Selling the car has made me think about the whole thing. Have I learned anything from what was essentially a really expensive mistake?
I didn’t learn to drive until I was more than 30 years old, which should be an Awful Warning to others. If you’re going to do it, do it when you’re young and fearless. If you wait until you’re old, like I did, you realize that not only is Death inevitable, but it’s coming for you personally. And driving just makes it all that much easier for the Reaper to get his scythe on you. When I’m driving on the freeway, I’m going the speed limit and everyone else is passing me and I’m thinking, “If anyone hits me, I’m dead.”
When was learning to drive, people kept telling me, “Look at all the idiots who can drive. Anyone can do it.” I did not and do not find that comforting, because that means that some, if not most, of the cars jetting by me at 80+mph are being driven by stupid people. This does not decrease the danger, in my opinion.
I’m just not one of Nature’s drivers, and that’s that.
However, I didn’t know that right away, and once I got my license, I wanted to buy a car. I started looking at used cars, with my brother’s expert guidance, and was shocked by how much a decent used car costs. When I discovered that I could by a 1966 Mustang convertible for the same price as a reliable ugly car, you know I had to go for the Mustang. It was like jewelry I could drive. I never want the sensible and boring if I can have the pretty and impractical instead. And it’s not like I needed a car to commute in every day or take the kids to soccer practice. It was a frivolous car for a frivolous girl.
I didn’t heed my brother’s caveats about old cars, either. In my ignorance, I figured, how much could go wrong with it when it’s such a simple machine? I mean, you look under the hood and there are about 12 things in there. You can see the ground. What I didn’t understand then was that something will always go wrong, and that vintage cars are holes you pour money into and which put you at the mercy of mechanics named (and natured) Snake.
So, I guess I learned that not only am I not one of Nature’s drivers, I’m not one of Nature’s car owners, either. I’ll leave cars, like children, to those who really want and/or need them.