My children have grown into confident and competent adults living (mostly) on their own. So when my son started looking for a car he said "Mom, you should just give me yours."
The car in question was a 10-year-old Honda Civic 4-door automatic with 95,000 miles on it. I offered to sell it to him for half its bluebook value (I thought I knew what his savings account looked like) and he was online in an instant, checking the value and checking his bank account.
"I'll be ready once I get my summer job," he announced.
So I started looking for another car.
This would be the first car that I really didn't have to "share." I wouldn't have to drive the kids to school. It didn't need four doors. Hell, it didn't need four SEATS. It could be sporty. It could even be a convertible.
What was I thinking? I'd driven frugal, responsible Hondas for most of my life.
My first car, a 1963 Oldsmobile F85, was crashed and replaced by a 1964 Chevrolet Nova which I drove for two years. The radio was AM, there was no air conditioning. Three-on-a-tree was what people called 3-speeds on the column back then. The car was wonderfully retro (even then) and I sold it for $500 (exactly what I had paid for it) to someone who begged me to sell it to them.
After that was a succession of Hondas purchased because they had the best gas mileage, reliability and resell value out there.
Sportscars and convertibles have neither good gas mileage nor resell values. Clearly, I was going through another in a series of midlife crises.
I'm going to blame it on the motorcycle.
A few years ago, after my 11-year relationship broke up, I fell hard for a woman with both a master's degree and a motorcycle. (We were married last year in Massachusetts, by the way.) I never thought I'd like riding on the back of a motorcycle but I was wrong. It is heavenly. I couldn't wait for the next ride. I love the feeling of the open sky and the sounds and smells that you just don't get inside an air-conditioned car.
I considered learning to ride my own motorcycle but then thought about convertibles instead. I didn't have to learn a new skill or get a separate license -- and I could drive it every single day.
I bought another Honda. Meet my Bluebird: Honda S2000. And yes, she makes me very happy.