Thursday, May 8, 2014
Who Says You Can't Buy A Little Happy?
Two years ago, with the third E on the way, I sold my convertible to make room for another car seat. It was a tough trade, but everywhere I went I had children for companions so there was not really an option. Since I didn't do much driving alone, there weren't a lot of times to suddenly miss it in the last two years either. Even though I had driven a convertible for about 7 or 8 years, I was doing OK without one.
Then the babies' momma took a 12-hour night shift with a rotating schedule so that while I may spend most of one week chauffeuring little people, the next week I hardly see them.
My convertible itch came back on every warm day, but I was convinced it was too late in the season to find a decent price and buy one. Still, I would randomly check CraigsList once a week or so, just to see if anything was both in my lower end price range and remotely what I wanted. Every time I met a convertible on the road with the top down while I was in my four-door SUV I felt the itch grow until it reached a fever.
I talked about it with my husband, who has a Harley and understands a desire for the wind. Even before I traded my ride two years ago, he had reminded me that it didn't have to be forever.
If I were terminally ill, I said, I'd go buy a convertible and run the wheels off of it.
Find one, he said. (Have I mentioned how wonderful he is?)
So, after discovering a car both in my price range and in my style range (we're talking cheap, five-speed and small, I wasn't particular) while perusing CraigsList Tuesday, I went for a test drive and fell in love with convertibles, and five speeds, all over again.
When he got off work I told him I wanted it. I hate that a purchase brings me some sense of joy, but at the same time the money in the bank isn't making me happy and I had the cash to pay for it. Money is meant to buy things we need and things that bring us pleasure, and after the hard work I put into earning the money, a bit of pleasure is surely in order. We went back to town with the money and I drove the little Miata home.
It was as much fun as I anticipated taking the back roads, feeling the wind and sun on my face and enjoying the thrill of winding through the gears on the curvy route. I was a bit surprised to find my husband in my rear view as I turned into the driveway -- although I'd been tempted to ride the roads, having not yet transferred a tag I had come directly albeit on sideroads home and still beat him.
No, I don't have the carport I promised myself I'd have before bringing home a convertible after dealing with leaks in my last one, but I do have another vehicle and this one can sit under a cover all winter if need be.
My psyche needed it now. My spirit craves the wind in my hair beneath a starlit sky, hopping out the shower for a quick blow dry with a trip down the road and back, the sun and the gears and the feeling of being alive.
The last five months have taught me that no one is promised tomorrow. That means cherishing those around me, but I've come to realize that includes me as well. If today is all I have, then I'll have it in a convertible -- low slung with racing suspension, tiny little door handles, and a chrome gear shift, all wrapped up in a matte orange color.
And as long as the sun shines and the temperature is between 70 and 90, I'll have it topless.