Monday, April 21, 2008

Not Quite Malibu Barbie . . . but Darn Close

For the past twenty-one years, I've driven mom cars. You know the type--they can haul car seats, little league teams, coolers and ice for lacrosse practice, 7th grade social studies projects, and all sorts of car pool arrangements. Not to mention juice boxes, happy meals, and pizzas. Once the juice stains have faded (for the most part), you can load the car up for that first drive to the dorm. And then back home that summer. Then, load it up for that first apartment. Oh, and trips to the vet for the dogs so they can cover the windows that aren't open with nose prints and the ones that are open with drool. It's a car that screams MOM. MIDDLE-AGE. SUBURBS.

I went from a Taurus wagon for the first 7 years, to mini-vans (two!) for the next 6 years, to a Saturn wagon for the past 8 years. It's what my kids affectionately refer to as "The Silver Bullet." It's what my sons drove to learn to drive. They less affectionately asked if I paid extra for all the squeaks and pings it makes as I motor along. It shouts "practical" and "paid for."

What it doesn't shout (or even whisper or sing) is "fun" or "sexy" or "carefree."

But, this does.

And, in a week or two, I'll be behind the wheel of my first ever convertible. Now, I'm not a car person (exhibits A through C above!). But, there's something about a convertible that fills me with glee. It's impractical, I know. I'm 48 for cryin' out loud. Some of you might be wondering if maybe I'm having little mid-life-menopausal-type crisis. Nope. I'm just finally at a point in my life where what I drive doesn't have to take into consideration my kids. It can be, dare I say, for me. For fun. And when a friend mentioned last week after we'd had lunch that the lease on her 2005 convertible was up and it had fewer than 9000 miles on it (Yes. You read that correctly) and that she had a good deal to buy it but she wanted something else, I casually mentioned it to my husband that night at dinner (because, we'd been talking that perhaps it was time to hand down the Silver Bullet to one of our more-or-less deserving children) and the next day we took it for a test-drive on one of the first sunny, warm days we'd had since last October. And I felt like Malibu Barbie--only with brains and not in a bikini.

And no, the kids cannot borrow it. There's a perfectly good 2000 Saturn wagon they can use.


Carleen Brice said...

Whoo hoo!!! I drive a 96 Saturn that pings and whistles, but, yes, is paid for. Now I've got new-car envy! Enjoy!

Lisa said...

Woohoo! You go Judy! I think every woman who has had to choose function over form in order to haul kids around should get to choose whatever car just says "me" at least once :)

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Carleen, come for a visit, and we'll put the top down and I'll take you to all the bookstores in town!

Lisa, my thoughts exactly! And all the radio stations will be ones I choose. Same for the 6 CDs I can load.

Melanie Lynne Hauser said...

Ooh, cool! That looks awesome!

Personally, I'm jonesin' for a Vespa when I have my crisis-that's-not-a-mid-life-crisis. I want to scoot around Chicago pretending I'm Audrey Hepburn!

Joanne said...

When I first got married, I vowed never to cave and buy a station wagon/van. (Ah, youth). But I fear my Taurus sedan comes in a close second. Enjoy your new wheels ... As "The Cars" would sing, Let the good times roll!

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Melanie--You definitely should get a vespa--how fun!

Joanne--Perfect song choice!

angelfantabulous said...

That's awesome, Judy!

I have to say, after fourteen plus years of driving kids around (while I nannied), I understand that kids (from tot to teen) can influence how you get from Point A to Point B.

Congratulations and Enjoy:)

debra said...

You are way cooler than Malibu Barbie, Judy! It is so nice to retire Mom's Cafe on Wheels. I am driving a Corolla----bright red--with no stains or old french fries or crushed Cheerios. Enjoy your new wheels!

sharon said...

Congrat's on the car. I had my mid-life crisis (lipo) at 39...I'm ready for my next one. It should include a sports car! Have fun!

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Angel--Thanks! Great to have you stopping by.

Debra--Thanks. And, I promise, no fruit snacks allowed in the car. Once embedded in a seat, they never come out.

Sharon--I say, mid-life crises for everybody. They're sorta fun!

Therese said...

Oh, girl, you're gonna love it! I ditched my van for a Saab convertible about three years ago and never looked back.

Daisy said...

My husband keeps telling me his mid-life crisis will be a convertible. I remind him that mine will be a Harley, and then we sigh and climb in the mini-van. Great car! Enjoy it! And blog about it, please, so I can live vicariously through your thrills on the road.