Meet Bruce

We did it. We replaced Eddie the Vibe.

Well, more specifically, we got a new car because we all know Eddie can’t be replaced. That’s just crazy talk. And it’s not new. It’s used, or previously owned if you want to be fancy. It also caused a huge fight, or a series of lots of little fights.

Reality hit me hard, as it tends to do, and I had to go car shopping. I’m pretty sure that many people had unkind thoughts towards me, including The Man with the Plan. No car was going to replace my sweet Eddie the Vibe and I wasn’t helping the whole process. I sat in what felt like a million vehicles, not all were horrible but they definitely weren’t right. Reasons I didn’t like certain cars are as follows:

  1. Cup holders are too small, big, wrong, and/or weird and in the wrong spots.
  2. I sat in two of those in a row, they both smelled like pee and I can’t drive a pee car.
  3. The seat-belt connector clicky thing doesn’t make the right sound.
  4. I knew a girl with that car, everything she touched was sticky. I won’t drive a sticky car.
  5. The space between the seat and the center counsel is too big. I’ll lose stuff.
  6. Backseat is too small. (Man with the Plan actually accepted that as a reasonable reason.)
  7. The front of the car looks like it has an over-bite. It sticks out way too far. Like one of those British stereotype cartoons and I won’t be able to concentrate on the road knowing that the car’s pretentious British mouth is leading the way.
  8. Feels like I’m driving a truck, I don’t want a truck. (Also, acceptable.)
  9. The inside is too smooshy, it makes me feel claustrophobic. (Acceptable)
  10. It has a “push to start” button and I can’t be responsible for a non-key type key thing when it should just be in the ignition. I’ll lose it. I won’t put it in a cup holder, those are for my cups. God forbid I decide to wear something without pockets! I’ll never see that key again!
  11. The dashboard looks like one of those weird robots from Transformers. (Only acceptable because he knows I would stare at that instead of the road.)
  12. Windows are in the wrong spot.
  13. Doesn’t feel like the seat is attached right and it feels funny when I move it.
  14. My legs don’t fit right. (Acceptable)
  15. I don’t like it. I have no reason except I don’t like it.
  16. This car obviously has an attitude that makes me grumpy just being near it. (We left the lot after I said that one. Man with the Plan was done with me at that point.)

I’m sure there are more reasons I tried to give but those are the ones that stick out the most.

The first fight discussion was new vs. used. I wanted new, but not for the reason most people do.

Eddie and I were together for years, more importantly, miles. We put a quarter of a million miles on him. I needed new! I couldn’t have other people taking any of my miles. The Man with the Plan tried to calmly explain that if we buy used, we won’t be taking the financial hit. Someone else would be spending the extra $10,000 you lose as soon as you leave the dealership. Buying new doesn’t make sense. He continued until he was blue in the face, then red in the face. He couldn’t make me understand and I wasn’t exactly in the understanding mood. He just kept repeating, someone else is doing you a favor.

So I responded in my totally normal, rational, and calm way that I like to do. By yelling at him like a crazy woman.

“A FAVOR??? BY STEALING MY MILES?! THAT IS COMPLETE CRAZY TALK AND UNACCEPTABLE! YOU’RE NOT MAKING ANY SENSE! I DON’T KNOW WHAT GLUE YOU’RE SMOKING BUT THERE’S NO WAY I WILL ALLOW SOMEONE TO TAKE MY MILES!  I ONLY GET 275,000 OF THEM!!!!”

He then laughed at me, that giant, loud, blast of a belly laugh. He does that a lot in fights. I sometimes wonder if I’ve cracked him. Like, somehow, arguing with me has taken this brilliant man and broken his mind. He realized in that moment that I planned on buying a new car and driving it for 15 years. He then tried to explain that my Vibe wasn’t a normal car and most people don’t keep cars for that long. Well, duh! That’s not news to anybody. That’s why he wanted to buy a car that only has a few thousand miles on it and still get a great, safe, car for way less than brand new. Clearly, he was wrong.

He just couldn’t understand me.

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He said that I was right, and he needed some time to think this through. He always says that when he knows I’m too fired up to think like he does, with all that logic and common sense practical type thinking. Who has time for that?

He didn’t bring it up again. He waited for me to come to the realization myself. If I’m being honest, it took longer than it should have. And once I did realize it, I had to figure out a way to save face so he wouldn’t be right. Again, like 95% of the other times we don’t agree. So I came to him with my brilliant solution. We should buy used because then once the Girl starts driving in just nine short years, she will have something big, safe, and most importantly, paid off.

I don’t know if The Man agreed with my way of thinking, but as long as I agreed I KNOW he doesn’t care about why I did.

So I finally decided what I wanted. I wanted a used car, low miles, good cup holders, safe, and a third row would be nice, but not a deal breaker. Do you know how many cars I just described?? The answer is a lot.

So after days of searching through thousands of cars, I had come to a decision. I decided I was paralyzed by options and I had no idea what I wanted. The Man with the Plan forced enough answers out of me to narrow it down. He did hours of research in true The Man fashion and narrowed it down to three different cars. All I had to do was pick one. Just one. In his exact words, “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WOMAN JUST PICK A CAR!!!”

I couldn’t. Besides not caring about cars, I couldn’t get past leaving my old car. It was the first thing I had ever bought by myself. I had wrapped so much of my identity up in driving Eddie the Vibe, that I had no clue how to decide what kind of car to get. I didn’t know what I wanted and the worst part was, I didn’t really care. Trying to force a decision out of me when I have an interest is difficult enough but this was a whole new level of apathy.

Unfortunately for The Man with a Plan, when I say, “I don’t care” I usually don’t care. If I do express an opinion or make a decision, I’m easily talked out of it. My two modes are:

  • I am all-in, I must have my way and I will never be persuaded,
  • I am all “we can do this or that.” Whatever everyone else wants, I don’t care.

I have heard it’s irritating to deal with. Especially regarding big decisions…. like buying a car.

But the day had come, it was go-time. We had to buy a car and so I headed towards the dealership, husband and two kids in tow. I wandered around the lot. Again. In the Texas summer heat for about an hour. Still, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t decide.

I simply didn’t care.

Finally, The Man stepped up. He told me if I didn’t pick a car within the next three minutes, he was going to choose one for me. I think he meant it as a threat, as a motivational tool, something to add a game time pressure decision. I took it as a relief! I got so excited!! He did not. He said something about wasting months of time and he would have done it a long time ago if I didn’t care. He continued mumbling something about me wandering around in the middle of the heat with grumpy, bored, dehydrated kids. Then something about how it would be faster if he did it himself. Music to my ears! He was gracious enough to let me leave even!

“Take the car and the kids and go home. Leave the checkbook and I am finishing this. TODAY!!”

He showed up a few hours later, exhausted and relieved, in a 2014 Chevy Traverse. It’s a really pretty blueish purpleish color. It has an American amount of cupholders, so you know, a ton of them, and a third row. It has all the perks of a van without the emotional commitment to one, doesn’t leak when it rains and all the windows work properly so, fancier than I was used to. I liked it. I didn’t love it.

But now, we’ve been together a few months and I can say that my like has turned into love. Not what I had with Eddie, I don’t think I will ever have that again but a different kind of love. A more mature kind of love. It took me a few weeks to decide but I named him Maurice. After a few weeks and a particularly large speed bump, he didn’t feel like a Maurice. He is a Bruce!

He has an attitude of an old man who is practical and chill but could still kick some ass if the situation called for it. I think if he could talk, it would be in a rough tone with an old mob boss type of accent. Plus it can pull a boat!! Not that we have a boat but it’s nice to have the option.

It took me a while but now I can’t imagine driving anything else. It’s big, comfortable, and has obvious perks like the headlights don’t flash when I hit a bump and the muffler is attached. We’ve put in some hours together, dragging kids around, picking up groceries, hitting curbs, all the usual stuff I do in a normal day and I’ve noticed the details that I can’t go without.

Like a backup camera, hello! Where has this brilliant technology been all my life?! Or XM radio? Or a front AUX so I can plug my phone in?? OH! And bluetooth, hands free phone capabilities? The middle console thing is huge and it has USB plugs in the backseat! It sits up high but doesn’t feel like I am driving a huge truck. If you flatten out the third row, it’s huge back there! I bought a huge old TV and stand the other day and had zero problems loading it. I love it!  It’s the second best car in the world and I’m never getting a new car ever again!!

Although, I have a feeling that **if** I decide it’s time to retire Bruce, The Man with the Plan is going to just show up with a new car in the driveway for me.

I think it would be best for his nerves… and our marriage.

 

 

 

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