Friday, February 25, 2011

Fresh Powder.

I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you who read and commented on my last post. I had been so down about the whole situation, and I can't tell you how much it comforted me to know that there is a whole community out there supporting us. I went through and read each and every one of the comments here and on my Facebook page, and I have to say, you are the sweetest, smartest, and most caring bunch of reader-friends a blogging mama could ever hope to have. So thank you once again - from all of us.

I don't want this blog to become one big sapfest of stories, so I'm going to shelve the depressing stuff for today. I really needed to get all those feelings out of my system, and now that you guys know what I know, I feel like we're all on the same page and we can start fresh.

Aside from the craziness of life with kids, the other thing that has really been weighing on me heavily in the past little while is being cooped up with my crazy kids. The winters are long and hard here in Western NY, and as much as I love my children, it's hard to be stuck inside the house with them for weeks on end. We all need a change of scenery from time to time, and because of that, we've decided to become a two-car family.

Normally, Yousuf bikes to work and I have the van to get out with the girls, but not on bad snowy days (which it seems like we've been having a lot of lately). And one of the things we have decided to do with Inara is to send her to school for three (rather than five) weekdays. It's working out very well, largely because she gets to have one day "off" for us to pursue other interesting adventures together...but that's hard to do when you are carless.

Well, you know my husband. Never one to shy away from an opportunity to spend the least amount of money humanly possible, he set himself upon the task of buying us a second car. At first I thought we'd end up with a sedan-sized version of Pondscum (Which is the name I've "lovingly" given our van. We found it on Craigslist for a steal - because it's UGLY.), but luckily for thrifty spenders like us, the economy is so bad that it actually made more financial sense for us to buy a brand-spankin' NEW car. Like from a dealer. With a warranty. And that heavenly new car smell that is so addictive because it's probably killing your brain cells with every inhalation. Mmmmmm....perfection.

Of course, our new steal of a car couldn't possibly come without some El Cheapitany strings attached. Because Yousuf haggled for a crazy deal on this particular car, we weren't given a choice of colors, and we had to take the one that was named "Fresh Powder". Which is a synonym for "When Yousuf Stands In Front Of It He Is Camouflaged."

Now don't take this the wrong way if you proudly own a white car, or if you are one of those people for whom life would be complete if you ever owned a white car. More power to you, I say. Let that proud white car flag fly! I however, am not one of those people. I prefer cars in the gunmetal, carbon, or silver color family. To be more specific, I like my cars to be gray (grey for all you Canadians, eh?). Or perhaps black if I had to go with a second choice, but not any color in between, and surely not white. I get mental images of driving a dirt-attracting marshmallow whenever I think about owning a white car.

"But it's like Euro-stylish, isn't it?" proffered Yousuf, as I grumbled to him about it.

"Maybe. And maybe that would matter...if we were living in EUROPE." I shot back. "Look, it's not just ME that thinks white cars aren't cool. It's an age thing. Young cool people simply do not think white cars are stylish."

At which, El Cheapitan helpfully pointed out the obvious. "Uh, hon. I hate to break it to you, but we stopped being young and stylish a long time ago. And don't we have friends that own white cars?"

"Okay, so first of all, you're not helping," I countered. "We had a very narrow window of opportunity here to reclaim some of our coolness...and you just blew it. And I am not passing judgement on any of our friends that own white cars. I'm just saying that for ME, it's not a part of my self-identity. Which happens to still feel young and stylish, despite all your efforts to the contrary."

He had nothing else to say to that, because my arguments were clearly so well thought out. Or perhaps he thought I was crazy. It's hard to tell with El Cheapitan sometimes. But I wasn't done yet.

"Fine then. Watch this." I said, as I reached for the phone and called my parents. "Hi Dad! Guess what? We bought a new car. Yes, I know it's about time. Yes, we did get a good deal. Yeah, it's even brand new. No, Yousuf has not lost his marbles. But Dad! Guess what color it is. It's...WHITE! (long pause)...yep, love you too, talk to you soon. Bye."

"What did he say?" asked Yousuf, giving me the hairy eyeball.

"He said he always wanted to own a white car. And that it was a beautiful color," I paused for dramatic effect. "Oh, but wait...there's more."

"More what?" asked Yousuf

I held up the phone again, dialing. This time my brother answered. "Hey. What?" (Which is code for, "Hello, older sister who I love and adore, it is so nice to hear your lovely voice on this fine morn." Or something like that.)

"Hey, yourself. Guess what? We bought a new car. Yes, a BRAND NEW car. No, Yousuf has not lost his marbles. But get this. Do you want to know what color it is? It's white."

I held up the phone in front of El Cheapitan's face as I pushed the speaker button.

"You're joking, right? Wait. Was that part of the deal? Did they pay Yousuf to take the white car off the lot? Snickersnickersnickersnicker."

"Thanks, bruh." I quipped, ending the laughter before it got out of hand.

"Wait. You're not like, mad at me, are you?" My brother asked, cluing into the fact that there were larger forces at play in this discussion.

"No. Not at all. You've proven my point beautifully. Thank you very much and have a nice day. Don't forget to floss." (I know. It makes no sense. But I don't ever really make much sense, do I?). I smiled to myself as I hung up the phone.

"SEE?" I said smugly, turning to Yousuf. "Do you see what I mean?"

"I see nothing," replied my lovable yet color-challenged husband, his arms still folded tightly across his chest. "Other than the fact that you and your brother have an irrational hatred towards white vehicles. And your dad is a classy guy. It's no wonder he likes white."

Just you wait. I thought to myself. You'll see. 

But I kept my negative-Nelly comments to myself. It was entirely possible that he was right. Highly improbable, but the slim chance was still there. Still, I knew enough to be grateful for the car bounty that we had received, and if it meant that the girls and I could come and go as we please, then driving a marshmallow would be a small price to pay for that freedom. So I shut my trap, and smiled and nodded. Until we got to the dealership.

Immediately upon entering the sprawling interior of the dealership, we were greeted with a line of cars, neatly parked at just the right angle to show off all of their best assets. Gleaming rims and sexy curves all beckoned to the buyer with the right amount of money in their pocket, all whispering promises of trips to beach houses and picnics in the country. Clearly, El Cheapitan was immune to all this, as he always is.

But there was one thing that I noticed the very second we walked into the showroom. The raciest, zippiest, sexiest, glammiest car in the room - the two-seater with the most exorbitant price tag - came in a shade called, appropriately, "Pearl White". And parked right next to that unfortunate-colored beauty was a sensible four-door family sedan, in a sleek hue named "Metallic Slate". I thought it was odd that the two cars should be standing side by side, with two paint jobs that clearly did not reflect the sort of person that would purchase them. I pointed this out to Yousuf, who of course took one look at both cars and said, "They're both too expensive, babe." And motioned for me to follow him towards the tiny mini-marshmallow car that we were going to pick up.

But as we walked away, a well-dressed middle-aged couple sauntered by, and I knew something big was about to happen. I grabbed Yousuf's arm and made my eyeballs point in the direction of the man and woman while mouthing the words, "WATCH THIS." To my husband's credit, he knows when I mean business. And we watched as the two of them, in their matching cashmere scarves and leather driving gloves, glided past to stand between the two cars I had noticed earlier.

"Well, dear." the gentleman began, as he surveyed the offerings before him. "Does anything catch your eye?"

"Actually, these two here are quite nice," the wife began, waggling her finger between the dandruff white coupe and the gorgeous gray sedan. "But there is the issue of color, don't you agree?"

Yousuf turned to me, his eyes wide. We turned back towards the couple, completely mesmerized.

"I do agree. It's a shame, really," the gentleman said, as he wrinkled his nose and bent over the sedan, inspecting it as if it were a curious-looking cow plop. "It would have been such a nice car, otherwise."

"Yes. Absolutely. It's as dark and dreary as this endless winter!" the wife proclaimed, tossing her hair in agreement with herself. "But look at this one next to it. It's absolutely marvelous! It's so bright and clean and peppy! What do you think, dear? Haven't you always wanted to own a white car?" Then she nudged him in his paunch and giggled as she said, "It's just big enough for the two of us!"

To which the gentleman replied, "Why, yes. I have been wanting a white car. And that one is quite sporting now, isn't it? It's the perfect color. Much more uplifting than this sad gray one."

I knew that Yousuf's brain nearly imploded as he calculated just how much money this couple was going to throw away on A COLOR. But hey, they were happy - and who were we to judge?

And that point I was trying to make about the type of person that likes owning a white car?

Somehow the words "well-proven" don't even begin to do it justice.
Here's our new car! It's a stock image because ours is currently covered in snow and has completely vanished under all that "Fresh Powder". Har har har.

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