I’ll just come right out and say it: After 20+ years of being unengaged at best in the world of automobiles outside of their strictly utilitarian purpose of hauling my pasty white ass from Point A to Point B, I’m totally in love with my new car, the Mini Cooper S Countryman All 4. It’s not the sort of love that will compel me to start going to “Mini Meets” and get new Mini friends, to whom I can talk about my new Mini-centric lifestyle — I mean, where am I going to fit those in around my science fiction conventions — but it’s the sort of love where I am actually happy to get out of the house and drive places, whatever that place may be, because I get to tool about in my little car. I’m like a dog excited for a walk — oh boy! A walk!! — except my walk is a drive, and my leash has all wheel drive and satellite radio.
I’m vaguely discomfited by this and wonder if it’s some sort of late-onset midlife crisis thing, which I wasn’t aware of until after I got the car (which, I’ll note, was gotten at the instigation of my wife, since her 1997 Sidekick is in the midst of dying on us). I suspect it might be, in which case, I suppose it’s better this than a 23-year-old, which was the other midlife crisis option. 23-year-olds don’t come with satellite radio, and if they do, it’s not tuned to a station that has anything I want to hear.
I think possibly the reason I like this car so damn much may be that it is actually the first car I’ve owned that wasn’t simply purchased for pragmatic reasons. I mean, it was purchased for pragmatic reasons — Krissy’s car dying, we needed a car with four doors and all wheel drive, not too expensive, and one we can have on hand for years to come — but, come on. If we were aiming for entirely and blandly functional, we could have got a Subaru Forester for cheaper (sorry, Forester fans). We also got the Mini because it’s supposed to be a fun, cool car, and it is just that. And now I drive about in it, a happy dorky dork who is dorky about his car.
I didn’t mean for it happen. But, well. There are so many things we don’t mean to have happen. This is probably one of the more innocuous of those possible things.