We are officially car owners. It’s crazy. Yesterday we paid, in full, in cash, for a used ’98 Volvo in excellent condition that Andrew had found listed on Craig’s List. We’ve been searching for a car for weeks now, intent on getting rid of our money-sucking rental, but nothing has been quite right: too expensive, too sketchy, an armrest that looks as though it had been chewed on regularly. We found an Audi we liked but decided against it out of fear for expensive repair work. We met a Passat seller, convinced we were going to buy it instantly, but were disappointed to see that it was definitely the worse for wear, and that the seller works at the local prison. The Volvo felt right immediately, and the sellers, a middle-aged couple who’d just bought a brand-new Lexus, had lived in both Pittsburgh and near Cornish in New Hampshire, and had a fat file folder full of painstakingly compiled information on the car’s history, inspired trust. I actually felt more wary of carrying around all that cash than I did about handing it over.
This is the first car either of us has ever owned, and we felt quite happy and proud driving around last night. We also felt aggressive and belligerent because our car sports a bumper sticker reading THE “CHRISTIAN RIGHT” IS NEITHER. Though we of course like the sentiment, we’re going to try to remove it or cover it up; we already feel a little conspicuous about being New York transplants here in the suburbs, and I don’t think there’s any need to flaunt our liberal views. This is neither the time nor the place.