I got a notice in the mail that it is almost time to hand in my leased Ford Escape. I am so upset by this; I love my car. I was sort of hoping that Ford would forget that my lease is coming due and just let me keep my Escape. Do they really need my car back? With all the troubles out there in Detroit, will my little Escape make that big a difference?
Yes, it’s plain to see I am attached to my car, but let me explain why. First, it has leather seats. In truth, I could care about the material of the seats but not the seat warmers inside those seats. They make the leather so comfortable and toasty. Yes, when it is cold outside, I push a button, and my butt gets warm within seconds. This butt warming has become a luxury I cannot live without.
Also, my car has Sirius radio and I love the selection that comes with that. My pre-set program buttons range from the opera to Bruce Springsteen. Whatever my mood, I have music to match. And last, but certainly not least, my Ford Escape has backup sensors. When I put my car in reverse, it will make a BEEP, BEEP, BEEP sound if I get too close to other cars or more important – wandering pedestrians. To be honest, I don’t know if I remember how to backup without the sensors anymore, and I don’t think it’s a good idea to just cut me loose and make me attempt backing up on my own after so many years of guided reverse assistance.
This is not the first time I have experienced angst in giving back a car. I traded in my van three years ago to get this Escape. My Villager was 10 years old and had racked up more than 180,000 miles. I cried when I handed over the keys to my van. There were so many memories in that car. But as much as I loved that van, it was not without its liabilities. The repairs on that vehicle helped my mechanic build his summer home. I have a rule when it comes to cars. When I have reached the point where I have provided the down payment on any of my mechanic’s real estate holdings, it is time for a new car.
Believe it or not, I was the one who suggested leasing a car. And my husband was not on board right away, but I was tired of breaking down on highways and roads. The final straw occurred on I-95 in the midst of winter. The latch on the sliding passenger door on the van decided not to work and I had to drive in below freezing weather on a major highway with my back door open. I have never been so cold. I was cursing through my chattering teeth, and I promised myself that if I made it home in one piece, I would give up the van and get a car that had working doors.
So, here I am again getting teary eyed over another car. I know that I will eventually warm up to a new car and my tears of despair will cease to flow especially if I get one of those cars that parallel parks itself or has pick-your- own-dashboard- lights-color feature. Yes, sometimes I might like pink or orange or green. Different dashboard lights add some excitement to driving.
I am going to try and not get attached to a new vehicle. I won’t name it or call it “my baby”. No, I am going to look at this car strictly as a business relationship. If it works hard for me, I will give it gas and oil changes and maybe once a year I’ll get it detailed at the car wash of its choice as a bonus. Yes, I am going to be tough and when three years comes around, I will happily hand over the keys and accept a new car in return. Or just maybe – I might still cry. Damn cars. They are nothing but trouble.
photo by Takeshi