Thursday, March 25, 2010

3rd Car's the Charm

Well, the Lord is teaching me patience.

Allow me to elaborate. For awhile now, I have been thinking about purchasing a new car. All my life, it has suited me well to drive used cars passed down to me from family members. I started off with a 1993 Geo Prism at age 16. It was great. It was this blue-green car with a sun roof, and it was similar to driving a go-cart. You could zip in and out of traffic, but don't be fooled-- the speedometer barely made it past 90 mph and once I took it up past 75, the whole car started to shake. It had already had it's fair share of drivers... my mom, my oldest sister, and then last and definitely most destructive, my brother.

It did the job, though. As far as I am concerned, if a car can get you from Point A to Point B, then that's all you really need.

Then, I graduated to "the Lumina." My parents purchased a champagne-colored SUV a few years ago. It's a Tahoe, better suited for carting around grandkids and other items that my mom sells in her shop. It came fully equipped with On-Star, a feature my mom can hardly live without. I actually think it's one of the most annoying features in the world, as I get to hear every phone conversation my mom has when I climb into the car with her. Nonetheless, it enables her to have both hands available while driving, and she loves it.

Anyway, when the Tahoe now labeled "Sutsi Pi" thanks to the license plates was bought, their old car was passed to me. The cherry red Lumina was definitely a step up quality-wise, as I felt like I had a little bit more speed power on the interstate and it was definitely more spacious and trustworthy. In fact, Kristi and I found this car very useful for hauling furniture and other photography-worthy items around. Just a few weeks ago, we were at a thrift store in Peoria purchasing a big orange chair.

"I don't think this chair will fit," the man said who was helping us out.

"Oh, it will fit," Kristi told him with determination.

I agreed.

After a few clever maneuvers, Kristi and I proved the guy wrong. We had it shoved in my back seat with no problem.

"Wow," he said, standing back in amazement. "Who needs an SUV when you have a LUMINA?" he said with conviction, shaking his head.

Well, I must confess sadly that the days of the Lumina are nearing an end. But not without quite a journey.

So, all of this serves as a backdrop to the real story here. I decided that my time has come to go for the big purchase and get the car I have always dreamed of... the car I have talked about owning since I knew what it was... the car that I feel describes me perfectly: the Volkswagen Beetle. And a green one.

I visited Suds in Bloomington with my parents a couple of weeks ago and chatted with a sales man there. He was very nice. I told him I was looking for a green VW Beetle with a sunroof.

"Perfect!" he exclaimed, "We have a used one with low miles on it that fits that description exactly, and it's right over..." as he motioned over to the corner of the lot where he thought it was, his voiced trailed off.

"...and, I guess it sold," he concluded after viewing the vacant spot.

I wasn't surprised. I had already tried to go the "used car" route and it had already proven unsuccessful. However, I still had high hopes for getting what I wanted by buying brand new.

"Well," I said, "What about getting a new one?"

We discussed my options. He did a search and found exactly what I wanted: a gecko green VW, one in which he thought was 2010, sunroof, tan interior, the works. It was even in the region.

It sounded perfect. Like it was mine. And just in time, too.

All of this actually went down over a phone conversation a couple of days later, and we arranged for me to come in the next day and sign papers. Upon arrival, I received some news.

"Well, it turns out that the VW we thought was available is not," he said. It had been snatched up in the little window of time that the dealer hadn't called back. And, it turns out it was a 2009.

I found out that 2009 was the last year they made the famous "gecko green" color, so if I wanted green, I had to go 2009. Furthermore, 2010 is the last year that VW is offering the cute bug model. Next year's cars will have a flat top. A shame, yes, I know.

Anyway, owning a green 09 VW beetle then becomes quite valuable. It means I will have the green color the last year it was available during the last year that model was also available in that color. So. If only I could get my hands on one.

My dad and I proceeded to spend all afternoon at the dealership, waiting as the sales man and sales manager hunted down a green beetle for me.

"If color wasn't an issue, you could have a brand new 2010 beetle with everything you want right now," he reminded me, referring to the bright red bug sitting out in their parking lot.

However, I would not be swayed. Green was the dream. And backing down from something even as frivolous as color choice at this point seemed like too big a compromise.

Finally, the very last green one they could find was located in the US, completely out of the region, and with light interior, but-- and here is the trade-off-- no sun roof. After much input, I decided a) it's cheaper without one, b) I won't use it as much as I think I will c) I like putting the windows down, anyway, d) I don't like the sound it makes in my ears when the sun roof is open e) no chances of roof leaks and f) it's just one more thing to go wrong. So 6 good reasons why it's OK the sunroof option didn't work out. Everything else was a go, and this one was located in Phoenix, Arizona, go figure. I have tons of family that live there and am actually headed there in a few weeks myself, but they said they had a driver would who pick it up.

The sales manager locked in the car. He said they were getting snatched up left and right, as many people were finding out this was the last chance to get a green one.

"If you had called 2 weeks ago wanting one, we could have gotten it for you with no problem," he said, "but time is running out and everyone knows that."

Looks like I snatched up one of the last ones available in 50 states. Who would have thought?

So the sales man promised me I would have it by this Thursday, and definitely by Friday of this week (tomorrow).

He even called me to confirm on Tuesday that everything was on board.

I phoned him tonight to check on the status and see when I should plan on coming to get it tomorrow. I was MEGA excited.

He said he hadn't heard anything yet but no news was good news.

Well, he called and left me a message several minutes later apologizing, saying he is so sorry but actually, my car is being picked up by a huge transporter that will be making stops all over the West coast and will not be arriving until (at the very latest) NEXT Wednesday. It would possibly come Monday afternoon, but maybe not.

I was so sad. I mean, I know it's just a car. And I am so very thankful I even ended up getting one of the last ones around! Truly. But I'm not going to lie... I was really looking forward to getting it tomorrow.

My appreciation for it grows each and every day, though, and I know once I do get it, I will be so excited! It has been quite a journey just landing one. Who knew? To me, though, the chase makes it more special.

Writing this post makes me feel materialistic. Yet, at the same time, I like to look at it as another one of God's huge blessings in my life... I feel like in so many ways, a lot of my dreams have come true, this being one of them. I realize how easy it is to place too much importance in material things and idolize them at times. I have always been prone to "self-express" through materials; clothes, gadgets, and now, my car. The VW Beetle fits my personality, and that's why I love it. I smile every time I see it. I love to create, capture, and imagine, and I think that's the "bug" image. This may sound silly, but my prayer throughout this entire process is that somewhere and somehow, I would touch someone by getting this Beetle. I hope it's used for a higher purpose than just buying a cute car to drive around in. I pray that it touches lives, if a car can do that.

I put no limits on God!

Love you all. As soon as the beetle arrives, I'll update with a picture... I am not making any promises about when it will come, BUT we're hoping next week!


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