So we had this minivan. At the time that it was purchased for us, a wee tiny rubbing sound in the front end went unnoticed. This tiny sound grew in size and violence (particularly after The Lovely Rhonda hit that one rather comprehensive spot in the road with the metal plate and the big bump) until it was all you could hear. A co-worker drove it to get lunch one day and came back with great big eyes: WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOUR VAN OMG THE FRONT TIRE SOUNDS LIKE IT’S GOING TO FALL OFF.
It was a bad strut, made worser faster by the bump but clearly on its way out regardless. Expensive repair, but not harmful to the van mechanically to drive on.
Over time, the van also acquired a wee tiny rock chip in the windshield. Which, barely a week or two later, as I drove to work one day hitting the typical little jars and rough spots in the ordinary roads hereabouts, suddenly went, very quietly, crick. And became a gigantic smile in the glass, from eyeball level on the driver’s side, down to a few inches above the dash, and back up to roughly the same place on the passenger side. And which occasionally grew by a few millimeters as the months wore on. Our insurance? Yeah, big deductible. And what with the ANNOYING RUBBING SOUND we were not that interested in sinking a bunch more money into it.
It had the usual wear and tear inflicted by young children, mainly in the form of cracker crumbs and ground-in fruit snacks, plus a masterpiece of marker art drawn by Middle Spawn one afternoon “because ALL THE OTHER GIRLS had something to DO but not ME and I was BORED.” So, typical stuff.
Oh, and the biggest problem of all: financed by the in-laws. I’m sure nothing more need be said about this altogether unsuitable state of affairs. And the credit union wouldn’t refinance them off of it because of its age/infirmity/over 100k miles.
So today TLR awoke with a wild hair, and after lunch and a bit of casual shopping she and I headed off to the local purveyors of used automobiles, where we met a tiny man with a wicked giggle who showed us a truly gorgeous minivan. Okay, it IS a minivan, and it’s white (but not silver, which we were hoping to avoid, so yay). But within the subset of white minivans, this one stands out nicely. Many delightful features such as stow-n-go seating, rear defroster and rear air conditioner (you would not believe how those ordinary things make a huge difference vis-a-vis rear visibility and/or cranky overheated whiny children), windows that go down AND up, and those nifty doors and rear hatch that open all by themselves like MAGIC when you press the clever little buttons. And it’s only two years old!
Yes, it’s a minivan. But there’s room for all our traveling crap within, and the children all get to sit hygienically apart from one another where they must go out of their collective and individual ways to be more annoying than usual.
And while we waited around for all the bean-twiddling and manager-talking-to that has to take place, inevitably, wherever cars are sold, we got to check out the new Camaro. Only 14 more years until the youngest leaves home and we can get one!