I Got Myself A New Car… OK, Well, New To Me

Deborah Welky


I am the proud owner of a new car, and I am tickled pink. When my last car died on the on-ramp to the interstate, Mark was more than happy to share his car with me. Since we are almost always together, it seemed to make sense, and I sure didn’t miss the insurance payments. Besides, our driveway is small, and constantly switching those cars around had been getting to be a hassle.

That was six years ago, and I have to admit that, as Mark’s car’s upholstery filled with the smell of cigarette smoke, I began to think the insurance payments and car-switching might not only be worth it — it may save my life. I had heard about second-hand and third-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke is when you breathe in what the smoker has exhaled, and third-hand smoke is when you breathe in what the upholstery has exhaled.

Six years of breathing in those toxins was long enough. It was time.

Fortunately for me, I am pretty good friends with the car repair guy down the street — he fixes used cars for a dealership — and my daughter once worked for a car manufacturer. Plus, she had recently test-driven dozens of cars in order to choose one for herself, saving me from that most dreaded of all tasks.

Between the two of them, I knew I wanted the Toyota Highlander I’d seen in his lot. And where was it now? The dealership owner’s wife was driving it. Another good omen!

After speaking with him, the dealer let me keep the car overnight, giving both Mark and I time to drive it. It drove beautifully, never mind that it’s a 2006 model with 191,000 miles on it. Today, it’s mine — all mine!

The first thing I do when I get a new (well, new to me) car is to deep-clean it inside and out but, thanks to my friend, that had already been done! So I went out to get my new car a few presents.

I bought it four floor mats, something that usually comes standard with cars but, with this one, probably got worn out 189,000 miles ago.

I bought it some sheepskin, which I will sew over the worn-out armrests. I bought it some cup-holders because way back in 2006, people weren’t obsessed with hydration the way they are now.

And I bought it a phone charger cord which reaches all the way up to the cassette player which, since I don’t need it to play cassettes, doubles nicely as a cell phone holder — I just jam my phone in the slot. The very best thing about my new car is that it is mine. I can jump in it and go. Wow! Freedom!

In case you’re wondering, I am having a key made for Mark. I am not that selfish. But we’ve had a talk about smoking in my sweet ride — it’s a no-no. In fact, it’s a no-no within 500 feet. If I can’t save myself, at least I can save my upholstery.