In Which I Compare and Contrast

August 28, 2009 at 5:49 pm Leave a comment

So, this week has seen an occurrence which happens once every 5 years in my household– and once every 10 years to me. The 60-month loan on our “new” car was retired in July- leaving room to replace my “old” car. My ’97 Escort wagon was purchased (used) during a drought in the Family Station Wagon market. I never loved it, and liked it less as one by one various systems crapped out on it: a/c, power locks, power windows… I’ll miss it so. (That said, it has always been a reliable was to get from here to there- in the market for a $300 working vehicle with significant cosmetic issues? call me!)

But then there was a glorious few months of “car shopping” on long car trips- seeing what else is on the highway. Everybody in the WORLD is driving a Matrix now, it seems like. I guess the wagon market has revived (even if that’s not what they’re calling it these days).

Then there was some research online, narrowing down my options. Then there was the glorious morning of being sucked up to by car salespeople. Whee! Shopping alone meant I didn’t have to get pissed off about how they dealt with me vs. my husband. Sweet.

I was reasonably convinced that either of my two choices would perform acceptably as vehicles. They would go forward or back, turn to the left, or to the right, speed up or slow down as the appropriate pedals were engaged. So by the time I was test-driving, it was all about the look and feel.

First stop was to check out the Mazda5. (Zoom zoom). It was a beautiful ride. Powerful, sexy, packed with desirable features. Amazing visibility for the size of the vehicle. Tilt and telescoping steering wheel- I would have LOVED that when I was pregnant. I knew on paper that, of the two, it had less leg and shoulder room. What I didn’t know was how that felt. The driver’s seat was narrowed with sides that come forward- I suppose to offer ‘back support’. The effect for me was that my arms felt smooshed in, making my grip on the steering wheel feel forced. I could feel the seat closing in on me on both sides. I fit- but “this fat and no fatter” is a strange enough head-game to play with myself, without my CAR weighing in on the issue. A great car. Just not the right one for me.

So when I got to the Kia dealer to sit in a Rondo, I was predisposed to love it. And I did. And call me crazy- but the seat belt fit. I’ve never had a seat belt fit. They’re long enough, but… the lap belt actually going across my lap, and the shoulder belt cutting BETWEEN my breasts, and chafing neither my ear nor my shoulder. The lower anchor points were just a little bit forward, and the higher anchor point was just a little bit lower. Sweet. SOLD! Oh yeah, and it also had great visibility and handling and stuff.

Yay.

The week didn’t start with car shopping, though. It started with a road trip (in the ‘new’ car, which on Monday will become the ‘old’ car) to visit the woman who, 20 years ago, was granted the title “my mostest bestest friend” and although we’ve drifted over the years, she retains the title. We played in the park- 4 parents and 4 kids. All the kids were adorable in the blonde-and-blue-eyed style of adorable. The two eldest were both articulate, both active, both curious, both madly in love with their baby sisters.

LittleE is 4. He’s deeply into taxonomy- the fundamental question with which he approaches the world is “what is it? what is it called?”. He can name dinosaurs and other prehistoric life like nobody’s business. He knows the difference between dinosaurs and other prehistoric life. He’s awesome. Ruth is 3. She’s into origins- the fundamental question with which she approaches the world is “where did it come from?”. She can name the person who gave her each of her favourite toys. She’s awesome.

These two kids, who looked enough alike to be cousins (or brother and sister, if you squint and look sideways, and ignore their actual sisters, who look far more like their respective siblings) were so incredibly different. E was into roaring and chasing. Ruth was into screaming and running away. Good times.

Such a powerful reminder that people are, you know, different. And that absolutely awesome comes in a lot of different styles. Each in the image of God. Ad imaginem Dei

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