Yippee! Yahoo! Hooray! Roomie and I are now proud owners of a beautiful new-to-us minivan! (And I love exclamations points!)
My only worry is that it has an automatic transmission, and for the past 13 years, all we've been driving is stick-shift.
Needless to say, for the next while, I'll be freaking when I must drive faster than 30 klicks, stomping on the non-existent clutch, and flapping my hand around trying to grab for the gear shift which OMG isn't where it's supposed to be!!! The entertainment value will be through the roof, my friends.
In fact, my bff Miss T is planning to secretly make a video of me at after-school pick-up making a total disaster of parallel parking the van, which I do declare is a yacht. She's threatened to put it on youtube. Have I mentioned that she is evil? But I do adore her. Yes. I do. Even though she is evil.
Lam calls it TARDIS because it's bigger on the inside, despite being the same length as our old Tercel. This moniker got the thumbs up from previous van owner and fellow Doctor Who fan, Miss T's hubby, who I'd call "Mr. T", but he neither has a mohawk or has a penchant for gold chains. Oh, and he's Chinese-Canadian.
We told Lam that, if he wants it painted TARDIS blue, he'll have to pay for the paint job himself. He may actually be saving up for that.
But you might be thinking (or not, whatever), so, Nenette, after sharing with us the love you had for your Tercel, are you happy with the TARDIS? Have you truly moved on?
Yes and yes. Here's why...
1: It really is bigger on the inside, and this is key because Roomie wanted lots of cargo space for long drives and camping trips for the family.
2: It has air-conditioning. When we bought the Tercel in '99, it was January, so it was -30C and all we cared about was not freezing our asses off. The A/C was the last thing on our minds... until summer. Our not-frozen asses started to get really hot in the not-good way, and we vowed to have A/C in our next car.
3: It has a working radio and cassette tape player. The Tercel may not have had A/C, but it had a kick-ass stereo system with 12-CD disk changer. But with wiring seemingly held together with spit and bubble gum, it inevitably died in 2003. With 1 baby and another on the way at the time, we never found the opportunity to resuscitate it.
Now, I can play my old tapes again. Glad I hadn't sold/thrown them away. I can truly be 'old skool'.
4: It has a smooth, cushion-y, slide-through-butter ride. With the Tercel, I felt every bump. EVERY. BUMP.
5: It's higher up, so I can see better. I'm short so this is key for me.
6: It has features the kids love. Lots of cup holders, room to move and walk around in (when the car is parked of course), cool lights, and OMG, the sliding door is a big hit with Lam.
7: It makes me feel... worth it. As much as I love our little speedy car, it's a clunker. It ran rough. It was gungy and dirty on the inside. It was a rust bucket on the outside. It was getting expensive to maintain because too many things were falling apart. It was the exact opposite of luxurious. And it's not surprising that it ended up like this because, for its 20 years on the road, it was driven HARD.
It wasn't until I drove our TARDIS did I realize how much I'd been putting up with all the crap. Our Tercel was tired and ready to retire, and I was ignoring all the signs mainly because it still ran... and Roomie and I had no intentions of ditching it while it still ran because we hate waste.
No, our TARDIS isn't brand-spankin' new, but it's a sweet ride, and it makes me feel like the Universe is saying "you've paid your dues, so you can enjoy now".
I must admit that, the first time I saw the van, I didn't connect to it. I didn't feel The Thing. Now, I do. She feels like ours. Like one of the family.
I just need practice parallel parking her.