Who in the world drives 200 miles to buy a used car?
Apparently, we do.
Kim had been in the market for a new (to her) car for about, umm, 10 years. She'd been driving her faithful 1994 Mustang convertible (which she bought brand new that year), through thick and thin, through rain and shine, all of that time.
Over the years, the car basically stayed the same, but it was we who were getting older (kind of like the portrait of Dorian Gray in auto reverse). It was harder and harder for us to climb into the low-slung vehicle. On top of that, as much fun as it had been to drive earlier in our lives (especially with the top down), it was becoming a more uncomfortable ride. You felt every bump in the road.
So she started looking for something different. We'd stop at car dealerships every weekend on our grocery jaunts. We did this for years. She'd search on the Internet, looking at cars from across the southeast.
Finally, she found one that she liked: a frost blue 2011 SUV in Aiken, SC. It had only 18,000 miles on it, which made it nearly irresistible.
Just one problem...
"I'm not driving to Aiken," I said, firmly putting my foot down while carefully walking through the minefield of marriage politics. "Just be patient. The car you want eventually will show up a lot closer to home. You've already waited 21 years. But there's no way I'm driving to Aiken. It's a 425-mile round trip. No way."
She absorbed my irrefutable logic like a sponge. I was safe.
Until last Saturday, when we drove to Aiken. So much for politics.
We left at 7:30 a.m. to avoid the Charlotte traffic, stopped for breakfast, then arrived in Aiken — just a pitching wedge from Augusta National — around 11:30. We took a test drive and fell in love with the car. We did some negotiating, then the paperwork.
By the time we got home in our new (to us) vehicle, it was 7:30 p.m. We'd spent 12 hours, from start to finish, on this deal.
But it's really a nice car. It's a computer on wheels with a riding comfort level I've not experienced on the road before.
I'd have no trouble driving to Aiken in his car.