Today is the day I have been waiting for - for many years now.
We got a new car. Oh my gosh. I still can't even hardly believe it.
I have only ever had one car really. Before it, my father bought my brother and me a very, very old car once I got my license (and my brother was only a year behind me getting his). This thing was a real piece of work, let me tell you. I can't even remember all of the specifics anymore (it has been about nine years), but I remember vividly that it stalled out in the middle of driving, it didn't always turn, and there were plenty of other issues. Fortunately, I didn't have to drive it for very long - maybe a couple of months.
My current car is the one I have had since my junior year in high school - around the second half of 2004, I think. Maybe a little later. It's a Honda Accord from 97 and a deep, dark, almost shimmery purple color. It was lovely before the weather wrecked the exterior.
It has done a pretty good job for us, but in recent years it has had a LOT of problems, costing about $1k at a time. Fortunately - since we do not have anywhere near that kind of money - my grandma (maternal) has a Firestone credit card that we have used like no tomorrow. It makes me feel bad, but I live about 25 miles from school and have no alternative form of transportation available. I've needed it, and I will pay her back some day soon. We even maxed out her card and had to pay over $300 out of pocket on our last trip. It's been bad times.
Among the many problems our car has experienced, let me note a few:
1. For a while the car's driver door wouldn't stay shut, so I could either shove it shut and lock it and wait for someone's slightest touch to set off the car alarm and annoy *everyone* in my apartment complex, or I could leave it unlocked and have the battery die because of the automatic lights that come on when the door is open. And then I could get all the stuff in my car stolen. That happened.
2. My transmission is messed up - not sure what is going on, but you have to jam a key down into the slot beside it, simultaneously hold down the brake, and simultaneously shift into reverse then back into park without letting go of the button, then start the engine while holding onto the button, then shift into your correct gear. Weird.
3. The oil keeps leaking by a lot. I keep oil handy for refills, but it's not as bad as it was. The last time I took it in, the oil had exploded beneath my car and some part of my car caught on fire or something when they were working on repairs...
4. The CD player stopped working first, then the radio started doing whatever the heck it wanted. Now it only works sometimes and is stuck on the same radio station. I can't change the sound settings (like the bass) and the volume control sometimes doesn't really work.
So, this is a huge gift. It is our Christmas gift from my in-laws. I couldn't have managed anything without them and I am so, so grateful. My mom is unemployed - has been for several years - and I don't speak to my father. My grandparents aren't rich or anything; my grandma works in the warrants division of her local police office and she's 70 (but don't tell her I said that - she doesn't look or act or seem anywhere near that age, she is more spritely than I am). Most of the rest of my grandparents are retired and not very well-off. I don't really have much family beyond that, and my husband doesn't make enough money to splurge on something as substantial as a car (he works in ministry). I am a student at university full time. We needed this so bad.
Our new car is a 2004 (this MILLENIUM! whaaat!) Chrysler Sebring 2-door that is kind of pale metallic blue. It is awesome. Leather interior, sun roof, drives smoothly, is very comfy. The transmission works, as does the CD player and radio. No oil leaks that I've noticed. I love it. It will last, at the very least, until I graduate and get a job that can pay if we encounter car problems. That... is so awesome.
Best Christmas gift, ever.