Sunday, March 28, 2010

Getting Rid of a Family Member...


We didn’t actually get rid of a real human family member.

Although now that I think about it, there are a few in my family that I wouldn’t mind getting rid of... but that’s a topic I’ll save for some other day.

This weekend I got rid of my wife’s, and daughter’s beloved cute little red and white top MINI Cooper. After a storm of expensive repairs the past 6 months, including replacing the entire engine 4 months ago (at my wife’s request to “save” the car) the transmission was on the verge of falling out and possibly exploding into a million pieces.
When they told me how much it would cost to repair I turned and told the wife in a harsh but loving voice, “(woman) we’re getting rid of that car tonight, even if it’s the last thing I do!”

Then I growled. I think.

If you had seen the reactions of my wife and daughter, you’d think I told them I was shooting the family dog on the lawn during a birthday party and then drinking its blood for sheer sport.

Trust me, I was tempted after all of the money we've poured into it.

On our first dealer visit my daughter had tears in her eyes. And then she discovered the little buttons and “secret” compartments in the new cars. Then she was over the little red car, ready to move on and start stashing toys, candy, and crayons into those magical compartments.

The wife wasn’t so easy. The MINI was her car. She dreamed about it. She ordered it online just before we got pregnant, was given a production number through the dealer, and tracked its 6-month build progress in Oxford, England, and then tracked its boat ride all the way to California. Yes, it was a strange family car for nearly 5 years (I still remember the looks that we got taking an infant car seat out of it) but it all worked out just fine. And now I was the bad guy because the pieces that make it go are made out of Lego’s and bubblegum.

When the car dealer appraiser was looking at the MINI making small chitchat he asked my daughter pleasantly, “are you sad about your cute little car going away?”
Then she replied “yeah, but it’s always breaking so my daddy wants to get rid of it.”

On the second visit I made my wife and daughter stay in the car.

15 comments:

SciFi Dad said...

We have an '03 Windstar that I've named the money pit (interestingly enough, it is red also). When it finally dies, I'm sure my daughter will cry, not for it, but for the in-van entertainment system (including tv and RCA ports for iPod video).

Amrita said...

Saying goodbye to the family car is a very emotional experience.

We found it so hard to let go of our 15 yr old car.... so many memories attatched to it. Of course we can 't afford to replace it. Having a car is too expensive these days.

furiousBall said...

my gf recently had her car totaled in a car accident and she cried when she had to say goodbye. that's the first time i've ever seen anyone do that. but they are a part of our families, it kinda makes sense.

Awesome Mom said...

Lol!!!

Mac and Cheese said...

The only thing that isn't funny here is that the car seems to be a piece of crap after only five years! WTF???

Steve said...

Over here the Fiat 500 seems to have superceded the Mini as the supposed cutest car on the road. Perhaps one of those would ease their grief? There's even a limited edition in pink!

for a different kind of girl said...

I can't even imagine the workout it may have been to get a car seat into one of those!

Kelly said...

OMG! I can't believe you had to replace the ENGINE before 5 years! WTF is right! Dump it!! I was sad until I read that! geeeze! It was a fun little car, and I remember the tracking! LOL

Mark said...

That might be really sad but the damage... dollar sign here and there can be very disturbing as well...

Practically speaking that is still a very wise decision but of course, women can be very sentimental ... all the time :>

What is good about the situation is that your wife can create new memories... let say with a new car?! :> (LOL)

ArtistUnplugged said...

We just traded a truck that my son had been driving the past 5 years and I was surprised by the lack of sentimentality that was given to it.... Those little mini coopers remind me of the Little Tikes car my kids had....so you don't use your feet like the Flintstone's car? What did you get?

creative-type dad said...

ArtistUnplugged -- We ended up with a sensible family car. A BMW that goes really fast.

for a different kind of girl -- It was! Especially the infant car seat when another car was parked too close. That was a huge annoyance was big cars just parked right up to the door all the time.

Steve -- Fiat? No, I still think the MINI has a better design. Interior and exterior. It's just that engine is horrible.

SciFi Dad -- 93? You might very well own the only mobile VHS system in the world.

Quad Stroller said...

I'm sure next time you will like to get rid of this MINI. Go ahead and buy a new good car.

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nonlineargirl said...

Every time my (6'5") husband sees a mini he mentions that this will be his next car. Somehow he manages to repress the fact that we have 3 kids and even if he never lets them in the car, he probably wouldn't fit in there.

creative-type dad said...

nonlineargirl -- He could just stick his head out the sunroof.