Day 27: Car Hell

June 15th, 2015

I’m taking part in a 30-day writing experiment. See Kale & Cigarettes for details and the Facebook Group to read stories by other 500-words-ers.

I had the extreme displeasure of going to a car dealership this weekend.

I am currently leasing a Jetta that I need to return in a month, and I will have to get a new car. I am not really a car girl in the same way I am not really a shoe girl—not because I don’t care about cars or shoes, but because I hate most of them and can never find one I like at a price I can afford. This is why I wore my Hunter rain boots every single day while I was pregnant (also because nothing else fit). It’s also why I have mainly driven path-of-least-resistance cars.  

My first car was an Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme that my mom bought off a restaurant co-worker for like $100. This car was less a gift for me than for herself; we lived in the middle of nowhere, and I’m sure she was really sick of driving my whiny teenaged ass around. The Oldsmobile could comfortably fit about 15 people, so I became the willing chauffer for all my friends. I would leave about an hour early for school to pick up my entire entourage, then force them all to stop at McCuskers Market (shout out to McCuskers!!) for coffee before first bell.

In college I drove my mom’s old car. This car was so nondescript that I honestly can’t even remember what kind of car it was. Silver, I think. It was a silver car. I accidentally flooded that car during a bad storm when I panicked and jumped out of it half-submerged, and it never smelled the same.

The first time I moved to California, I lived in Oakland and went without a car for a good six months. Instead, I shared a bicycle with my boyfriend, which was incredibly romantic but totally impractical. Eventually, a job in San Francisco forced me to buy a car, and I found a sweet old maroon Jetta at a dealership on Broadway. God how I loved that car! It had a poorly applied cream-colored racing stripe down the side with an incongruous blip in the line. I drove that car cross-country about five times as I tried to make up my mind where to live. Then it broke down on a bridge during a rain storm in Seattle, and I had to break up with it.

That’s when I bought a brand new silver Volkswagen GTI. Oh those were the salad days, working at Microsoft and driving a shiny new car with leather seats and a sunroof! I owned that car for about six years, then sold it when I moved to San Francisco to live with a boyfriend who had a great apartment in the Fillmore District with zero parking options. I lived car-free for about a year, hating the guts of public transportation and writing half a book about my conversations with crazy cab drivers, which perhaps one day I will publish.

When the relationship with that dude and car ended, I moved to Mill Valley, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and bought a used Subaru Outback from a friend. That lasted for about two years, until I got sick of having to get down on my hands and knees to remove the electricity switch in order to turn the lights off every time I parked the car.

That brings us to my current car, which I am leasing. Leasing is a great option for people like me who 1) are girls and 2) have a mental breakdown every time they have to so much as check the oil. When you lease a car, it’s someone else’s problem. I’ve really enjoyed leasing.

However, when I started leasing, I did not predict that I would soon have two kids and a dog and live in Utah. My next car has to be super cheap but also big enough to accommodate my entire family AND a double jog stroller AND a bunch of groceries at the same time. Which is why I spent the better part of my Saturday at the VW dealer losing my will to live.

I wish this story had an ending, but so far it does not. In my ideal world, it ends with me righteously telling the salesman at the VW dealer that I’m taking my business elsewhere because he is a deceitful monster with a heart of coal, but if I had to guess it’s probably going to end with me agreeing to lease a car I can’t afford after he dazzles me with a bunch more of his nonsensical math and verbal trickery. Sigh.

I wish I believed in real hell, because that guy would definitely be going there. But unfortunately, I only believe in car hell, which I am already in.  


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One Response to “Day 27: Car Hell”

  1. Darla Magee says:

    oh gosh. go look at Hondas!
    that little element holds a TON of stuff and is reasonably priced!

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