Envy, With Side Order Of Pettiness
I bought a new car recently--a nice one. I had been driving the same 1996 bare-bones Saturn SL1 pretty much since we got it in 1997; we got a used Chrysler minivan 6 years ago as the "family car" since we were finding it harder and harder to all fit in the Saturn.
Now this was not a snap decision...Kara and I had been planning it for years. We have kept our credit good--almost to the 800s--have been contributing to Roths and IRAs, and still managed to sock away funds for when the Saturn finally gave out. (And although it didn't actually "give out," it got to the point where it needed new tires, a new e-brake lever, and some rust repairs, all of which totalled more than the blue book value of the car, a whopping $300.) And I had one primary criterion: it must be a convertible. Why? Because.
I have always wanted a convertible. It has been my dream ever since I first got my license--and before--to have a convertible. Yes, I've heard that some leak. Yes, I know that they can be easy to break in to. Yes, I've heard that they can be noisy. But I still wanted one. Haven't you ever wanted something that you know may not really be practical, but wanted it anyway? Real bad? You get my point.
The problem is that my wife is all about the practical. And we've got 3 kids. So those sporty little 2-seaters like a Saturn Sky weren't really even on the table. Okay, so a 4-person convertible: It pretty much had to be a Ford, a Chrysler, a Toyota, a Volvo, or a BMW. The Ford Mustangs leak horribly, and are not super reliable. The Chrysler Sebring suffers much the same problems as the Ford. The Toyota Solara, Volvo C70, and BMW 135i all seemed decent enough; however, the BMW is way out of our price range, and the Solara has a softtop, which is easily broken into and is terribly expensive to repair. And it leaks. In general.
The Volvo was out of our price range too, until we found the perfect deal. We found a silver 2008 (bought originally in October 2007) hardtop, 4-seater convertible with about 10,000 miles on it. Leather seats, good sound system...the works. We worked some negotiation magic--okay, it was Kara, not "we"--and managed to get it to just barely outside our desired price range, but well within our means. After all, we had been planning this for some time, remember...
So the happy couple takes home their new car. Brig is happy because Kara likes tha car, and he gets a way sweet convertible that's safe and gadgety. Kara is happy because Brig is happy, we can afford it, it doesn't have the problem-prone softtop, and it's safe. We're all happy! Then, we start telling people about it.
On the whole, most of my friends have been very excited and happy for me! But a few people have turned...rather catty if I dare say so. Why can't they just be happy for me? No, I didn't just get a raise. No, I'm not made of money, I just keep very careful track of what I have! (Um, Kara keeps careful track. I attempt to keep careful track.) No, I didn't get a Volvo because I only buy fancy-schmancy European cars.
I'm trying not to flaunt it, and I'm really trying not to make anyone feel bad or anything, but I'm happy. One of my lifelong ambitions has been reached and I'm really, genuinely happy. Be happy for me, okay? Or at least, take some age-old advice and "if you can't say anything nice, don't say nothin' at all."