Sunday, July 26, 2009

Some Things Old, Some Things New

This summer has been the season of broken things. We’ve replaced a car, a vacuum cleaner, and a washer and dryer. The dishwasher is giving me attitude. Apparently washing dishes halfway and not drying them at all is enough. I don’t want to know what the puddle at the bottom is all about. What bugs me is replacing items I’ve had for fifteen years with things that break down within a year or two.

It’d be nice to purchase something new because I want it and can afford it, rather than being forced to even if we can’t afford it.

My husband, the eternally optimistic one, thinks either way is just fine…because either way you get new stuff.

I like new stuff. I can imagine I’d like financial security, too.

What I don’t like is car shopping. We tried a couple of car dealerships and found some used cars that were practical, boring and a couple of light years out of our price range. And the salesmen refused to haggle. You can’t buy a car without haggling.

Next we tried one of those funky used car places where the office is in a sagging trailer – the kind that makes me wish I always carried hand sanitizer around in my purse. Almost everything on the lot had more than 90,000 miles on it and looked like it had been put out to the concrete pasture.

Then we spotted a ’92 Buick with only 42,000 miles on it. There wasn’t a scratch on it. We took it for a drive. The kids made it clear they’d sulk if we looked at anything else.

They were crazy about the retro look. Who knew the ‘90’s were retro?

Besides, the car was so cheap I could’ve written a check (if I’d thought to actually bring a checkbook). That was after haggling, of course. So we did the whimsical and impractical thing: we bought the seventeen year old car that made us smile.

If only I could get used to the idea that something made in the same year I got married looks sooooo old-fashioned.


PJ Hoover said...

I love it! And I hope it drives forever!
And I hear you on buying new stuff that lasts a year. So frustrating.

ICQB said...

Oh my gosh - we need a new car too. I hate the looking too.

And our fridge needs replacing - and our dishwasher is giving the initial signs of rebellion, and...

The list goes on.

I hope we'll be as lucky when we go car shopping as you were - when you love something like that, it usually loves you back : )

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Very cool!
Doesn't it always seem that everything breaks down at once?

Ara Burklund said...

Congratulations on your find! Probably someone's grandma's car. And we got married in '92, too. : )

Suzanne Casamento said...

I hope your summer of breakdowns is not contagious. That is the WORST. My hot water heater blew up, the gas company deemed my furnace "toxic" and it rained in my bedroom all at once in the fall of 2005. I know exactly what you mean about not being to able afford things but being forced to buy them. Afterall, I couldn't live without a roof.

Anyway, glad you found the car. Just 42,000 miles? That thing will last forever! Cheers to THAT!

LW said...

Retro car…. Cool.
Do they still use the word cool.

Two summers ago we went through the everything is breaking phase.
First, it was the refrigerator, and then the vacuum, which we had fixed, next was the washer, which at the time was about 24 years old so I decided that it was time for a new one ….
Dear hubby got me a matching red washer and dryer.
He saw me caressing them when we were buying the refrigerator.
He knew if I went out to buy them I would have been very practical and would get the less expressive white ones, in fact I probably would have only gotten the washer.

I must say sometimes change is good, this washer and dryer set dropped my electric bill by $40.00 plus a month.
In fact, the electric company came out and put a new meter on my house after the forth month because they thought that the meter was broken….
On the other hand, I had to call the repairperson twice since we got the new set which are only 18 months old at this time…


MG Higgins said...

I'm amazed your kids thought a Buick was cool, no matter how retro. Sheesh. Enjoy your wonderful find! I'm sending positive vibes to all of your electronics.

adrienne said...

PJ - It bothers me that things aren't made to last anymore. What a waste. But the car is still cool. :)

ICQB - I hope you have good luck with the car, too. And I'm impressed with how insolent dishwashers can be!

Becky - Why does it happen at once? I'm hoping there's a bunch of good stuff coming to balance it out. :)

Ara - '92 - a good year! Was it that long ago?

Suzanne - Oh, no - not the roof! That is hard to do without. Hmmm, can't possibly be due for another round for some time!

Louise - Hee...doesn't everyone have to pet the cherry red washer/dryers? I whimpered a little at having to settle for the plain white pair - I got a red vacuum instead. :D

MG - I know, it's funny...I think the Buick was just so different than anything we were actually looking for.

Thanks for the good vibes - I'm counting on the rest of the appliances to behave!

Anne Spollen said...

We are having the same problem, only with furniture. It's all sagging and stained looking -- all of a sudden. I went to look at couches and they were all over a thousand...wrong store.

But a Buick that kids like -- more picture book inspiration. That definitely hasn't been done before.

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

Nothing much needs repair here. Just have to get a new ceiling fan that goes ounk, ounk, ounk as it whirls!!
Congrates on your new car!

Shelli said...

girl I hear yah! BTW - nice wheels :) if you can be cool to your kids - I say go for it!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I heart the wood dashboard:) Very cool.
isn't it awful to spend all your money on the replacement stuff and nothing fun?

adrienne said...

Anne - Couch shopping is just as bad! I had an old couch I tried to make 'shabby chic' by sewing on patches. Um...yeah. I stopped inviting people over after that.

Keats - I think I've had ceiling fans that make that noise - and some that looked ready to fly right off the ceiling!

Shelli - Yeah, I think my cool days have been fewer and farther between. :D

Green Girl - Exactly! Just when I start thinking of blowing money on something fun, something else breaks. Maybe I should only buy fun stuff on impulse - before I have a chance to be outwitted.

C.R. Evers said...

LOL! I hate going into antique shops and seeing toys that I used to play w. They can't really be antiques . . . can they?


Nora MacFarlane said...

We must be sailing in the same ship. We seem to be forever replacing things we need and can't afford!

adrienne said...

Christy - Me, too - AND it makes me wish I'd hung on to a few that might be collector's items... :)

adrienne said...

Nora - Oh, long as the ship's sailing, and not sinking! :)

Mary Witzl said...

Wow: I didn't know they still made wooden dashboards in 1992, but it definitely looks neat. If we'd been there, we might have bought it too.

Boy, do I know how you feel about things breaking down! This past year, we've gone through two toasters, one electric kettle, three laptops (sigh), four mobile phones, a stereo system, and a blender. I'm not even TOUCHING the dishwasher.

adrienne said...

Mary - It must be true they don't make stuff like they used to. My son dug an old (70s?) clock radio out of the garage the other day. It works as well, if not better, than any of our new ones.

Rena said...

Love it!

My boys were playing my ILs old Nintendo game station thing while we were there. The girls used to play it when they were little, and before them, their nephews. Why am I constantly replacing new PS2 games? Urgh.

Mary Witzl said...

My mother had a washing machine that, she was fond of bragging, lasted from 1951 through the seventies. That was obviously back before the manufacturers had figured out how to build in obsolescence in order to keep the economy flourishing. So sad they have to do that: I love having things that last!

msprimadonna67 said...

Car shopping makes me want to tear my hair out. It has got to be one of my very least favorite activities. Lucky for me, I have no money right now, so I'll not be looking for a new car any time soon.