car talk

14 Apr

Let’s talk about cars for a minute.  I currently have a Honda Odyssey on a lease that ends next month.  I could buy it, but Honda won’t tell me how much that would cost because my former husband’s name is on the account and not mine.  I have asked him to call them and authorize them to tell me how much of my money they would be willing to take, but to my knowledge, he hasn’t yet, and so I guess Honda may just miss that sale.

Besides, a minivan is so not me these days.  What I want is a miata convertible.  Or any convertible really.  Maybe not a miata because then I could only take along one of my three children.  It would be so hard to choose, but I could probably just tell them when they wake up every day: “whoever acts the best and does the most nice things for their mother, including cleaning her bathroom and picking up after the dogs, gets to leave the house today.  Now let’s get started!  Mark, get set,  Go!” 

My adorable friend Katharine of Montgomery drives a precious BMW hard-top convertible that her darling husband gave her for her 40th birthday.  I have already decided that when I am ready to make my next big life-changing decision, it will involve asking Katharine to tell me what’s best, because she clearly has it all figured out.  And, if I am honest, always has.  That girl knows exactly how to get what she wants, and more importantly, unlike your writer, knows what it is.  I am one of those romantics who would say “I will happily live in a hovel so long as I have love.”   So what am I doing?  Living in a hovel with the love of numerous children and dogs.  I think I need to think outside the hovel.

Anyway, Katharine has twins and they can all fit in her car.  I have two children too many for a two-seater convertible.  But wouldn’t Summer (my pretty blonde golden retriever) look good in that passenger seat?  Or my bff Curry?  Or a pair of Japanese chin?  Just not Jack or Kona because they would totally leap out of a car without a top.  Which could be the answer to my prayers, n’est-ce pas?

I am going to just say no to the minivan.  And the miata – for now.  But should I get  a Honda Accord and have a really low lease payment or must I have an SUV?  Am I car-proud?  Not particularly.  I should get something functional that accommodates large dogs and children comfortably.  And trunks for camp and suitcases when we travel.  Maybe a Honda CRV, a small suv.  Although I have heard that the Pilot has a good lease out right now.  The Pilot is bigger than the CRV and I have had one before – it is a great vehicle.  And has plenty of cargo space.  And you won’t believe this, but we are approaching the end of the carseat era.  Of course we will still have boosters for 5 years (new law), but those are a piece of cake compared to the giant carseats that I have employed for at least 9 years now.

Will you tell me what you drive and whether I would like it?  Or what you think I need?  Or how little I can get by with?  And whether sporty and cute is a fantasy at this point?  What about sporty OR cute?  Which should be my priority?  Just please don’t say minivan.  I am just so over it.


8 Responses to “car talk”

  1. Ann April 15, 2011 at 1:00 am #

    I love, love, love, love my GMC Acadia!!! You should seriously look at it! It is sporty and fun, but totally functional too. It has two captain’s chairs in the middle row like a minivan with the walk-through between them. When my kids are all on one row touching each other, they fight too much. Having them a bit more spread out was an important feature. It is fun to drive, and I get so many compliments on it. If you want one a little fancier, the Buick Enclave is the same body, just a little more posh. This is my first American car… up until now, I’ve only driven Toyota, Acura, and Honda. I went from an Odyssey to the Acadia, and I adore it!

  2. brightenthecorner April 15, 2011 at 2:09 am #

    Ann, thank you for the review! I have driven the enclave and I just love it. There is a 2008 on a local lot and it’s in great shape with very few miles. I am so glad to hear from another mother of 3. I will have to check out the acadia, I love how it looks, and depending on the price, it may be a real conteder.

    another too-cool-for-a-minivan-mom

  3. Lizzie Powers April 15, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    Hey Claire,
    I’ve tried to come out of the lurking several times to tell you how much I love your blog and my essays have been erased when I didn’t fill out my email. Anyway, I read your blog and my bff Robin’s ( regularly because they are real and hilarious, and as a mother of three, well I need all the validation i can get!! I love the way you see many of the same struggles we all face, and your writing is fabulous. Keep up the good work, oh and I love my Pilot. Sometimes I fantasize about the Swagger Wagon (minivan), but then realized that it’s split second row would not accommodate the bff’s three kids and my own. Plus it has an electrical outlet which is pretty amazing.
    Best of luck with your search and look forward to meeting you.

    • brightenthecorner April 15, 2011 at 3:36 am #

      hi Lizzie! I know you can relate to the Anna parts and that Elizabeth must just keep you on your toes!
      The Pilot is also looking pretty good to me right now. I had one before the Odyssey and loved it…
      Buying a car would be the primary reason to get married right about now. But no one has asked — so maybe in 3 years when the next lease is up.

      Thank you for saying such nice things about my blog. It does keep it all in perspective, doesn’t it?

  4. Jennifer April 15, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    Subaru Outback! Absolutely love mine. It’s big enough for kids and dogs, extremely reliable, very safe, and when it needs a wash, you can just pretend you’re in the mountains and feel rugged (Ben always compliments my ‘Colorado Subaru’ look). It’s the only wagon I feel fine putting a wet and sandy dog in (Skully would have to be banned from a Volvo), and I’m happy to not have the bulk of a minivan or SUV. I bet you could put all 3 kids + a couple of dogs in there.

    • brightenthecorner April 16, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

      Skully would look so good riding in the passenger seat of a Subaru. Like a rocky mountain retriever.

  5. Paige April 16, 2011 at 4:23 am #

    I’ve been meaning to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. As a recently divorced, North TX working momma – your blog has been a treasure to me. I will say that I adore my Volvo XC90. I have had it for 5 years now – and have loved every minute of it. I only have 1 child and 1 dog – but it does work great when I haul around the girl scout carpool. I love the cargo area – nice and spaceous. All but the drivers seat easily fold totally flat so you can haul all sorts or stuff when needed. I special ordered my green one with the almost black interior and it has done a fine job of hiding evidence of our messy daily lives. We love to fold down both rows of back seats and take in a few movies at the drive in. It has an intigrated booster seat that works great for unexpected little passengers. The climate control is amazing too. It is sealed so tight that is keeps out the heat – and the air easily keeps things cool. Love the heated seats in the winter too. I too find car shopping stressful. Good luck!

    • brightenthecorner April 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

      Paige, you are so sweet to say these things. It is such a crazy and wonderful life, isn’t it? Thanks for the review. Volvo has a good lease out right now on the xc90, and my image consultant, Sonya, approves fully.

      There are just some things you need a man around for – taking out the garbage, tending to the yard, and buying the cars. Otherwise, I am doing just fine!

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