seventeenth new thing...

so this new thing might take the cake as the one the longest in the making. years have gone into accomplishing this installment of the 52 new things. five years to be precise. back before grad school. back before atlanta. and back before carly. for the seventeenth of the 52 new things, i bought the most expensive thing that i have ever owned: i paid off my car!

behold. laurel and i on the day i picked her up in nashville. (and, yes, i name my cars. always have. ever since sally.) finding this car was a monumental process. i don't even buy a $7 hot dog without listing the pros and cons of investing that much money. so you can only imagine how many times i went back and forth on how much i could afford to finance for my first new car.

i think it turned into a 5 month process of looking at different brands, then looking at different models, then looking at different colors. i still don't know how my dad managed enough self-control to not smother me in my sleep. the final insult was the fact that the color i had decided on (dark green. once an eagle, always an eagle.) was nowhere to be found. so i "settled" for gold. and then it promptly became known-- most appropriately-- as the vandymobile.

with laurel finally all picked out and ready to go, we sold sally and went to the credit union to apply for a car loan. strictly a formality i was assured by my father. and then they denied my loan application. suddenly i was a twenty-four year old living at home with my dad without a car. how the hell did that happen?

we called in some favors and i ended up getting financed (pesky student loans. why can't banks look at that as an investment in my future like i tell myself every month i write a $500 check?). though making the final payment lacked any climactic moments (one moment the money is in the bank, the next moment the auto debit clears and laurel is "mine"), i did freak out a little when the title arrived in the mail. i own a car. i never missed a payment, never had to forgo food or rent to make my payment. i believe in responsibility. too bad midflorida credit union didn't believe in me. they missed out on a lot of interest. to quote julia roberts from pretty woman: "big mistake. huge!"

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