard lights, alarm groans when activated (is it even activated!?), back window is permanently closed, trunk release won't release, and on and on.

Beast just glowed! Was always happy to see me. Could hardly wait to roar into action - "Where we going today Mommy!"

BUT ... I really don't travel that far that often.

BUT... What came first? The not traveling or the "Hope I get to Brooklyn before she falls apart" or even better - "Please don't die in the Lincoln Tunnel, these are the first theater tickets I've had in a year"

Obviously I could just consider a newer version of Jetta - she could still be small and good on gas.

BUT ...

I have been seduced! I have SUV fever. I am ashamed.

I have gone from - anyone who owns a Beast - this includes my son, his wife, my brother, my nieces - should be flogged in public while writing a huge check to the NRDC to...

BUT it's so much safer, it's better for my back, I can see everyone who's about to cut me off!

Blah, blah, blah - blasphemy, bull - I hiss to myself - what a hypocrite!

BUT ... Oh My - Beast was comfy.

Jetta has only been back with me for a day so I'm assuming we will bond once more. I did have a guilt pang when I slammed her little door in disgust and left her there in the bank's parking lot - looking so sad between the Hummer and the Expedition. And she was so proudly displaying her "I brake for animals" plate. The Hummer was busily licking squirrel blood off it's tires and the Expedition mumbled something about "future generations? they're gonna want air to breathe? screw 'em - I'm comfortable and today is all that matters"

I think I just figured it out. BUT ...


Cherie said...

Maybe a hybrid is in your future. You've taken good care of your Jetta if she's lasted this long. Think of how much more you'll be doing for the environment with a hybrid, and you'll have something shiney and new.

Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon. It's something to think about. Your Jetta has fought the good fight. Maybe it's time to think about retirement. ;)

Theresa said...

ohh I feel your dilemma- yes never slip into one of those newer cozier luxury cars, unless you know you can keep it- but on the other hand you don't have to worry where you park, what's another ding, who is going to steal old and reliable.

Yes the agony and unfairness of it all.

my vote (if it counts) Long Live the Jetta!

Jay Simser said...

I drive a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee and I love it. It has 106000 miles on it and I will drive it until it falls apart. I felt guilty when I got it but my environmentally conscious nephew saw it he said I could keep it that I needed a big car. (I am 6'3" - or at least I used to be) so I kept it.

Perhaps the compromise hybird would be a good thing. In the end it comes down to economics. I loved only having to pay $35 for license this year. Not much help am I - But I did enjoy your writing, (as always) j

Dianne said...

cherie, jay - I have been thinking of a hybrid, the larger models are still quite expensive. There's something so wonderful about one less monthly bill.

theresa - my son picked up the Murano for me - it has occurred to me that it was part of his diabolical plot to hook me on large cars since I always pick at him about his pick-up truck. Any time I've rented a car myself I've always taken a Dodge Neon or some other go-cart type car.

magnetbabe said...

I recently had a similar experience. We have two tiny cars and I needed to rent an SUV to transport some cats (long story) and I fell in love with that awful devil car. Toyota just came out with their Hybrid Highlander, the hybrid SUV. I think we'll try to get one of those when the time comes. But I'm with you, for now we're enjoying one less bill, lower insurance and if we should have an accident it definitely isn't the end of the world.

Thanks for stopping by Field Lines!

Minnesotablue said...

The bigger cars sure are seductive, plenty of room smooth ride etc but think of the gas consumption the cost of gas the enviroment. When your small car finally gives out, by another. The new ones run smooth, are energy efficent and as long as you can get to point b from point a you are ahead of the game! Good luck!

Jeni said...

The only car I've ever owned that I managed to get paid off BEFORE it had at least 150,000 miles (and then some) on it, was a 2000 Ford Focus. I'd probably still be driving it if my dear son -favorite son, ya know -hadn't totaled it a year ago Christmas night. Now I have a '96 Ford Windstar van with close to 145,000 miles on it, runs good, no payment -got it almost a year ago for $1600 through a friend of my son-in-laws. It's comfortable, mileage isn't horrid but It costs me $54 now to fill the tank on it though so I'm thankful I don't have to go out much! But no payment, insurance is reasonable on it too so I'm happy with that and so is my social security check! LOL

Dianne said...

magnetbabe - minnesotablue - "devil car" "seductive" - I love that, that is exactly how I feel.

and yes Jeni - no monthly car payment is a big plus!

Oh - magnetbabe - the story of transporting some cats - do you do rescue work? I used to do a lot in Brooklyn before I had my own business and didn't work so many hours. I do what I can now as well.

Lisa said...

"apparently radiator clips are a rare and exotic commodity"

LOL! Great post, Dianne. All of it. Very funny.

I understand the lure of the SUV. I have one. If Toyota had offered a hybrid 4 Runner I would have bought one--but I need a big, powerful 4wd vehicle just to get around the mountain, especially when we get 8 feet of snow. :-) And to get around on all those Colorado 4wd roads.

I feel guilty when I drive it, though, if that makes you feel any better. And actually, the hybrids may be worse for the environment in the long run.

Hydrogen is probably the better alternative. You could make that yourself at home and the only byproduct is water.

But bicycles are the best answer. Imagine the shape I'd be in if I rode a bike up and down the mountain every day! On second thought, I think I'd be dead by now.

Dianne said...

thanks Lisa! I love to make folks laugh. Me and Jetta are healing, we're finding our way back to each other. Today I went to adjust the mirror and it fell off and that was OK, everything sags and droops, who am I to judge. I bolted her back together and we just kept going.

Lisa said...

"Today I went to adjust the mirror and it fell off"

LOL! Oh, my God! And you didn't see that as a "sign." LOL!