Yellow Bug

I love my yellow Volkswagen bug. I bought the bug in 2003, and it currently has just over 98,000 miles. Happy miles, with lots of grandkids, and secret telling, and laughing, and bumps, and really bad jokes, and dreaming about the future. Rides to school. Rides to field trips. Rides to work and rides to play. It’s taken me some time to come to grips with the fact that it was time to say goodbye to Nana’s yellow bug…..

Bill and I are ready to buy another car. It’s reached that point where I either have to put a lot of money into the bug or say goodbye, As much as I love my bug, I have to acknowledge that it is noisy and rattles, it gets terrible gas mileage, virtually nothing will fit in it (including more than a couple of grandkids), and the 2003 turbo engine demands very expensive premium gasoline. Despite its low mileage, it isn’t worth much at this point. You know what they say: as soon as you drive a car off the lot….

Yesterday Bill and I dipped our toes in the car buying water by visiting a Honda dealer and test driving a CR-V. I knew I wanted an SUV, because I’m sick of sitting three inches off of the ground and not being able to see if cars are coming towards me when I want to turn. Many moons ago, I had a Honda Civic (back when the Civics were actually very small cars). I liked it very much.

One of the things — perhaps the main thing — that I like about my yellow bug is its color. When I come out of the grocery store or church or a restaurant and can’t remember where I parked, I can immediately see the brightly colored car sitting amidst the black and white SUVs. So as I consider my “must haves” in a new car, the color is just as important as the seat warmers. However, in my opinion, the only cars that should be yellow are taxis and Volkswagen Beetles. So I decided I needed a red car. Honda offers a really pretty red CR-V. According to the salesman, there is only one left in the world..

This brings me to my assertion that car buying is perhaps among the five worst things one must do in one’s life. Right there with doing one’s taxes or cleaning out one’s garbage can. My new bestie (who is named Sean and claims he has no interest in a hard sell) sold pretty hard. He first tried to dissuade me from choosing red by having us test drive a pearl blue CR-V. “What do you think about that color?” he asked me. “Not much,” I responded, “because it’s not red.”

That’s when he assured me that there is only one red CR-V left in, wait, did I say the world? I meant the universe.

“Let me go talk to my manager and we’ll see what we can do,” he said.

As he went to talk to the elusive manager, Bill told me, “We are NOT going to settle. It’s red or dead.” (Well, he didn’t actually say that last part. It was implied.)

That’s when my new bestie returned and gave me my time ultimatum. He might — just might — be able to get me a red CR-V if I buy in the next day or so.

Well, what a shock!

But back to my yellow bug. Sean went out and took a look at my car. He walked around it. He looked inside. He came back in and said, “I don’t know what to say. That car is in exceptional shape.”

Apparently not exceptional enough to matter much for the trade-in value.

When I sold the house where Court and I lived for a number of years following my divorce, I literally cried at the closing. So hard, in fact, that the buyer kept saying, “I promise I’ll take good care of it.” I’m afraid I might shed those same tears when I drive away from my yellow bug.

Or, as the grands always call it: Nana’s Yellow Bug.