Well, folks, I did it. I bought the '97 Saturn I talked about in the last post. It's just big enough to seat two adults and three tiny-heiny children. I wrote the check Friday afternoon, and couldn't even look at it sitting in the driveway. What if I didn't do enough research? What if I look outside and all four tires have gone flat and the door has fallen off? What if my intuition failed me?
I finally drove it Saturday afternoon, expecting to crash at every lane change on the way to Wal-Mart, expecting the brakes to fail at every red light, expecting the engine to fall out when I hit 60 mph.
None of that happened. In fact, I fell in love a little more every moment. The car runs great. It stops like it's supposed to. All the accessories work, with the exception of the rear passenger window. It's cleaner than any 12-year-old car I've ever seen. Somebody took care of this car. I didn't think it was possible for me (me!) to have good luck with a car. I drove it many more times over the weekend, and now I'm comfortable that I got a good deal.
I mentioned getting a Carfax report on Twitter, and a Carfax employee contacted me and offered me a free report. I didn't see the offer until I'd already bought the car. I almost got took the free report but thought, nah, the point is moot now, and I want to honor my intuition. From the moment I saw the car I was drawn to it. I looked at all the other cars, even chose a second-favorite, but I just kept going back to this one. It was difficult to tell if the nerves surrounding the whole thing was my intuition, or if the initial draw to the car was. Knowing myself pretty well by now, I decided that the nerves were layered on after the initial attraction, and so I should honor that first feeling. I did the same thing with this house, and it has turned out to be just the right house for us.
Still, I wait for the hammer to fall. It seems that Murphy's Law ruled my life for so long that I still can't shake it, even though since I moved into this house, the planets align in my favor more often than not. So since I have confidence in my new car, I feel it's too good to be true. I wait for my new-found freedom to be snatched away when the old van breaks down and the hubby starts driving my car to work.
There's also an element of selfishness that I have to get used to. Yes, we needed a family car. Yes, I did all the work to buy the car. Yes, it is a totally modest used car. But I've maintained a certain level of self-denial for so long that I don't know how to just enjoy something that costs money. Heck, if I spend $10 on a pair of shoes I get the anxiety. I felt the same way when I got my much-needed washer and dryer, even though we got mismatched, dented models at a deep discount. There's no extravagance going on here. I just have to get used to it.
Sometimes things go my way, and it's usually when I honor my intuition.