MY HUSBAND AND I have never owned a "luxury car." Before we got married, Tom had a 10-year-old Volkswagen bug (only rolled once), and I had a 10-year-old Austin-Healey Sprite. As college students, we wanted to drive cars that were fun, cheap, and cool.
When we got married, we wanted a car that got good gas mileage, cost a reasonable amount, and was reliable. So we sold the sporty cars and got a Honda Civic. Very sensible.
When the babies came along, we traded "up" to a Honda Accord, with all the amenities offered in the 1970s, like manual roll-up/down windows, oil change lights, and a "handy dashboard coin box." Back then, things like air conditioning were high-priced luxuries we couldn't afford. We did, however, splurge on an AM radio.
When the kids got bigger, we bought the first in a line of VW Campers. We figured, why buy a station wagon or a minivan when we could get a stove, refrigerator, and two beds (for the price of our first house)? We loved those campers, despite several engine blowouts, because we could plug in a portable TV and VCR, and let the kids watch videos during the long drives to the grandparents' house. That was way before today's "in-car theater systems."
After driving a third camper for the past 13 years, I decided it was time for a new car. But this time, I wanted a "luxury car." At my certain age, I'd had enough of loud, drafty campers and teeny-tiny sports cars.This time, I wanted something comfortable. I wasn't just talking push-button windows, a Sirius sound system, and a built-in video monitor.
I wanted seat heaters. Bun toasters. Fanny warmers.
You don't get more luxurious than that.
We found the car of our dreams at a discount price, thanks to a massive sale by a downsizing company. The car, something called an SUV, had it all — the push-button windows (the driver can control all four!), a sound system that even plays CDs (which we don't buy any more, thanks to iTunes), and MY OWN air-conditioning controller (automatically set on "Hot Flash Relief").
The car also has a "step bar," which is great for small kids who can't reach the seats, (but we don't intend to let any children in this luxury car.) It has a folding "kayak carrier" in case we ever buy a kayak and head for the river. It has "cargo organizers," which are basically nylon bags to hold your trash. It has one of those "red buttons" you can push in an emergency (but mostly push by accident, usually outside a funeral or church service).
And it has a TV/video screen so I can go in the back and watch a George Clooney movie while my husband drives.
Most of all, it's got seat heaters. That has got to be the most decadent, nonessential accessory ever made for a car. Yep, it's the perfect car for growing old, driving too slow, and forgetting to turn off the blinker.
Unfortunately, it's not fuel efficient, doesn't fit into parking spaces, and isn't good for the planet, so I feel too guilty to drive it.
But on a cold morning, I sit in the seat, pretend I'm driving to Palm Springs, and heat my rear.