This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The End of an Era

This week we turned in my husband's BMW and officially became a one-car-family. The lease on his BMW was up and for the first time in years we opted not to get a new one. It's the end of an era. Now before you start thinking "oh, poor little rich girl doesn't get to ride around in her husband's big bad BMW anymore..." I write this not to garner sympathy, but to show growth in our maturity. The first BMW came into my husband's life when he was in the army in Germany. It was love at first sight and he really missed that car when he opted to not spend the money to transport it back to the States with him. The next BMW came as a surprise gift that I arranged for Steve to celebrate the completion of his MBA. We lived in Cincinnati at the time and this was definitely during the 'Stepford friend' time in my life and I felt that a flashy car was necessary to show we had arrived. The only problem was that like every 'status' symbol, you have to keep outdoing yourself to convince yourself you've still arrived. Each successive BMW had to have a bigger engine or more features to keep our upward mobility intact. The one thing truly going upward was the payments.

As we began discussions about this year's car purchase, neither of us felt totally sanguine with the idea of spending so much of our monthly budget on a car payment. Maybe because of Steve's new job, maybe because the roads in Massachusetts are so full of potholes that riding in a low-slung sportscar was actually painful, maybe because nobody here seems to care what we drive, or maybe just because we are older (wiser?) we were more concerned about safety features, gas mileage, resale value, and hauling capacity than WOW factor. Perhaps we are actually learning maturity.

It seems the gods-of-car-ownership have another lesson for us to learn as well. Patience. The plain-vanilla-white-Subaru-Forester that we planned on buying seems to be adrift on the Atlantic Ocean with no arrival date in sight. So, each morning I drive Steve to work, take our daughter to school, run errands or workout, go back to school for volunteer duty, back home for laundry/housework, back to school to pick up daughter, take daughter to various afterschool activities, pick up Steve from work, pick up daughter, go home and make dinner. It's a lot of 'together' time for a family that already spends a lot of time together and frankly Steve is chafing a bit being chauffeured around. That's okay, just like all 3 of us fighting for space over one pedestal sink each morning, this too will end.

We're lucky, I know that. Lucky because I know many families for whom one car (and one bathroom) are the norm, not the exception. Most of those families have a lot more kids than we do. Lucky because we had a choice about which car to buy because my husband is employed. Lucky because our lives, no matter how much I do love to complain, are really good. Great. Blessed, even.

It may be the end of an era, but it feels more like the beginning of a life ruled by priorities that feel a lot more comfortable to me, more comfortable even than those butter-soft-leather-BMW seats.

Oops, I better go, it's getting late and I need to pick up Steve...

No comments: