17 September 2016


I bought a new car a couple of weeks ago. An actual new car. It had 31 miles on the odometer when I drove it off the lot. 

I didn't actually set out to buy a new car. I believe in buying used cars, and I've been driving an almost 20 year old car. But I priced a bunch of used cars and started to realize that I would be saving about $2k and losing quite a few miles if I bought a several year old car, and an actually old car is not something I dare to buy without the presence of my dad or someone else who knows a lot about cars. Also I drive about 25K miles a year right now, so an actually old car wouldn't last all that long. 

And truly, I'd started to feel unsafe in such a small car on such a fast highway. My airbags didn't even work on that old car. 

I sent my dad some options (new Camry, used Altima), and he didn't get excited about anything until I mentioned the small crossover SUV. He doesn't like the low cars for safety, and the gas mileage is about the same on the small SUV as the bigger sedans.

After quite a few bad experiences (it turns out that car dealerships are a nightmare to work with), I found the only manual transmission version of the car I wanted. It was a 4.5 hour drive away. And they wanted it off the lot by the end of August.

We managed it, somehow. J. was the hero of the hour, considering that he was still jet lagged coming back from Spain and we both had to work the morning we made the drive.

We got back to Gone West at midnight.

Other than the car payment (I hates them), I am delighted with my new car. It's bigger, it has a manual transmission (my primary criterion for a car), and it averages almost 32 miles per gallon. 

A few things take getting used to, though: it has blind spots, it doesn't accelerate quite as fast as the tiny car (also I'm trying to be nicer to the clutch and transmission), and it doesn't have a key.

I was in the habit, with my old car, of using the key to lock the doors when I got out. That way, you never risk locking the keys in the car like you would if you did the lock-and-hold-the-handle-up trick on older cars. 

Now I can't remember to lock my car. There is no key! (Okay, there is a key. It's buried inside the clicker, and it's really only intended to be used if the battery goes out on the clicker.) I'm often at the door of my office before I remember that I didn't lock the car. Fortunately, the clicker works from afar.

Today I went to a new tea place because there was a gluten-free donut popup shop there, and I've been meaning to try these donut holes (which are only offered at popup locations). I got a particularly excellent chai and more donut holes than I could eat (the others are in the freezer; let me just say a word about the chocolate ones: YUM). I sat around people watching and internet surfing and writing in my journal.

When I got up to go, I couldn't find my keys. Not in my pocket, not in my purse...

I realized that I had left them sitting openly in the console in the car. The unlocked car. Which was parallel parked on a public street, still so new that it doesn't have permanent plates on it.*

Good news!! No one stole my car.

Bad news: I'm an idiot who deserves to have my car stolen. All those times I made fun of people who left their cars unlocked with the keys in the console (admittedly overnight) because what do you expect? Of course your car is going to be stolen if you ASK for it to be stolen. Well, I regret my choices now. 

* I have the permanent plates. They arrived in the mail on Thursday. I just haven't found a wrench, daylight, and time to put them on the car. I have no defense if I get pulled over; they are sitting on the floor of the passenger side. My defense will be, "But it was raining."

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