Sunday, March 09, 2008

Zero Sum Game

I'd like to imagine that my keen intellect, dashing good looks, and sharp wit would make me less prone to making mistakes than the average Joe. Turns out my track record is really just average. Case in point: the 4Runner.

Shown here is a file photo taken on the day Emily acquired her first baby. We ended up buying much more car than we needed* using the following two rationalizations (aka mistakes):

1. We need a real off road SUV
2. We'll quickly fill the 7 seats with our 5 children.

I've long disdained SUV's that have no business going off road. Thus, shortly after we bought the 4Runner, we took it to some wild 4x4 trails in Maryland and had a good time. Tellingly, the only other vehicles on the trail were ATV's and dirt bikes. After some harrowing "near-crash" experiences and putting some nice, long scratches in the flawless black paint job, I decided I'd be better off buying a dirt bike if offroading were to be my hobby of choice.

We need 7 seats
Like most couples, we tried to guess how many kids we'd have before having any kids. My guess is that these estimates are frequently revised after the first baby arrives. But even assuming we were going to have 5 kids, we sort of neglected the fact that it would take at least 5 years. And in the best interest of our mental health, that process should take well over a decade. By that time, the 4Runner will be long dead.

Course correction
Shortly after Summer's arrival, we finally came to grips with reality: We didn't need both cars. Although it was tempting to keep the 4Runner and abandon the Accord, there is something oddly satisfying about freeing yourself from a $600 car payment. And yes, there may be some sissy SUV in our future.

*Turns out this is standard fare for many young people at Microsoft. The parking lots are crowded with exotic cars driven by people just out of college.

1 comment:

Carter Family said...

Those same points were raised as I tried in vain to convince Amy that I needed an SUV to commute to and from the metro. She didn't buy it and we settled on a Corolla. It is nice to dream though.