Everyone has an “Igotta” car –you know, that car you just have to buy. For most people, the Igotta car would be something expensive or fancy – a Porsche, Mercedes Benz, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, or even just a Mustang Boss – but my tastes are much more plebeian.
Back in 2008, my husband was in the market for a new car and I went along just because. We like Fords, so off we went to our usual dealership. After driving various models, he decided he liked the moderately-priced Ford Fusion the best, and the only decision left was “what color?”
Of course, no matter what car he decided on, he had to test drive that particular car before signing anything.
First he drove the silver 2008 Fusion –beautiful car, beautiful handling, beautiful interior. As we were traveling around the lot in the silver car and looking at the other colors, another customer pulled in front of us test-driving a red Fusion (Ford called the color, “Redfire”).
I don’t know exactly what happened, how, or why – but suddenly I just knew that I had to have that red Fusion! Maybe it was the double exhausts sportily wafting moisture clouds into the air, or maybe it was because the sparkly ruby red color reminded me of Dorothy’s slippers. I’ve never been hit with the “I gotta” feeling before or since, at least not with regard to cars.
Unfortunately, my husband saw that red car the same time I did. And unfortunately, there was an identical one still on the lot – so off we went for a test-drive in “my” red Fusion.
Have you ever had to trash talk about something that you secretly crave? The saleslady was highlighting the wonderful features of the vehicle, my husband was obviously loving it, and bystanders were oohing and aahing over the color. In fact, that year the 2008 Fusion in Redfire was featured on the cover of one of the national car magazines (I can’t recall which).
My heart sank when my husband told the saleslady he definitely wanted the car but was torn between the silver and the red. Oh no – the red is MINE! But I couldn’t say that.
Being the devious little devil that I am, I finally made an offhand comment that the silver was very distinguished looking, and I agreed the red was really “in your face” eyecatching – but didn’t he think red was kind of a sissy color?
Gotta love that male ego. He leased the silver Fusion. The very next day, I drove to the dealership and leased the red Fusion. Imagine my husband’s surprise when he came home and saw it in our driveway!
NOW I HAD MY IGOTTA CAR – BUT IT WAS A MISTAKE
No, the car wasn’t a mistake – it was a wonderful car. It was pretty, sporty, and peppy. The V6 engine made drives on the Thruway a breeze.
The mistake was that I am not geared for an “in your face” car. I felt conspicuous, and I worried every single time I had to park that beautiful car somewhere other than my own driveway. And somehow looking out over that sparkly red hood made me even more aggressive than usual – not a good thing. And that car was fast and smooth – I could cruise along thinking I was doing 65 mph or so and then notice the speedometer was at 100 mph!
THE CAR WAS APPARENTLY CURSED, AS SOME CARS ARE
I had the car less than a month when I was stopped, waiting for traffic to clear so I could make a left turn, and a 20-year-old young lady ran smack into the back of my car with enough force that her car actually went under my car and then bounced back. She swore she didn’t see my car (hello – bright, sparkly red?!).
When I got out and saw the front end of her smashed up vehicle (and her air bag deployed), I was afraid to look at my car – but *gasp* all my car had was a chipped tail pipe! One of the emergency personnel even commented that my car had held up so well that he was going to buy one for his son.
Not too long after I had that fixed, I got stuck in snow in the driveway of my office building during an unusually heavy snowfall. Co-workers helped push the car out, but in the process one of them slipped, grabbed onto the spoiler, and ripped it off the car.
I BEGAN TO HAVE DOUBTS ABOUT MY IMPULSE PURCHASE
It didn’t help that apparently the City police had a reason to look for a 2008 red Fusion. Many times I found a police car following me through the City streets – sometimes tailing me as soon as I left the office and following me all the way to the City line. A co-worker tried to calm my nerves by saying maybe it was just the normal patrol route.
Then one day someone abandoned a stolen vehicle near my office building. Police arrived, followed by a detective – in a red 2008 Fusion identical to mine! Aha! I suspect it was his personal vehicle, but in any event at least I now could deduce that the patrol car was probably following me because the officer mistook my vehicle for the detective’s vehicle.
The final straw, however, was when a local car dealership gave an identical red 2008 Fusion to a poor single mother in the City. Now, I’m not against charity, and maybe that family really needed a car. Maybe the woman was a saint who deserved a freebie. Or maybe the dealership just needed the publicity. But, I couldn’t help thinking that I worked my ass off to buy my car, and it just wasn’t fair.
Plus, every time I drove through the section of the City where that family lived (which was every single day), I began to think people were looking at me like I was some kind of welfare scum driving around in a beautiful brand new car while the working poor were driving around in broken-down beaters. I don’t know if that single mother was, in fact, on welfare, and I don’t really care – I’m just relaying my thought process at a time when I was an especially not-nice person.
I had a 3-year lease on my 2008 Redfire Fusion, and I traded it in after 2 years and got myself a Ford Focus instead. I’m much more comfortable in the Focus – every car I’ve bought or leased since 2008 has been a Focus, and my next car will likely be a Focus. My drives through the City are quiet and inconspicuous, parking does not make me cringe, and I feel like just an average working-class lady – which is exactly right for me.
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