I could tell that Steve had something special in mind for Christmas this year. We were financially stable, the kids were healthy and happy, Mother Jones had finally stopped second guessing every decision I made for the children, and Steve was up for another promotion. Steve was acting suspiciously, coming home late from work on a couple of nights, having quiet conversations on the phone, and asking me questions for which he already knew the answer. We were watching television one night and he blurted out that he couldn’t remember what my favorite color was. That was so odd. I was considering making a doctor’s appointment for him to see if there was some physical reason for him to be acting so weird.
He asked me to have Mags watch the kids one afternoon. Steve was going to pick me up and take me out for a little while. It seemed very unusual but I went along without asking too many questions since he refused to give me any details. He drove me downtown and we stopped at Stu Hansen’s car dealership where he always bought his cars. I guess the big secret was that he was going to buy himself a new car. I was thrilled, but I didn’t get the need for the secrecy. We walked in and Stu greeted us himself. Steve was a good customer and his family had been buying cars from Stu forever. We had a few minutes of catching-up small talk and walked over to a beautiful car. I’m not much of a car nut myself. When I need the car, I drive Steve to work and use the car for the day and then pick him back up afterwork if he doesn’t get a ride home. He was probably due for a car and there was no reason for him not to have a new car. He could have told me about it first, but I’ve never been one of those women who need to know every minute detail of what was going on in a man’s head. I trusted Steve to make good decisions.
We stopped at a pretty torquiose Nash Rambler custom station wagon. The front had a beautiful grill, with a shiny fender and two large round headlights. Stu asked if I wanted to look inside of the car and I politely agreed. Steve held the door open and I slid inside of the car. It was beautiful inside too with a radio and small windows that vented to let air in while you drove. Steve sure knew how to pick a pretty car. I looked up at him and asked him if he wanted to sit inside. He told me that he had already tried it out and was very satisfied that this was the right car for me. For me??! I didn’t get what he was talking about at first and I’m sure the look on my face was incredulous. When I realized what he meant, I reached up and pulled him down close to my face and asked him firmly and quietly, “Can we afford this?” Stu stifled a laugh, and I realized that he could hear every word. Steve told me that the deal was already done and I was to drive my new car home that very night. I couldn’t believe it. I had never had a new car before and this was a beauty. I could take the kids wherever they needed to go and not have to borrow Steve’s car and leave him stranded at work all day. I could do my marketing without elaborate planning and be more spontaneous. Now I knew what that feeling of freedom was that men enjoyed with their cars. I promised Steve that I would keep it washed and waxed and he was welcome of course to drive it anytime he wanted. As long as he asked me first. Stu and Steve laughed a little. My first new car. What a world!