There’s a new car in my driveway (no, that’s not my driveway). There’s also an entire crockpot of feelings stewing about it. Knowing car prices would never decrease but my trade-in value definitely would, I decided a few weeks ago to check out my new car options. Recalls had began showing up in the mail and I started to feel deprived at not having Bluetooth, techno brat that I am. It also seemed like the right time considering the car dealer had (after considerable wheedling on my part) offered the right trade-in price. So yesterday I became owner of the newest model of the exact same car that’s served me so well these last many years.
Funny how my old car, a sweet little Rav4, was never my husband’s favorite. It became my car nearly as soon as it came off the lot because his lanky legs always felt confined behind the wheel. I laughed to myself as I imagined his reaction about this somewhat obscenely bright blue new set of wheels glowing in daylight today. Knowing his spunky, artist wife so well, he wouldn’t have been surprised. In fact, I can just picture him shaking his head as he told me to ‘go for it, kiddo’.
So, go for it I did. As I drove my sporty blueberry off the lot, I realized I was oddly satisfied with myself, not only having survived the dreaded car dealer ordeal but brokering exactly the contract I wanted – by myself, for myself. That high, however, was a bit short-lived. It lasted until I rolled into my driveway and thought ‘what the heck did I do’. I second-guessed this major purchase of something that wasn’t a dire need. A flamboyant spender if left to his devices, my other half, however, wouldn’t have been aghast at the expenditure. But that wasn’t me, who added to my guilty with the realization that he wasn’t here to share these spunky wheels. Trying not to let that quickly approaching storm of sadness overwhelm me, I drove by my two daughters who assured me ‘this car is so YOU, mom’. So while it still feels wrong and incongruous somehow that I’m able to have these little moments of happy when my husband is gone forever, my reluctant smile was unmistakable. I consoled myself that I’d finally find my car in today’s parking lot seas of gray, black and white. And with my electric blue chariot, I’d be defined as the ‘widow smurf’. There are worse things.