So for the longest time I’ve hated my car.
The car functions perfectly. It’s reliable. It’s bland and I only bought it because I knew it would give me good gas mileage back when it was nearly four dollars a gallon. All I can remember is lamenting that nearly two hundred and fifty dollars a month went towards gas in the Kia my parents gave me to use. So on the weekend of my twenty third birthday, I went to the dealership to look for something better. I came across a really cute red Mazda 6 and I loved it. But then my money-saving gut kicked in and I instead bought the generic champagne 2005 civic next to it. As silly as it sounds, I have a love affair with each of the machines I buy. My computer, I love it to death. I game extensively on it, produce all my art and photography with it, and it’s paid for itself several times with the money I make using it for business. My laptop is my travel companion and I’ve had it since sophmore year in college. I blog on the go, process photos on the fly and video chat in skype or gchat from anywhere. My cell phone. I totally, completely love my cell phone. I use it to take a type of photography, play games, stay social and of course, call my friends. My camera is like my right hand. It’s my portal to expression. I feel this sort of welling up of good juju when I pick it up to satisfy an itch to shoot. My reader has opened up the world of books to me again. I’m reading ravenously and I find myself pulling it out at all times when my brain would normally be rotting while waiting in lines or when I just don’t feel like doing anything else.
This is a different story.
My first car was a 1996 Mazda 626. If I hadn’t lost it in a bad accident I swear I would still be driving it because that’s how much in love with it I was. It had awesome little vents which swung back and forth. The radio and speakers were amazing. It never gave me any trouble. It drove like a beast and was very responsive. It was champagne too but it glistened in the sun and had an older model jaguar-like style to it. You know those girls who love those sparkly vampires? That’s kinda how I felt about my car.
When it died it left a hole in my soul. Especially since it died so hard. I walked away from the crash with injuries which thankfully could be mended with a few months at the chiropractor and plenty of drugs but I swear I had survivors guilt. The story of the crash is a whole ‘nother post but the end result was that my baby was totaled and my parents gave me my mom’s old car, a Kia. It just wasn’t the same.
Fast forward two years.
At the dealership that labor day weekend in 2008, two days before my birthday, I eyed the civic with a sort of dejection in my heart. It would be the “right” decision financially to get the Honda. It was my first ever purchase where I wasn’t convinced at all that I was buying it because I loved it and it would serve me well. I bought it because the Kia was slowly losing functionality and I needed a new car and I needed for it to not cost me in gas. I was driving one hour one way to work at the time and spent about 12 hours a week in the car. That’s a lot of gas. So I reluctantly bought the Honda. The Honda was actually more expensive than the cute Mazda that was calling to me from the lot. However, with a 150+ savings in gas per month, I comforted myself with the thought that I’d get used to it, It’s just a car, it’s the right thing to do, true love doesn’t exist, etc.
Fast forward two weeks.
Gas prices drop two dollars and gas is actually two dollars a gallon instead of nearing four. Now I really resent my Honda purchase. The cost savings I thought I was going to get are gone and I’m stuck with a featureless commonplace car. Technically I saved even more money since gas prices dropped -and- my car gave me 30+ mpg even in shitty traffic. But in the end, that didn’t matter.
Fast forward two years.
I’m one of those people that has to love what she does. What she uses. What she’s involved in. A lot of it comes from the functionality the item provides. For the car, it’s gotta be an awesome adventure vehicle that looks and performs in a sleek powerful manner. If someone magically had my 626 and offered it in trade for my Honda, I’d take it. I have no emotional connection to my civic. In fact, I am itching to pay it off or trade it in. I still hate my Honda. I resent that it exists. I resent that I can’t get myself to feel good about it. And worst of all there’s nobody to blame but me!
Actually, in a way it taught me a good lesson. Don’t buy something just because it’s the most financially beneficial option if it doesn’t sit right with you. I’m pretty good with my finances (I have to be to maintain my “independent woman” thing I’ve got goin’ on) so I learned to trust myself a little bit more when it comes to things I want. Sometimes the screaming indian gets to sit in the corner while I buy something. When it came time to purchase my house, I had the same dilemma. Do I live in a home layout I love in a place I like or pick the place that has the most financial potential? I picked the place that had a balance. I bought a house for a good deal and then renovated the inside. Now I totally, completely love the house. It is wonderful to come home to a house you love. And I wouldn’t trade that feeling for better money.
So lets fast forward some more.. to the recent future (I hope).
I’ve almost paid off my car. Actually I don’t care if I pay off my car since there’s so little and I can just sell it and make the money back + some. I want something sexy to drive that I will love and that will love me back with style, performance, and excellent usability.
So I’ve been thinking about a fully loaded Mazda 6 GT. Kinda to get back to my roots.
It’s either that or a Nissan 370z coupe so I can fufill one of my bucket list items of owning and driving a sexy two door.
I feel like it might be wise to wait on that last one until I’m wealthier so I can get the most out of it.
So here’s a lesson folks. Don’t buy something you don’t love. And if you love something, it’s okay to work much harder for it. Simple as that.