I really tried to get a post together last week. But I spent most of it feeling incredibly run down. Between the nasty cold going around and dealing with car issues, I had been worn out but trudging along. Once we got the car replaced, it was time to just sort of breathe.
And, yes, we got a replacement car. Which is, to be truthful, probably another reason I didn’t want to post. It wasn’t a frugal choice.
The thing about being a spouse… Apparently, you have to actually take the other person’s needs into account. Who knew?
Seriously — that’s a really hard thing to do when you’re a control freak/Type-A personality. Tim has been great at getting me to enjoy spending sometimes and generally getting me to de-clench a bit from my rigid money rules. I’ve gotten better about giving myself some slack, and also about enjoying the moment once in awhile, rather than always putting off enjoyment for the future.
But Tim’s ADD and different views on money have also meant that I don’t get to make rules that only I’m comfortable with. We both have to do some compromising. And a shared car is a biggie.
My mom drove a little economy Datsun sedan, then a Nissan Sentra and, finally, the Cavalier. (Frankly, I was shocked that she had finally gotten a four-door car.) Tim’s parents, on the other hand, drive big sedans.
So our ideas about a comfortable car were very different. The Cavalier was roomy, to me. To Tim, he always felt a little cramped. And, since I was looking at cars that were pretty much the same dimensions, I realized we had a problem.
To his credit, Tim didn’t even protest. He saw it as a foregone conclusion that we just going to get whatever I could be talked into — though he put his foot down about a Hyundai Accent/Chevy Aveo sized car — and that would be that. So he tried the cars I asked him to try, and answered whatever questions the dealer or I had about how he liked it.
But that was the thing — he didn’t really like it. He didn’t dislike it. But that was about all the thrill he could muster up for what we were checking out. And I needed this to be a car we could be happy with for several years. I’d prefer this be our car for a decade or more, really.
So I realized I had to be a good spouse and start looking for a car with him, rather than just dragging him around to car lots to look at what I dictated. And I knew that was going to cost us extra.
About a day after I realized this, he found a car he actually wanted to try. And, of course, it was the one we ended up getting. It was so much larger than life than anything I would have considered. But Tim loves it, so I’ve made my peace with it.
It’s an ’07 Mercury Montego. It has just about every bell and whistle I could have imagined, other than an MP3 port. In fact, it has bells and whistles I hadn’t even imagined. Who the hell knew that a car could have lumbar support in its seats?
But it was nice and roomy. Well, to be more specific, it was roomy and it was nice. Leather seats, power seats, power windows, power locks, multi-CD system, separate air conditioning controls for each side of the car and a sun roof. Oh, and heated seats.
Yes, heated seats in Phoenix. Trust me, I argued that one. But Tim’s back has been doing pretty badly lately and historically that has been eased a bit by heated seats. So I stopped arguing about that. And, I have to admit, the lumbar support is nice.
Now the bad stuff: It had 68,000 miles on it. Ouch. That’s about 25,000 more than the other cars we were looking at. And the V6 engine that Tim loves means we don’t get the greatest gas mileage. All for the low, low asking price of $13,900 (which was discounted, from something I can’t remember).
I got them to agree to $14,000 all-inclusive and steadfastly if politely turned down the extended warranty. We do get free oil changes for three years, which is nice.
The point is — I compromised. And I’m still making my peace with that. As with anything expensive, I feel squeamish for awhile. It’s what I do. But Tim loves it. If Arizona allowed polygamy, and allowed marriages between man and car, I’d have a sister-wife/car. Instead, he contents himself by showing off the car to everyone we know who hasn’t seen it yet.
And the damned thing is really quite nice. I admit that less and less begrudgingly.