It was the summer of 2012 and a good eight months before my birthday when the man started to get worried about my ‘four-oh.’ Reason, I’d thrown him a big surprise bash for his, a few months back! Since organising parties had always been my forte and I do happen to throw some pretty good ones. He was understandably anxious I would be disappointed when the time came for mine. So biting his nails thoughtfully while I read the Saturday morning paper with my cuppa in hand and brain still in the zzzzzs, he casually brings up the topic and asks what I wanted for my big day.
‘A new car,’ I said, to his utter astonishment. He was expecting a holiday to exotic locales, an obnoxiously expensive bauble or something equally outrageous that ‘women’ want. But, a car, not in his wildest dreams! HE was the automobile aficionado, I had always driven whatever was handed down to me from my Dad, Dad-in-law, him, probably from my son too (if I’d waited till he had his own set of wheels.) But, if you’re a child of the 70’s you’d know the feeling of wearing hand-me-down clothes that passed from the older siblings, hell even cousins, if you were that unlucky. So yes! I’ve always wanted my own new car.
Not one to look the gift horse in the mouth, and before I changed my ‘fickle female mind,’ we set out to look for the perfect wheels for me. When I asked for a ‘small’ car, he was all smiles, what could be better, not only did I want an automobile, which was a thing he understood, I wasn’t going to burn too big a hole in his pocket! Perfecto! What fun we had for the next two months from Honda’s, Hyundai’s, Skoda’s, Ford’s, etc, we paid every dealership a visit. The kids had their own opinions and as Mom’s car is the one that zips them to their myriad classes and social activities, sure, they were entitled! We looked at the Hyundai i10 and I felt it was too small. My son wanting to dissuade me from the Honda Brio which I seemed to be leaning toward cooked up a cock and bull story of how he had seen one whose rear windshield flew off after a truck nudged it from behind. Really! Did he think I was born yesterday! Apparently he did! Hmmm…Coming sooner than I thought! The daughter decided she wanted the new version of the Zen as it was PINK! We shuddered and scooted out of that showroom as quick as a wink.
We finally narrowed down to the Skoda’s, Fabia. Why? Because for me it just felt right when I drove it! To which my dearest better half rolled his eyes and promptly got into the horse power, engine capacity, mileage and endless list of stuff that goes on under the hood with the sales guy while I fell into a stupor induced by sheer boredom. The kids gave their sanction on the basis that it was ‘okay’ to be seen in by their peer group, certainly not the best but, not the worst either! We took my shining new beauty home, it was love at first sight for me and I couldn’t have been prouder. The Man and I constantly competed on whose car was better kept and a better drive, with him on certain generous occasions acceding that mine was a more convenient drive sometimes, ‘mind it’ only sometimes. While I always said his Volkswagen Vento was a bumbling giant on the roads over whose bonnet I could not see the road (my opinion only, please do not sue me Volkswagen people.)
We had some great times over the next two and a half years, the Fabia and I. Some funny and one or two that had my kids dragging me off the roads back home as they thanked the almighty!!