Thursday, April 29, 2010

Returner's Remorse

On Sunday, I bought a truck. Not just any truck. My absolute dream truck. It was sexy. It was monstrous. It was $15,000 of heated leather seats, back-up sensor, auto-climate control, 4 door pulling machine. But most importantly....

It was love at first sight.

Cupid struck me through the heart the second I saw that beautiful, glorious hunk of steel. I couldn't remember wanting anything as badly as I wanted, no- NEEDED, that truck. I can't help it. I'm a truck girl. Call me crazy. Call me a white-collar, redneck. I didn't care that the gas-mileage sucked. I didn't care that I had nothing to tow or haul. I climbed up, sat in those comfy, leather seats and felt like I belonged.

I returned to the car lot with my husband the next day and basically begged him for the dang thing. He didn't want a truck. He explained that I should save up for a bigger downpayment first. He listed all the things our family would have to forgo or put on hold if we bought the truck. He's the practical one. But I won (as I almost always do). We bought it on the spot. I was the happiest person alive.

Then something happened. Guilt gripped my gut. It tore me up inside. My hefty and impractical expenditure loomed over my head and stabbed me with regret. I felt horrible for putting my own desires above the welfare of my family. Two days later, I returned to the lot and backed out of the purchase. It was probably the hardest thing I had to do since I took the bar exam. I sat in my truck one last time. Slowly saying goodbye to the classy console, the soft steering wheel, the heated leather seats and the sleek, shiny short-bed. A part of me died when I walked away that evening. But I also knew this was the smart, albeit, painful decision. Seriously, who returns a $15,000 truck after two days?

I still think about the truck that could have been. I still imagine myself driving it, decked out in my cowgirl boots and blasting Tim McGraw and Billy Currington, my buns a-toasting on that beautiful leather throne. So I assure myself that, someday, a truck like that will be mine. And when that day comes, I'll drive that machine into the ground. I'll love it to death, until it's nothing but a steel shell wrapped around an engine. But until that day comes, I'll have this image burned into my retinas:

And then I bought a new pair of boots. You know, to make the hurt go away faster.

1 comment:

Gillian said...

My first vehicle, when I was 24, was a 1992 Toyota 2WD truck. (I was 24 in 2002, so it was old). I drove it for 3 years, until it started costing a lot to fix different things, and then started shopping for a new vehicle. The husband helped me pick it out - a gently used (11,000 miles), 2003 Toyota Tacoma with 4WD, extended cab, 2 doors, bed liner - silver, beautiful, exactly what I wanted. I like a sleeker truck, what can I say?

We decided we would own it until it died. We were going to have that truck when our first kid graduated high school. We used it all the time, camping, moving things, hauling things (never towing, it wasn't really a towing kinda truck). When Jack was born, we put his car seat in the front and turned off the airbag, and I crawled into the extended cab. (We also had a more sensible family-type Matrix). I loved rocking up to parties or work or what-have-you with my giant J Lo hoop earrings, sparkly flip flops, and climbing outta that truck. I felt young and hot and loved the damn thing.

We had to sell it last year because of the goddam recession. We sold both of our cars, and our house, and now we live in an apartment and drive a 10 year old Dodge Intrepid that makes me feel a hundred years old and a failure. We don't have a car payment anymore, or a mortgage, and blah blah whatever responsible blah. The income from selling that truck kept us eating this year of law school. I sold it to a college student who washed it every day the first week he owned it, and has probably had lots of sex now because of it, and that makes me happy. Happy-ish.

I still ache for my silver bullet. Every opportunity I get, I tell people - this is not my car. My car is a 2005 silver Toyota Tacoma, ok? So don't judge me for driving a grandma tank.