Friday, November 16, 2007

Adios Windstar. Welcome Civic EX

So the minivan died. And we were all quite upset about it. Wyatt loved that car now, as a big 17-year-old with lots of friends and lacrosse gear. He liked the crappy quality and ease, even laughing when his father completely dented the driver's side 2 days after he passed his driver's test and got the use of the car fulltime. He didn't mind that it looked like he'd had the accident, nor that the A.C. was broken. We were all hoping it would limp along til he left for college less than a year from now.

People laugh at owner's mourning their pets. And I'm mourning the damned 98 Windstar. I bought it over John's complaints, taking the kids along for moral support. Georgia, roughly 10 years old, helped me make the decision and negotiate. I could always depend on the kids for great advice in those kind of areas. The kids grew up in that car. Tons of good times, tons of friends, ghosts of moments past. We drove it down to Texas, tag-teaming with the WRX. We used it last week moving G. out of the apartment she was sharing with her boyfriend. Now it's donated to KUT. Lived in and workable on the outside, dead on the in.

So what to do? Aaaargh, have to get something new. Something new or something old? The pressure's on. All the usual methods - intense internet research. Blue book values. Checking craig's list. Driving to all the local dealers. Even checking out ebay after a good friend mentioned she bought a civic the day before, was in fact trucking it in from Virginia. Model types, years, price ranges, all sorts of new information flooding my brain. I decided to keep it simple. Follow PH and everyone else's conservative advice - buy a Honda Civic or Accord. But which, a Civic or an Accord? I fucking hate making decisions. But I needed to. John and Wyatt barely engaged or helped, acting like they do every single night for dinner, "I don't care, whatever you want. Anything's fine." Aaargh.

Narrowed it down to a couple of possibilities. A couple of Accords actually. Hmm, a 1998 or 2002, both with same miles, one several thousands cheaper? Hmm, but one has cd player and ABS brakes? Hmm, but it spent a lot of time in New Orleans, maybe not the best idea these days. Maybe it experienced too much heartache, let alone flood damage.

Finally I spy a 2000 Civic EX with pretty low mileage. And hey, only one owner which Carfax gets pretty damned excited about. John's exhausted, says he'll check out with me in the morning. I can't wait. I drive up in the car. The color's perfect. It's beautiful inside. I drive it around in the dark. Don't open the hood, don't kick the tires. I put money down. I'm excited. I'm freaking out. Because what if it's too small for Wyatt? Where will he put his lacrosse stick? What if it's a lemon? I'm exhilarated and anxious. I move the money around. Yesterday we go to pick it up. Wyatt's delighted. I'm thrilled yet I'm even more anxious signing the "As Is" form. The mechanic I call says, "Did you do a buyer's check before purchasing?" Ah, no.

The keypad doesn't work on the driver's side but it's ok manually. Oops the CD player doesn't work. John says relax. It's fine. You got a great deal. Monday I take it in for it's baseline check up. I'm pleased with the little accomplishment. I'm paranoid I really screwed up. The story of my life.

2 comments:

Bryan P said...

Buying a new car is always nerve-wracking. But, now that you've chosen one, see if you don't notice every single Honda Civic EX that passes you on the road and feel a sense of kinship with the driver. That still happens to me with my little Ford.

Jenn Garrison said...

Welcome to the Honda Civic EX club - I have one, she is pearl black and has a sweet moon roof - I named her Simone - not after Nina - but if you want a little sugar in your bowl, she'll take you on down to the store.