Gentle readers, this past Thursday was a milestone in my life: I bought a new car. First brand-new car ever for me; first new-to-me car since 2001 when I bought a 1997 Nissan Altima. We still have the Altima; it’s in front of the house, basking in all the glory of the 183,000 miles on its odometer. Although I planned to take it to 200,000 miles before replacing it, certain ominous rattles were getting more ominous and I did not want the New Car Fund I was building to become the Fix the Old Car Emergency Fund. So I started looking last weekend and bought a 2011 Kia Forté Koup.
A small part of my calculus was the knowledge that we were going to the Gumbo Dancesport Championships in Baton Rouge in June. When we went last year, we flew. That worked out fine, but it was expensive and promised to be expensive again this year. We started to think that if I had picked out my new car by then, we could drive it. While car-shopping, we checked every candidate to make sure it would carry a large suitcase in the trunk (sorry, Beetle convertible) and a couple of hanging bags in the back seat (nice knowin’ ya, Mini Cooper). I did some math and figured out that at 25 mpg (a very conservative estimate) and $4 per gallon, we would still come out WAY ahead relative to the cost of 2 plane tickets.
On Friday I entered us for the competition: this year we are doing Silver Smooth & Rhythm (Adult and Senior I), Open American 6-Dance, and Open Paso Doble (provided we can learn a routine in the next 6 weeks). I also entered us for Open Cabaret but I need to ask Eddie if our rumba routine is credible as a cabaret number. My new comp mantra is “If worse comes to worst, we can always scratch.”
We will leave as soon as I get off work the Thursday before the competition starts, share the driving (9-10 hours), and probably listen to every station on my Sirius trial subscription as we cross the various radio wastelands between here and there. Then we’ll drive back on Sunday. As I said to my mom on the phone the night I bought the car, “We might hate it, and we might never do it again, but we’re going to drive this time and see how it goes.” And Jamie contributed “Dancemobile” as the car’s new moniker. Whee! What do you think: do I need a vanity plate? DANCMBL? Or maybe just DLDNCRS?
See the U-S-A / In your Kia Forté! Hey, that totally works! No offense, Chevrolet, but I’m going to have to rewrite the entire song.