One grinning husband stepped out of the silver SUV. He had found a vehicle big enough to carry everything we once had in the back of our now wrecked van. SUV looked fine to me. I wanted to load up and leave.
First, he insisted, “Look! leather seats, very clean, CD player, no DVD and for its age, low mileage.” He opened the passenger door for me to test the seat and pointed at the name stamped on the door sill. He had found a 12 year-old high end model vehicle in great condition for a great price.
I slid into the seat. “I get about the same amount of space as I did in all the vans we have ever had,” I shrugged and turned. “The back looks a bit small. Will it carry everything we have?”
“No problem,” he said. He bought the fancy shmancy vehicle, packed it full and we went home. I couldn’t tell the difference between his usual brand and “Oh Wow! You have a …!” He discovered the difference at the gas station. “Only use premium gas,” the tank sign warned the man who has driven 20 miles out of the way to save a nickel on regular.
The SUV only had one key. He researched where to get an inexpensive second key. Short answer: nowhere. Not from the local key duplicators. Not from the Internet. Only official dealers could duplicate the key and then only if he had proof of ownership, his driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, blood type … Okay, I might have lied about the blood type.
It cost three to four times the price of any other key we had ever duplicated.
We drove hours to the closest dealer. A huge door of windows slowly raised to welcome us onto the tiled garage floor. No dirt, no grease, no grime anywhere.
While the men talked keys, I went to the waiting room and whispered, “Oh, this is ‘why’ it costs so much more.” No cracked and worn chairs, no ancient magazines or sad looking coffee machine. A pristine popcorn maker and new, comfortable leather chairs welcomed me. A well-dressed young woman asked, “Would you like something to drink?”
I thought a goblet of the good stuff, but said, “Water would be great, thanks.”
Emerging from the office Hubby said, “They will have the key ready in a few days. They can mail it or anyone we designate can pick it up.” Such a nonchalant solution after such a fuss.
A week later a package came in the mail, “Here’s the key for the fancy-shmancy SUV.”
We only lacked the state issued title to settle into life as owners of a “Wow! You have that kind of vehicle?!”
Then flooding rains came. Errands still needed to be tended by the proud owner of a vehicle that used the most expensive gas and would not consider an off-brand key-fob in its ignition. He encountered a couple other vehicles on a water covered street. A fast moving, smaller car sent the wake of a high tidal wave of water over the SUV. The engine faltered and stalled. The mechanic said the engine had to be replaced.
The insurance adjuster totaled the SUV and ended six weeks of luxury car ownership.
Tomorrow he finalizes the purchase of another van just like all the others we have had for the last 25 years, The price for a second key fob and regular gas will have Hubby grinning in no time. And, I will be sitting on the passenger side with exactly the same amount of space as always.