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This past Saturday, I said goodbye to a dear, old friend…the Slovie mobile. I had captained this boat for 13 years, and while she had her problems every now and then, she never left me stranded.

After 255,000 miles, it was time for her to rest. She’d carted our family to and from Martha’s Vineyard, Florida, and New York. She transported every Christmas tree since 2002, she moved a treadmill, a couch and several gas grills. Hell, she moved my first born to college.

She’s the only car my kids have ever known. She was big & comfy, with a fold down seat in the back that faces the rear, and an engine that could blow anyone off the line. But she also had her faults.

Her antenna broke a few years back…I’ve had a wire coat hanger there ever since. She only had a radio…no CD player or Sirius, and a cassette tape deck that no longer worked. Only one speaker still functioned, and in the cold, the driver’s side window was very slow to go up or down. And she was very noisy…you could hear wind, and rattles while you drove…sort of like old bones creaking.

A few weeks ago I noticed a new wrinkle. If I turned on the AC, her engine would get very sluggish…and there’d be smell. Like burning wire. With summer around the corner, it was fix her or see if we could get something newer. But I have to admit, I was tired of putting $500 – $600 of work into her every 8 months or so, because even though she was fixed, I was still driving a very old, noisy car with only a radio and an oil leak.

So we went shopping, which was a nightmare. Let me say this here and now. Car salesmen suck. They are vultures. Our first time out I left the dealership in tears because a loud, fast-talking asshole of a sales manger was trying to push me into a deal I was not comfortable with – a deal that we had to take TODAY or it was off the table.

I tried to explain to him that while this was just a rainy Thursday for him, he was forcing me to make a quick decision on something that would seriously affect me for the next 5 years. But all I got out was a blubbering sob, at which point I ran from the dealership.

So we started again. And we found a great car with a dealership (Price Kia) that treated us like human beings, not as a walking car loan. And you know what? We got a much better deal on a much better car, and I was so glad we hadn’t settled.

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So here is my very orange, very modern Kia Soul, loaded with a CD player, Sirius, a sunroof, and bluetooth so I can answer my phone hands free. While she doesn’t pack the power or have the room that the former Slovie mobile had, she is reliable, and fun and catapulted me into this century – it was my first time buying a car with a “20” in the date as opposed to a “19”. While I detest that black racing stripe, beggars can’t be choosers – everything else was perfect.

Just so you know, as we were signing the papers and I saw them driving my old Slovie mobile away, I broke down. I had to leave the room, find a tissue and collect myself. She served me well – I just hope Slovie II lives up to her memory.

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