We are paring down, throwing out, lightening the load, getting rid of “stuff.” We have talked about it for quite awhile, but the actual “paring” part has, until now, existed in theory only, with a few flirtatious jabs at “it,” whatever the “it” involved. But today we actually took a big step. Really big. We sold my car and are now a one-car household. Doing something this drastic is certainly not feasible for many people, what with two income families, differing schedules, children to ferry here and there, and all the etcetera’s that go with living in today’s fast paced multi-tasking society. But we don’t fit that scenario anymore. I am pursuing an online graduate degree, so most of my days are spent in the apartment, behind the computer, pondering many sundry, counseling issues. When I do go out, it is usually with Richard, and if “study” is involved we head to any place that has free wifi. (Online schooling is far more rigorous than I ever imagined.) Richard is also home these days. Our run to the supermarket, drugstore, wine store, urgent care center, pet store, dentist, and a slew of other places is all of a five minute walk to the strip-mall just up an incline and through the hedges. In fifteen minutes we can walk to the post office. A Metro-bus stops within sight of our apartment building. We take that to the Metro station where we hop the train to anywhere in the metro-DC area we want to go. So, it really does not make sense for us to be making two car payments every month when one car sits in the parking lot 95% of the time. Selling my car takes a huge financial burden off our shoulders.
So, why am I so sad? Richard is also sad, even though it wasn’t his “baby” we sold. Richard knows how attached I was to that car. Ask my children, too. They will tell you stories of how protective and possessive I am of my vehicles, although I have gotten much better in recent years. Richard offered to help me make my monthly payments, but then I know what a burden that would be for him. He is already at his limit when it comes to bills. He is shouldering a huge financial burden while I am in school. I can’t ask him to do any more. I am sad because I have given up some of my freedom. I don’t take my cars lightly. I don’t trade them in every two or three years. When I purchase a car I expect to own it for a very long time. I will wear it out before I trade it in. I had one car, a Geo Metro (before Chevrolet bought it out) for eleven years, and the only reason I gave that one up is because I was pulled over and the officer told me to get it off the road or pay a heavy fine. After that I leased a car for two years, and hated it. Then I replaced that one with my Honda Fit. The Fit is a wonderful car. It is economical, ecologically friendly, small enough to put it wherever I please, comfortable. . . My kind of car! I referred to it as “my marshmallow fit” because of its color and its size. I bought it with the expectation that I would have it for twenty years at least! But today my marshmallow and I parted ways after only two and half years. Whoever purchases that car will have a great vehicle for a long time to come. Despite the fact that selling it was the best alternative for us at this time, it was a difficult thing to do.
It feels on one hand that I gave up my freedom today. On the other hand, it might be more accurate to say that I exchanged one freedom that happened to have some heavy financial responsibility attached to it, for another type of freedom that . . .well . . . is freeing. No more car payments or paying exorbitant prices at the gas pump, no more car insurance or costly tune-ups, no more constant checks for new nicks and scratches from other cars “kissing” my car, as Richard would say. It was a good thing to sell the car. Really, it was. I have no regrets. Besides, we still have Richard’s car, and that is more than enough for just the two of us. It’s a Honda, too.