We are moving. From the cozy confines of Brooklyn to the Southern jungle of Raleigh, North Carolina.
With moving comes a variety of stresses and concerns. There’s a reason moving is the only thing on earth that’s actually worse than planning a wedding. Am I right, ladies?
Since we happen to be moving from a city with certain conveniences (such as being the GREATEST PLACE ON EARTH!) to an area somewhere below the Mason-Dixon line that may or may not have electricity and written language, we are forced to make a variety of complicated arrangements.
Not the least of which is acquiring an automobile.
Flash back to ten years ago…
I was childless. No, let’s make that “child-free” (the recent kerfuffle around STFU, Parents has affected me). I was living in Boston with my girlfriend, not yet married, not yet a father, not yet in NYC. All conditions which made the possession of an automobile rather crucial. For one thing, if I had any hopes of upgrading my girlfriend situation I was gonna need some sweet wheels.
Unfortunately, all I had was my grandfather’s hand-me-down Pontiac Grand Am, complete with a puke-green paint job, two doors and a spoiler. Needless to say, I stayed with my girlfriend and this fall we celebrated five amazing years together as husband and wife. Love you, honey!
Anyway, back then, had I been in the market for a new ride, I would have bought the shit out of something super cool, super fast and super dangerous. I doubt I would’ve have given even a moment’s consideration to things like side-airbags and DVD players and cargo room. I would’ve been all about the sex appeal. Zero to 60, sun roof, CD player in the trunk, sick-ass rims…all the goods!
Nowadays the proud owner of an American-manufactured, factory-certified two year old, the hunt for a new car is a lot less exciting. Instead of sports cars I am looking at midsize SUVs. Instead of researching things like “did Steve McQueen think it was cool” I’m researching things like safety ratings. It’s actual, meaningful research that could seriously impact my family, and it’s boring.
When you’re a kid, cars are cool. Everyone knows that, even a kid like me, and I was no gear-head. Growing up, I never cared much about cars, and to this day I can barely hook up jumper cables, let alone change my oil or understand a single page of “Car and Driver” magazine. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t know that cars were cool. Then I moved to the city and realized that cars are a hassle. Then I had a kid and realized that cars are a neccessity. Then I started researching cars and realized cars are expensive. Then I remembered that kids are the hassle.
Car hunting has been stripped of its glamour and burdened with practicality. In short, it’s a total snoozefest. And yet there are decisions to be made.
I might end up buying a limo. It might not be fast but it will have one of those partitions so I don’t have to hear my kid screaming from the backseat.
I’m already his de facto chauffeur, so why fight it?