When I first met Paul he drove a Pontiac GTO, a new version of the classic muscle car. It was Barbados Blue and one of only 317 Barbados Blue GTOs ever made. He was in LOVE with his car. Swore up and down that he'd never get rid of it and even asked me to bury him in it when he goes (and I'm pretty sure he was only half joking).
At first I didn't get the infatuation with the GTO. After all, I don't come from a family that's into cars particularly. Sure, we all want to drive a nice car but none of us can change our own oil or would even think to modify parts of the car- we just drive them the way they come and take them to the shop for service.
But Paul is different. He loves cars, and he knows a ton about them. He's become the go-to person in the family whenever there's a problem with a car (i.e. "Are they ripping me off by charging me $500 for xx??"). He can happily spend hours under his car and half the tools in our garage are auto-related. His Christmas and birthday wish lists are mostly car parts or things for the car, like the special cleaner and wax he uses that makes his car smell like it's been lubed up with Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen.
We went on our first date in the GTO, it was our getaway car from our wedding, and it's been a big part of our lives as long as we've been together.
When we found out we were going to have a baby we went out and bought me a new car, a Torrent with more room for lugging baby stuff around. And I figured that the Torrent would be the family vehicle as there was no way a car seat was going to fit into the back of the GTO. I thought we'd have to do a fair amount of car-swapping since most likely our child will be in daycare and I'll be the one dropping him off in the morning and Paul will be the one picking him up in the afternoon. I pictured Paul driving his GTO to the commuter rail parking lot to swap it for the Torrent on his way home from work so that he could pick up the baby. I figured it would be a bit of a hassle but that we'd work it out.
So I was pretty surprised when Paul started talking about maybe trading his car in. Pontiac had come out with another car he was interested in, the Pontiac G8 which came out in 2008 for the first time. It's got as much horsepower as the GTO but is a 4-door sedan. I told him it was his decision and that I wouldn't make him give up the GTO and he decided to go ahead with the trade.
So yesterday we drove both the GTO and the Torrent up to the dealership. The GTO to trade in and the Torrent because the trunk was full of the GTO's original muffler which Paul had swapped out for one that was more powerful or noisy or something and we needed to give that to the dealership as part of the trade. And on the way up, driving my car behind Paul in his car I got very emotional. It must have been the pregnancy hormones because I was crying about him giving his car away. I cried the whole way there.
When we got to the dealership I was still sniffling when I got out of my car. I said "are you SURE you want to give away your GTO?", trying not to sob. Paul laughed at me because I was crying about his car. He said "I love my GTO, but I love you and the baby more, and I need to be driving something more practical." I said "I guess I'd be crying a lot more if you said that you loved your car more than us! So as long as you're sure....."
Today Paul picked up his new Pontiac G8. And while he admits that he's always going to miss his GTO he did say that he'll love this car almost as much. It's not a manual transmission, it's much quieter, and it's not a rare color, but it's a car that he'll be able to enjoy with his son sitting in the back seat....
And so our household is not to blame for the downslide of the U.S. Economy... We're doing our best to spend our hard-earned cash...
But my hormones are definitely to blame for me crying over a car, my very first pregnancy related hormonal crying jag....