In March of '09, Darrell and I went car shopping. I had driven my VW Jetta for nearly 9 years at that point, and it was no longer as reliable as it once was. Plus, we had spent something like $5,000 in the previous 6 months fixing various problems (and dealing with the crappiest service department known to man, but I digress...).
I wanted to get something relatively cheap (initial cost and upkeep), utilitarian, and reliable. Like a Honda Element. Darrell wanted to pretend that we are related to the Rockefellers. He convinced me to go to the Acura dealership "just to look." I should have known better.
Side note: Darrell has an Acura RSX that has required very little servicing over the past 8 years. He has close to 150,000 miles on it, and other than routine maintenance (which Darrell is meticulous about), it has spent very little time in "the shop." I give him a hard time about his car. First, it has rigid suspension, which Darrell is very excited about, but which makes the ride in his car something akin to the Great American Scream machine (wooden roller coaster) at Six Flags. You feel every bump in the road and when you arrive at your destination, your butt is completely numb. Second, the car has two doors, which makes it nearly impossible to get into and out of. The heavy doors are forever closing on my leg before I'm ready to actually close the door. Third, the only people I ever see driving RSX's are women. Seriously.
So here we are at the Acura dealership where Darrell is on a first-name basis with just about every sales guy and service tech in the place. He visits regularly (even when he's not having an oil change, etc) because he loves to looking at and talking about cars. Especially Acuras.
He talked me into test-driving the Acura TSX. I must admit, it was an incredibly smooth ride. And, because they had like a bazillion of these things sitting on the lot, we were able to get a great deal. They had exactly the color combo I like (black w/ tan interior). I really wanted cloth seats (I don't like the feel or smell of leather seats), but apparently that is an offensive request at the Acura dealership (they looked at me like I was asking them to dance naked down I-85). Darrell really REALLY wanted to buy the car, and the sales guy could smell it on him. I countered with rational information like, "the taxes will be about 4 times as much as on my Jetta, we will have to spend twice as much on gas, we will have to spread our payments out over the next 7 years to keep them low enough for us to afford," etc. Darrell developed selective hearing and an impressive talent for circular reasoning. So, because it was getting late and I was tired, I relented and we bought the TSX. I figured we'd be able to pay the car off faster once Joshua went to kindergarten (and freed up the daycare money).
And then, of course, we got pregnant in May.
The smell of my car made me so sick during my first trimester (the summer months) that I was forced to drive the RSX so I wouldn't continually gag while driving. You remember, the car that randomly closes on my legs while I'm trying to get in? The car that makes my butt go numb, even when I'm only driving to the grocery store? No, that wasn't annoying at all.
If complaining were an olympic sport, I would have been a gold medalist last summer.
Once colder weather arrived (and my gag reflex calmed down), I was once again able to drive my new car. And then I found the seat warmer button.
I can't find words to accurately describe the pure, simple joy that is having a warm butt on a very cold morning. I began to grudgingly admit (albeit only to myself) that the TSX might have been a good purchase after all.
And then there's the plug for my iPod. I didn't fully appreciate this little invention until it was time to change over to seasonal music. No longer did I have piles of Christmas CDs cluttering the door and passenger seat of my car. All of my music was readily available at the touch of a button. And the sound was crystal clear, not all crackly like it is when you have to use a tuner to listen to your iPod in the car. Plus, I still had easy access to non-seasonal music when I was momentarily tired of listening to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."
I have been officially converted. I love my car. I will be happy to drive it for the next several years. It is reliable and very comfortable. Darrell was right, but please don't tell him I said that.