Hmm. Maybe. I know that we each operated in our separate universes....his was law and mine was school...where we made decisions without the other's input.
However, in 39 years of marriage, we melded our values into what was uniquely ours.
Last week, I made a choice that was different from what Mike and Lynne Bolinger would have done. I leased an automobile.
We never leased cars during our marriage. We saved up and purchased cars. It was never easy but early on, with my $50 1961 rag top Volkswagen, I owned that green machine as soon as I drove it away. In our state, where insurance and plates are based on the car, it was cheap to drive and that was in 1973-4 when gasoline prices soared for the first time in my life.
Mike brought a 1970 VW to the marriage which functioned as our only car until we were done with graduate school.
While saving up for a car, Mike would read a lot about cars, shop for cars, take me to car shows to sit in cars. We were a pretty good team: Mike knew about engines, wheels, maintenance costs and mileage. I evaluated the comfort. I would sit in the driver's seat and adjust it for me. Next, I would sit in the front passenger seat. Then, I would check out the back seat...this was in the family car...to make sure I could get in and could ride with my knees free from the seat in front of me.
What we NEVER did was lease. Frankly, I didn't have much to do with that decision as long as my personal wheels got me to and fro. Mike would preach it, though....."A lease is the most expensive way to drive a car..."
Quite a while ago, he and I decided it was time to replace my Orange Caliber. Unfortunately, this was before I ended up sinking $$$ at 60,000 miles. (who calls this 'nickles and dimes?') The hub decided to teach me how to buy a car. We started with a newspaper ad..."This is what the sticker is." "This is what the cost to the dealer is." "This is what he should make on the sale."
We roll-played my purchasing a car. I was prepped to walk in, offer something ridiculously low and let the salesman offer the sticker price. Then, we were to play back-and-forth, bringing the price closer to the middle. This kind of bargaining comes naturally for defense attorneys but not for English teachers. Plus, my limited experience is that, no matter how far we've come, baby, car salesmen see a chump when a woman comes in alone.
In fact, at least once, Mike had me go into a dealer and get 'his best deal.' Then, the hub's plan was to go back and get the 'real deal.' And the difference was startling.
I have no idea if those salesmen played him, also. But he would leave thinking he'd gotten a deal so he'd be happy with his purchase. All good.
I dreaded the time when I would have to buy a car. And the time was coming. What threw me for a loop: 3 of my advisers, independently of each other, suggested I think about leasing. "We don't lease," I'm sure I said.
It's not that I'm not OK with the fact that I am no longer 'we.' It's just an idea we had never considered. But then I did.
After meeting with 3 different dealerships, I spent a month thinking, reading, praying, and planning. The time came. I chose the dealer, made an appointment, and walked in, armed with information.
By the time we concluded, I was signing up for a lease. For a really cool car. Really.
So, the natural question from friends: so are you excited?
And the honest answer was, "Not yet." It took about a week to wrap my mind around the fact that I had made a big decision and it was 180 degrees from what Mike and Lynne Bolinger would have made. This is a My-New-Life first.
The world has continued to spin and I'm tooling around, happy, in my car.
So, left to my own self, this is what I got.