Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cars and Shoe Shopping

What is it about cars? Why do they choose the least convenient times to break down?

I know. I know. I’m assigning human emotions to inanimate objects. Cars can’t think, feel, react. But after nearly ten years and a hundred-and-twenty thousand miles, our SUV is almost a member of the family. A member who’s reached the sunset years and now suffers from aches and pains and occasional breakdowns.

That’s what happened this week. A breakdown. The good news—if there can be any good news about a car that won’t start—is that it went belly-up in my own driveway. The bad news—Did I mention a dead car is never a good thing?—is that it’s the week before the Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference, and there were a couple of serious shoe shopping excursions on the agenda. I may not be a foot model but, as far as I’m concerned, the real purpose of a conference is to give me an excuse for buying new shoes. So, there I was, debit card in one hand, shoe list in the other…and no way to get to the store.

Now, I’ve heard that some cars will do anything to keep a mechanic from tinkering with their insides. And I guess, mine is one of those. Because the SUV which wouldn’t start for me, dear hubby, the neighbor, or the guys who came with the tow rig, purred like a kitten once it arrived at the repair shop. And for two days, while the mechanic scratched his head, it kept purring.

Which caused dear hubby to deem the car “unreliable.” Which means I can’t drive it the sixty miles to Orlando for the RWA conference. Or, equally important, take it shoe shopping. Which, in my mind, means we need a new car since I believe they should be reliable without requiring monthly trips to the repair shop.

Dear hubby, however, did not see the breakdown as an excuse to go car shopping. Instead, he decided to drive me (in his car, the reliable one) to conference a day ahead of schedule. So, yesterday, we embarked on a marathon errand running, shoe shopping extravaganza which was absolutely necessary in order to compress all the stuff I would have done last week (if the car hadn’t broken down) and the stuff I had planned to do this weekend, into one day.

One. Very. Long. Day.

The end result? Six pairs of shoes and a change of heart on the new car thing.

The ideal vehicle would tow our boat, occasionally seat seven, and not be too thirsty at the gas pump. In other words, fit my life like the perfect pair of shoes. Any suggestions?


Roxanne St. Claire said...

Leigh! I'm so sorry for the pre-conference inconvenience, but are those your shoes in the picture? Can I borrow those precious violet flip flops? :-) See you soon!


Patrick Alan said...

Hmm.. Perhaps I am missing the point of this conference. I was going to wear shoes and arrive in a car I already owned. I think it's better that you don't get a new car for the conference. That's probably not a trend you want to set.

Kristen Painter said...

You went shoe shopping with your husband in tow? I'm pretty sure that qualifies you for sainthood.

Judy said...

Oh, Leigh, when I got to the part about your husband taking you shopping, my heart stopped. Poor you! No guy should be allowed in a woman's shoe department, especially before a special event!! Hope you had a success and that you'll have new wheels soon.

Leigh Duncan said...

Just for the record, dear hubby IS a saint, and a marvelous shoe shopping assistant -- he drops me off at the nearest shoe department and heads for the music store, Radio Shack and Guy Harvey shirt rack. As for the car, we'll see. It's not in our immediate future, but a gal can dream, can't she?

Leigh Duncan said...

Roxanne, aren't those purple flip flops sweet?!? How much do you want them? I'll trade them to you for a certain golden lady sitting on your mantle. LOL

diane said...

Six new pairs of shoes?? You're braver than me. I love shoes but HATE breaking in new ones. Can't wait to see them. Looking forward to seeing you at the conference.

Laurie Cooper said...

I'm with Diane. I have vivid memories of breaking in new shoes during the NY conference. Ooooo! Don't forget to pack the bandaides, just in case. See you soon.

June said...

A new car would take shopping for conference to an entire new level! Glad you found some shoes.

Leigh Duncan said...

Well, one thing about so many new pairs of shoes is that if one pair rubs, I can always move on to another pair.

Rachel Hauck said...

Six pair! Jack pot! I'd settle for a pedicure at this point.

My car cost a $1000 this past month. Anyone need an editor for hire? I'm available. :)

See you in the conference halls Leigh. Have a great, wonderful God-kissed week!


Kristi said...

Hubby and I bought a Toyota Highlander Hybrid last year. We don't tow anything but children. And their stuff. But it seats 7 and gets better gas mileage than its predecessor (a pontiac bonneville). We get 27-30 mpg (less in the winter on the highway, more in spring/fall in town).

Good luck car-shopping and have fun at conference :)

Estella said...

Have the mechanic check the crank sensor.
The very same thing happened to me with my 97 T-bird. This was a very inexpensive part for my car.

Have fun at RWA!