In life and love, every relationship reaches a point where one (or both) of the parties involved starts to look at its development with a more critical eye. Serious questions are asked: “Is this really what I want?” “Am I as happy as I could be? As I should be?” “Are both of us benefiting from this relationship?” Sometimes the answers to those questions put the asker in a bit of an emotional quandary.
One of the hardest decisions a person can make is to move on from a relationship that isn’t bad, per se — one that even has many positives — but is not all that it should be. Indeed, I think everyone can name a movie or sitcom with a line that goes, “you’re a really great guy (girl), but we are just not right for each other. You deserve someone who can make you as happy as you make them.” or some such.
This is a car blog, right? What am I on about now?
Well, pardon the strained metaphor, but it was much the same with me and my Civic recently. If you’ve read this blog lately, you know I mention this conflict quite a bit. Back in March, in fact, I wrote a piece asking for advice on what type of car I should replace it with. Turns out, that process was a lot tougher than I thought, for several reasons.
First, finding that “unicorn” car that satisfies all my criteria proved remarkably difficult. More surprisingly, though, the above conflict came in to play as well. When I did find my unicorn and the time came to sell the Civic to make room, I found myself plagued with that familiar feeling of guilt. By now the arguments should be familiar:
It’s a really good car overall; it’s comfortable; it gets great mileage; it’s a stick; it has a warranty; it was new, so I know every mile; it’s a Honda Civic – it’ll last forever.
It handles poorly; it’s slow; the electric steering leaves it with no feel at all; it is hard to direct in snow; it has too much bling-y tech; and it’s cardinal sin: it is boring to drive.
It also got me through a tough financial period in my life, though, so I was genuinely sad when the time came to send it off. But, ultimately, both of us will be better served in different relationships, and I am happy to say the Civic now resides with a nice family in Maryland. I hope they get many, many years of enjoyment from it and treat it with care.
By now I can picture any number of exasperated readers saying, “is this guy seriously going on about breaking up with a car?”
The answer, obviously, is yes. Silly or not, guys (and girls) who love cars develop a relationship with them, and, like every other aspect of life, sometimes those relationships cause them angst. Especially for those of us who also develop emotional attachments.
In many ways it made no sense for me to sell a really nice car that was still under warranty and replace it with a much older car that needs “some” work. But the question, no matter which way you spin it, comes down to, “do I just want to be comfortable, or do I want to be happy?”
How would you answer?