Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My new hybrid

I started talking about buying a new car last fall. I had a 2000 Volvo S40 that I loved. Few problems. Driving is my hobby. I love to explore the area, listening to an audio book. My commute is under 3 miles (and alas I drive rather than hop the bus at the corner). Most of my miles come because I love to drive. It goes back to Sunday drives with my family. Or weekend drives. To Yellowstone. To Teton--Jenny's Lake. I lived within a day's drive of those beautiful places. We used to take a day's drive with a picnic to such places. I think that set my pattern for driving. I love to drive. And since I discovered audiobooks this is a perfect experience. As close as I come to meditation. I love to read. I love to drive. I can do them at the same time. And the lure is hard to resist.

So I love to drive. And I loved my car. But I was concerned that my luck would give out. Seven years with virtually no problems for a Volvo. Everyone seemed to tell me that this couldn't last. So I started to look. Research. Do web searches. Watch cars I saw on the road.

A couple of month's back, I called my husband (he lives in Sacraento, I live in Seattle, that's another story) and started talking about car. "I just saw a Civic Hybrid on the road. Thought it looked interesting. Not so ugly as the Prius. Thought I'd do some research." And my dear husband said, "If you buy a hybrid, I will never ride in your car again." And he hung up.

I wasn't quite sure where to go from there. Who wants a husband who won't ride in your car. But who wants to fall into such a threat. I did what I'm good at--and this time around this was the best I could have done. I just didn't think about it much.
A dilemma. I was clear about that. I didn't want to fight with him. But I didn't want to fold. So I just waited. Continued to look at cars.

Why was he so against hybrids? Mostly the Prius. Someone here in Seattle put it in words for me. The smug factor. Don couldn't deal with the smug factor floating around the Prius. And I had to admit the Prius is ugly. And i've met the smug before. A waste of money. He spent 20 plus years dealing with car dealers and car credit. It will take, and I'm convinced, 5-7 years to regain the extra cost of the hybrid. You don't save money. It's a waste of money.

Which set me to thinking about why I would want a hybrid. The same reason I recycle. I want to be responsible. That's what I decided. I love to drive. And on one level that may not be a responsible hobby. I want to be responsible as I can. i want to be as little tied to the gas pump as possible. That's why I'm intrigued by the hybrid.

By the time the holidays come. And the time when I was really thinking about buying my car, my husband had mellowed as well. We test drove the Civic. He let me know, quietly, that he could live with the Civic Hybrid. So that's what I bought over the holidays. I'd rather get 40 mpg rather than 20+ if driving with an audiobook is my habit. I put 3000+ miles on my car over the two weeks of the Christmas holidays. Obviously my love of driving and reading goes beyond hte normal. So I'm glad to have my hybrid.

I'd rather feel that what i do is responsible, even if the problems of the world won't be solved. I don't want to add. My small commitment.

And I do like my little car. (Except for those fabric seat. These will be a problem!)


Lisa B. said...

Susan! it's you! I just had a wonderful time reading your posts and remembering some of the qualities of your thinking and your mind. I'm totally linking you to my blog, missy.

Susan said...

That's too bad. I've been thrilled to have no one read this.