Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New vs Old

A few of you might already know this, but I drive a 13 year old purple minivan. Tentative Equinox would beg to differ and says it is more the colour of an eggplant.

Here are eggplants.

That's the colour of my minivan.

It's purple.

It's now 13 years old. It owes us nothing. We bought it about 3 years ago, when it was a mere 10 years old minivan and had no dents. It's easy to drive, albeit fairly warm in the cabin space due to having the heater turned on full force 85% of the time so the engine doesn't overheat. We've had to spend money on repairs over the past 3 years, as old minivan owners are apt to do. New tires. Brakes. Something else big went wrong that cost $800 bucks to fix. I choose to not remember what it was. Something under the hood and involving pine tree needles and computer chips. Please don't ask.

We have another vehicle that we bought almost 4 years ago. We sold our gas guzzling Explorer and bought a 5 seater Dodge SX that is great on gas. It was to be our only vehicle as both the Husband and I worked within minutes of each other. And it was a 5 seater. 5 seat belts. 5 people in our family. Which of course meant I was pregnant 3 months later. Hence the minivan.

When I drive the new(ish) car, I can pretend I'm not turning 40 in two short weeks. It's not full of fishy cracker bits, car seats and reusable shopping bags. There is no stroller in the back. And I am sure it is going to get me from point A to point B.

Or at least that's how it was until the little engine light came on. Off to the repair shop it went, where they performed a little thing called a "diagnostic", which is code for 'charge $95 to the shmuck sitting in the waiting area'.

The "diagnostic" apparently tells the mechanic exactly what area of the vehicle needs to be fixed. Unless your last name is Mahoney and you own a 3 and 3 quarters year old vehicle. Then it will take 3 times (knock on wood) and close to $1,000 dollars to hopefully fix the problem.

Which brings me to my point. I think I have one.

New is not better. But it costs more.

More is not necessarily better or more efficient. But it costs more.

Higher tech is not necessarily more intelligent. But it costs more.

Human beings are letting machines tell us what's wrong. And it costs more. And it's not necessary correct.

Those are all points, I guess, but now that I think about it, I think my real point is it's wrong to have to spend almost a thousand bucks on a 3 and 3 quarters year old car.

And on that point, I think you should head over to Tentative Equinox's blog. She may accuse me of driving an eggplant, and perhaps she needs to use her side view mirrors on a more regular basis, but she sums up my point way better than I could have.

Less should be the new more. And we'd all be happier for it.

Which is good because that means the Mahoney family is going to be ecstatic eating macaroni and cheese for the next month.


Anonymous said...

I knew that fateful Thanksgiving Day that it was just a matter of time before it appeared on your blog. Now at least I can sleep knowing the other shoe's dropped.

So, to enlighten everyone:

YES. I confess. I hit Mahoney Musings' "purple" mini-van. I was tenderizing it, trying to loosen it up a litte.

In my defense:

1) It's the first vehicle I've hit since I learned how to drive a couple of DECADES ago.
2) At least it wasn't your car.
3) My car got hurt worse
4) You were parked at a funny angle.
5)I was really sorry.

colleen4 said...

Gee. I thought I was being all obtuse and everything.

Have a good sleep tonight.