I’m kind of a rube. About a lot of things, but for sure when it comes to vehicles. So’s my husband.
I had my BMW for 12 years and it wasn’t even fully loaded with bells and whistles. So when we got our most recent new car, a 2014 Outback, we thought the back up camera and braking assist were big deals.
Really, we are both just kids from a small, rust belt city in western New York. And although we have traveled in tall cotton since we left, we still retain a certain sense of wonder and of course, a sense of the ridiculous. But that sense of wonder—-to still have it in our 60s? It’s everything.
So, about my husband.
He’s miserly with himself. I don’t have that problem, as I’m not at all miserly with myself. Nor is he miserly with me. But for himself? He doesn’t indulge himself. Especially in buying a new car.
As he began to approach that big year that used to delineate”elderly,” but maybe doesn’t any more, he decided to treat himself to a new vehicle. A vehicle that he really likes. One that he really wants.
No, not a black Corvette. Or a Porsche.
He’s treated himself to a brand new black Volvo XC-90 R.
He announced his intention, no, his DESIRE, while I was away in Montana, so I looked it up online.
Here’s what I read:
“The rear cooling compartment holds two 750ml bottles of your preferred beverage and two handcrafted Swedish Orrefors™ crystal glasses.”
What? a refrigerator in the back seat of an SUV? I read further:
“The interior has been meticulously crafted to provide an atmosphere of tranquility and luxurious seclusion for you and your guests.”
Our GUESTS? Will we be entertaining in the back seat? I’m pretty sure my husband hasn’t done that since college. I DO remember a drive-in movie, once…. but I digress.
A refrigerator in a car? Crystal glasses? What was he thinking?
So I called him:
“Honey, have you been hitting the meth pipe?” I asked.
“What do you mean?” he asked. I explained.
“I didn’t see any refrigerator in the back seat,” he said. “Let me look online.”
As it turns out, that feature is only available in the super-duper, high-end, special-order version of this humungous and safe SUV.
I was a bit disappointed, because I could envision a blog post. But see, I wrote it anyway. And saved the $105,000 bill.
But, now, just a few days later, we have our new vehicle.
Remember, I’ve never even had a keyless ignition. So you can imagine my wide eyes when our new car found a parking space and then parallel parked itself without me having to do a single thing. Not even touch the steering wheel. There’s a really robust brake assist that will brake for us in a bunch of different scenarios, if we don’t respond quickly enough. And since we could soon be in our dotage, that’s a good thing.
I was delighted when I got the password for the vehicle’s 3G wifi. If internet fails at home, I can just go out to the garage. I named the network Darth Vader.
And this: if I’m carrying a bunch of bags I can run my foot under the trunk side of the car and the trunk opens for me.
How about the 360 degree view camera? Very cool. Or the huge touchscreen for all sorts of controls and that allows me to search for and look up anything I want to know about operating the car?
Not to mention the steel cage it’s encased in and all of the super-duper safety features I could ever want. Or that we can set the ride any way we want and the SUV raises and lowers itself like an East San Jose teenager’s car. I can even be a low rider, if I like. Of course, it lowers itself when you turn it off so that you can get in and out more easily.
In an emergency, I just need to hit SOS. If I’m in a crash or the vehicle stalls out or there’s a theft alert, the system automatically calls for help. And if I need roadside assistance I hit the On Call button. Which is like OnStar.
It’s a brave new world as far as cars are concerned and we rubes are only now learning about that. I have to admit I’m a little intimidated by a vehicle that has so many special features it takes a 30-minute briefing and an offer to come to your home for an “encore” if you need further help.
Still, I’m thrilled that my husband has stepped up and gotten something he really wants. He’s worked hard all his life–he deserves it.
And, as I’ve said all week, if Trump gets elected the vehicle’s spacious enough for all three of us to live in.
Who knows, it could happen. He says it won’t but I say “I wouldn’t bet my life that it won’t.”