Entering a new Territory

In the past, the prospect of getting a new car was enough to leave me so excited I couldn’t sleep at night. The thrill of the hunt, the ridiculous levels of research, that moment when the car was all yours to drive! But we are about to get a new car, and I can honestly say I’m more excited about getting some new headphones I’ve ordered. ‘Why?’ I don’t hear you ask…well because this is going to be the car that clearly lets me know that I am currently leaving ‘Youngpersonsville pop. 18million. Thanks for visiting’ and entering ‘Themusickidslistentoistooloud Town. pop. way too many. Enjoy the decline.’ In other words, we’re getting a people mover.

Not just any people mover, an SUV…an automatic diesel one. Which is pretty much the equivalent of walking into a pub, ordering a shandy, demanding a straw to drink it with…then putting Enya on the jukebox.

But why Chris?

The baffling logic appears to be, that if we get this new car, we will be able to spend more time taking other people’s children to things. Which, I think you’ll agree, is a pretty sweet sales pitch. Plus I believe that it negates the need to get a vasectomy, as you no longer have testicles. Look at the money you’re sort of saving!!!

For those of you who don’t know, our current car is a modified Subaru Forester. It looks awesome, it handles beautifully and it goes ‘Waaapshtt’ on each gear change. Admittedly it was a purchase made solely to please me…and a rather sad attempt to show that I was still fun and interesting despite having three kids in the backseat (in truth, the only real difference between me driving this car, and some sad middle aged lump driving a convertible sports car, was that the two year old in the backseat of my car meant that at least I had had sex in the last 2 years.)
On top of that, the brushes on the lowered suspension have to be replaced regularly as a result of having to deal with things like driveways and speed humps, if we get more than 350kms out of a tank of Premium unleaded we feel like somehow cheated Saudi Arabia, and it does draw a fair bit of attention from the boy-racer types (we also once had someone yell ‘The Fast and the Furious!’ at us in the car park of the Ballet Centre…clearly no-one involved in that situation was going to see the ballet). It’s also freaking expensive to insure. Every little unusual sound could be the start of a very expensive problem…and you live in constant fear of a policeman pulling you over and having a look under the bonnet.

The joy of driving

Perhaps the biggest reason for me realising that it’s time to let go of my fun car and learn to the love the beige, is that I’ve lost the love of driving. I used to view people who said ‘A car is just something to get me from A to B’ with the same level of contempt I reserved for people who said ‘Why would you eat that foreign stuff when there’s a Maccas just down the road?’ But sadly I’m starting to see it from their point of view (not the Maccas people…they are worse than Satan). After all when was the last time I went for a drive just for the fun of it? When was the last time I pushed my limits as a driver? When was the last time I went for a drive and thought ‘Well the people I’m sharing the road with are all clearly focused on what they’re doing and so I should just enjoy my driving, rather than spending the entire time in cat-like anticipation waiting to respond to their stupidity? (for those playing at home the answers are, ‘2002’, ‘At a track day at Calder Park’ and ‘Not in living memory’). So what’s the point of having a ‘driver’s car’…if your current driving experiences are at best sporadic and uninspiring?

What’s more, this new car will probably have a stereo you can hear over the road noise, it will have crazy mod cons like USB and Bluetooth and GPS…it will even have a DVD player built in so that I can become one of those people I hate with DVD players in their car! And who knows, maybe getting an automatic transmission won’t be the first step on a slippery slope towards becoming one of those people in Wall-e who just sit in floating chairs while machines do everything for them.

I think that this is the hardest part about this new car. A Territory makes so much more sense than the car we have now. But it is just such a clear indication that I’m slowly sinking into that comfortable arm-chair called ‘middle age’…and while my early 20’s self looks on in horror at what I’ve become, instead of raging against the machine and fighting for my right to party… I just turn to the salesman and ask how much more would come out of my pay every fortnight if I got the arm-chair in leather.