#sol17 Stress on Wheels

slice of lifeMy husband J and I have lived with one car for the last nine years. When we lived in Somerville and then Cambridge, it was no problem; we were on easily-accessible bus routes, short 10-15 minute walks from the Red Line. For six years I walked to work and J biked, and our car was mostly for running errands and traveling out of state to visit family. When we had K and moved, we started commuting together in the car: J would drive us in to my school, where K’s daycare is, and then continue to his school. The commute home was the reverse.

In September, however, we bought a house and moved about 10 miles north of the city. Even in the ‘burbs, the one-car-life has been okay for us; our commute is basically the same as it was before, except five times as far (and three times as long). We make do with conflicting schedules. We’ve managed these last six months.

However, baseball season starts on Monday, and J is one of the coaches.

For the last six years, this wasn’t a problem; J would take the car to practice and away games, often lugging equipment, and I would walk/take public transit home, even with K. This year, that’s not really an option. I *could* take the Red Line to South Station to the commuter rail and then walk a mile home with K… but we both agreed that’s a less than ideal commute five days/week for the next ten weeks, especially in inclement weather. (I was willing to do it, but not eager.) So we decided it was time to give in to our still-new identities as suburbanites and buy another vehicle.

Car shopping? Hell on wheels. J has been doing endless amounts of research online for weeks, trying to decide what kind of vehicle to get. Commuter car? Not for my husband – he wanted a truck. “I’m going to be doing so much work on the house, I need to haul stuff!” (Insert eye roll here.)

If you don’t know what movie this is from, I’m so sorry for you.

But of course we need a full backseat and four doors because toddler… And not a huge truck (“But I need enough room to haul stuff!”) and within our budget and not too many miles and it needs to get decent gas mileage (f0r a truck) and be a good deal for a used vehicle and…

Anyway, we finally identified a handful of vehicles that we agreed upon. We piled into our small SUV and headed down 93 to a dealership south of the city. We test drove. We liked. We got back in the car to drive to another dealership. We looked. We disliked. We started driving to yet another dealership. We discussed. We questioned. We perseverated. We remembered other cars we’ve owned that turned out to be moneypits. We stressed. We turned around and went back to the first dealership. We haggled. We put down a deposit. On Monday, we’ll be the proud owners of a 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac.

Navy blue with a tan leather interior!

It wasn’t the vehicle J expected he’d purchase, but he likes it and I like it, and as with every other choice in marriage, compromise is key. And, as with most of the decision-making processes in a marriage, it was damn stressful: you never question if you’re making the right decision as much as you do during large acquisitions like a house, or a car, or a kid.

Still, there’s no one I’d rather rattle around in a high-speed tin can of death with.


10 thoughts on “#sol17 Stress on Wheels

  1. It was serendipity that I opened my computer right now and saw your post. I just got back home (20 minutes ago) from buying a new car. HA!

    I absolutely hate the car buying process, but this time we did the opposite of you all. We knew we wanted the same car (a mini-van–I feel soooo sexy), we like Toyotas or Hondas (because they have always been reliable for us), and we checked out what we should pay on Blue Book. Then, we did a quick internet search, found a car about 30 miles from us that was a great price, and we just went and bought it. We are not usually like this–we are usually over-thinkers on such matters.

    In years past we would spend weeks/months on this process. This time we spent one day. We’re probably nuts, but boy was it stress free! hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A very detailed and descriptive slice. I am so impressed by your one car family that lasted for so long! My husband and I would love to bike to work so we could only have one car too.


  3. Oh my! We recently had to get a new car as well. It sounds like you went into your decision very well informed and ready! I’m sure you will love the freedom and miss the time together. I remember when my husband and I had to commute together. It was nice but having an extra car was nice too. Good luck! I hope it all works out and turns out to be a great vehicle for all your needs.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was a fun slice. I can’t believe you went so many years without a second car. We did share one car for about a year, and it was livable, but not always convenient. I walked to work and was dropped off and … Enjoy the new ride!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We’ve been a 1-car family, too.. for 10 years.. 15 years? I want to say 18 out of the last 22 years..

    I don’t know how we do it. I enjoy his company and we both work near each other. 🙂

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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