Friday, October 22, 2010


The only good reason I can think of to live in the city would be that you would not necessarily need a car to get around.  Buses, subways, or taxis could pretty much take you where you needed to go.  

I've never been a lover of cars, but see them more as a necessary evil, and a hateful way to spend my money. 

Take yesterday for example.  There I sat at home, waiting to hear from my mechanic. Why? Because on the way home from work night before last, my car overheated.  I happened to glance down for some reason (thank you, guardian angel!) and noticed the temperature gauge needle ALL the way over in the red section - as far over at it could get.  I pulled over to the shoulder of the road as soon as I was able and immediately turned off the car.  It was then that I noticed smoke coming from under the hood.  Scared me to death.  I made a panicky call to my husband first, and once I told him where I was and he assured me he was on his way to "rescue" me, I then called AAA so they could send a tow truck to get the car. 

Seems the car lost all it's coolant because my "crossover pipe" which connects the coolant hoses to the radiator (new one on me!) had cracked, which meant there was nothing to cool down the engine. Guess you learn something new everyday, huh? Although I may come across as a "dumb woman" to some of you when it comes to mechanical issues, the truth is, I just don't care!  All things mechanical bore me to tears.  God bless the people (like mechanics themselves!) who find this stuff fascinating, but I'm certainly not one of them.  In any event, after talking to the mechanic later in the day, he also broke the good news (can you hear the sarcasm?)that I was also going to need new front and rear brakes, rotors, as well as tires and a front end alignment.  See? This is why I hate cars.  I know nothing lasts forever - including brakes and tires - but I just HATE spending my hard-earned money on this stuff. Especially when I don't even like cars to begin with! In fairness to my car, however, it's been pretty good to me (other than the pipe that cracked).  All in all, I've had very little work done on it since I've owned it, other than routine oil changes, which I'm good about getting done every 3,500 miles. It's just everything else that I don't want to be bothered with.  But what can you do? You can't ride on bad brakes or tires.  In fact, there are just SO many expenses associated with owning a car which you can do absolutely nothing about; renewing your tags, insurance, emissions inspections,  and God knows the oil companies can crank up the price of gas anytime they get the notion to, using one of their lame excuses.  I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that cars are money pits that depreciate in value every day that you own them!

But car companies continue to spend ridiculous amounts of money on advertising campaigns that deceive consumers into believing that "we are what we drive." And it works, too, because sadly, a lot of people actually fall for this nonsense.  As if their worth as a person depended on it. Some even believe it to the point that they get themselves into needless debt with car payments in an effort to live up to the image associated with driving a certain type of vehicle. I think this is awful.  For me, a car is a utilitarian object, designed to take me from point A to point B.  A collection of metal, plastic, rubber, etc., does not define me as Madison Avenue would have me believe.  I define me.   

I remember car shopping as a young, unmarried woman.  What a nightmare.  My experience with car salesman has been that they seem to think that every woman who walked through the door without a man by her side could be conned into making an emotional decision with no regard to price, a car's reputation, or consumer reports about its reliability.  I actually had one salesman say to me, "This car would look GREAT with your hair!" I just looked at him and didn't say a word, then turned right around and walked out.  I was completely insulted that anyone would think I'd be stupid enough to make a big decision like buying a car, based solely on how well it complimented my hair.  Still makes me mad to this day when I think about it.  GRRRRR!  

This is my current car.  Very average as you can see.  I guess I'm really showing my age, too, to have chosen a wagon.  But for my lifestyle, it's totally practical.  With 3 dogs in the family, it's nice to have that extra area in the back so when we take them to the lake near our house, there's plenty of room for them.  Or if we take off for the mountains there's more than enough room for all our stuff in the back.  I've pretty much driven Fords since I've had my license. This one included. I don't know why they get the bad rap they do either, because I've always gotten at LEAST 200,000 miles on all of them - run them into the ground actually until they won't run anymore - and never remember any of them being lemons. In fact, the most mechanically unreliable vehicle I owned was a Chevrolet (my first and last), many years ago.  I'm sure it never made it to the 200,000 mile mark like my Fords, who all died of old age and natural causes ;-)  

This one's got another 60,000 or so miles to go before I send it out to pasture - but first it needs new tires, brakes and an alignment. Sigh... Remind me again why I don't live in the city? 



  1. You're a hoot! Gee, I drive a 2000 model Le Sabre, what does that say about me? Has "Grandma" written all over it, I believe. I have no idea about the workings of a car, so thankful we have a mechanic that doesn't clean us out when he does repairs! yep, owning a car is really a financial drain, but living 9 miles from anywhere and being disabled, I need a car that runs well. I used to love to just take drives for the fun of it.

    BTW my car is silver gray and matches my hair perfectly. LOL! NOT the reason we bought it tho.

  2. Glad to hear you're a down-to-earth goddess when it comes to your car. My little Civic and I will see many many dusty roads and highway miles together. I've never fallen into the "image" trap of Dallas or other cities where some folks get a new car every year or two. Let the Jones' speed by in their Lexus or Mercedes because they're probably afraid to get dog hair in it! :)

  3. I sympathize! Cars are a necessary evil. Horse and buggy would be fine with me, but not if I have to compete with all the cars and trucks for space on the road. I don't know how the Amish handle it. I've seen cars being very unsafe with the buggies around. I feel very protective of the Amish. My hubby has many friends in the community. BTW- last year was our year of car problems. This year is our year of refrigeration problems for our business. As the old saying goes, "If it isn't one thing, it's another!"
    I think you'll like my final giveaway this evening. Stop by!

  4. Oh you are so cute. I have to my knowledge have never bought a car. When I was a teenager, I just told my Dad and he would bring home what I wanted. Then we got married and my husband has done pretty much the same thing. Now we have more kids than we have cars so we juggle and for most days I don't have a car until evenings. Well, except today and I have been running around. I hate, I mean hate car trouble, but I do get it done. I keep telling my
    family that I don't want another car I will just drive the wheels off of mine. It is a Yukon that I love just because I can haul feed in it and flowers and tons of grocery's. :)
    Have a lovely weekend. :)

  5. I confess that when I turned 40 (a couple of years ago) I bought a Cadillac CTS and have been enjoying every minute of it. Yes, we have a farm truck for other purposes, but I drive my car to death.

  6. I can sympathize with the car drama. Once they start having trouble, it seems they don't ever get back to normal again. Your car is nice though! Seems trading is more stressful than fixing what you have most of the time.

  7. What can I say,,, I know why you live in the country,, because the life style that you have in the country, cannot be bought in the city,,,
    but you do need a car,,, that stops,, so get the brakes fixed and be safe

  8. I used to work as a service writer at a Mercedes repair shop. Needless to say, I really love cars, mechanical things, and driving. (I used to be a driving instructor, too.) At 46, though, I no longer think it's fun and challenging to make my own repairs, nor am I defined by my car as I once was and drive a second-hand Honda. And I, too, hate taking the car to the shop even more than going to the dentist.

    My hubby is just like you. He hates cars and driving. I drive everywhere, except at night. (I have dreadful night vision.) If he had it his way, we wouldn't own a car at all. As it is, we both need it for work.

    Glad you pulled over when you did and didn't blow your head gasket while you were at it. It could have been much worse.