The Spouse heard an ad on the radio for Mike Barney Nissan at approximately 7:35am last Thursday. We were in a period of remission with the Car Fever, having administered the aggressive treatment of switching cars so we both felt like we had New Cars. It seemed to be working. But then that ad came on the radio and in the 15 seconds it ran, the Spouse’s fever raged anew. His hands quivered, his heart palpitated, his eyes glazed – no I wasn’t there but I’ve seen the Fever strike.
I received his email at approximately 10am. Nissan is offloading the 2012 Pathfinders, it said. Emails from the Spouse often include Cars For Sale topics: the 1971 Lincoln Continental, the 1974 Mercedes Benz 280, the 2002 BMW 740iL, the 1969 Triumph GT6+, the 1978 Mercedes Benz 450SEL and that is just in one month – all advertised on Craig’s list, Hemming’s classifieds, a taped up handwritten sign at work. There’s always a car out there.
The Spouse’s email also pointed out that we would have less trouble hauling the gear and pets on vacation if we had a Pathfinder. He casually mentioned that probably Buffalo would actually have snow this winter, and the Pathfinder is a 4×4. These are Justification No. 3 for getting a new car (Car Fever Part 1) -well established new car irrationalizations.
I sighed, saved my grant proposal draft and headed online to read Pathfinder reviews.
I learned that this model Pathfinder will be the last of the truck-based Pathfinders. The 2013s will be crossovers, based on a car platform. Eww, I thought. I read reviews critiquing the Pathfinder for lacking entertainment: no little movie screens, no on-board GPS, no useless stuff I don’t care much about. I learned that the Pathfinder drives like a truck, not a car. That a person can pop this giant, beautiful vehicle into 4×4 low and head off road. After all, it’s called a Pathfinder, a Path Finder, paths are off-road…trucks go offroad. I was not offended by any of the reviews which seemed to miss the trucky point of the Path Finder.
My reply email to the Spouse simply asked, do you want to test drive one? His answer came before my finger lifted from depressing the mouse button on SEND. Okay, he said – I could feel the raging inferno of his Car Fever through the email connection. It coursed through the ten miles separating us. Its virulence infected me, and all I could think about was getting my Mini Cooper S back (the Spouse took it in our Car Trade) because we would surely sell the Rabbit.
We headed over to the dealer armed with an insurance estimate and the happy knowledge that Nissan was probably desperate to get rid of the old, trucky Pathfinders before the new sleek, car-like versions came out.
There were several dozen Pathfinders on the lot. We met Charlie the salesman. We drove an S. Boring. I felt nothing. The Spouse felt disappointed. We got in an SV, which has a good bit of kit as the Fifth Gear guy says. Even has a backup camera that gives an insect like eyes-in-the-back-of-your-head view. Yes, we said, we want this. But we don’t Need it. Charlie, the Spouse and I spoke plainly, even abruptly, moved through hours of negotiating in about 15 minutes. Yes, no, yes, no, lower, it’s already at cost, lower, will you commit to a buy? If it’s lower.
At approximately 7:35pm, we had a 2012 Nissan Pathfinder. Car Fever was broken. The Spouse claims that he can enjoy life again. He claims that he can stop searching the internet for cool cars. He claims that he is done with the Car Fever. This time, he says, he got a vehicle that he can keep for good.
I mean really, he’s only said that 13 times before. You know what they say, 14th time’s the charm.