Sunday, March 30, 2008

Something af-FORD-able

Hello, My name is SallyHP and I'm a Ford*-aholic. When searching for a second car, my one-track mind kept going back to the cute little car that three of the four girls in my family have owned at one point or another in our college/post-college lives; The Ford Focus.

The Ford Focus, otherwise knows as the poor man's Jetta, has been a staple in my corporate whore family since their conception. For my older sister, who got the first model year, this meant going through the trial of a window mechanism that stopped working at random times, which was not completely fortunate in the frigid Eastern Oregon winter. Aside from that, however, it's always been a car with little to no mechanical defects, great gas mileage and a LOT of trunk space...good for both hiding bodies (except for that pesky safety feature/internal trunk release), and long road trips.

Another great feature that both my sister and I got to experience first-hand, is that when you're backing up, if you happen to 'snag' the side-view mirror on something immobile, it just pops right off! It's still connected by a cable, but nothing a little epoxy can't fix temporarily while you're waiting to go get it fixed. None of this crazy cracking of the surrounding fitting, or denting of the other "immobile object" aka the car parked next to you. Yeah...we're pretty cool.

When I say that we are a Ford Family, I am not exaggerating. Papa HP owns an F-150 and my mom is now in her fifth Taurus...we practically had to sit shiv'ah when the last one rolled off the assembly line in Detroit. Apparently we weren't the only ones, as the 500 was quickly re-branded the Taurus after three short model years (only one of which precluded the Taurus). Sister 1 has a Windstar, Sister 2 an Explorer; known to blasphemists as an Exploder, J and I have the Freestyle and now a prized Focus and Sister 3, another Focus. With only one exception (which I shall not name, as it's too painful) all vehicles owned in my immediate family are Fords. Our get-togethers could compete with a small dealership.

I felt almost adulterous yesterday when J was test-driving a Hyundai...but now that it's behind us, we can just pretend it never happened. I'm only sorry that H had to witness it.

J was listing off a number of different models he'd like to investigate, but I already knew what I wanted; A Ford Focus of model year 2001-2006 under $8,000 with less than 80,000 miles. I had all the arguments lined up to defend my dear car.

I, being the underemployed of the two, began calling dealerships with the requirements of a car with the above years, price and mileage, leaving off the make and model. When the dealer would come back at me with the 'perfect' car (a Pontiac Grand Prix and a Chrysler Sebring) I tried to control my gag reflex, but the scoff was unrestrained. I got a cold response of "well, whaddayah want then?" afordfocus! I blurted out in one quick burst like a tourette's patient. Seriously, when you have the cute, zippy focus in your mind, a Pontiac Grand Prix is just NOT going to do. Hello. 1984 called. They want their car back.

In the end, we got our perfect little car. An '05 Focus, with the right price and some great upgrades. Not to mention great customer service from a friendly salesman at Herb Chambers Ford of Westboro. (plug, plug)

I feel proud of the place we're at in our marriage when the best gift we can give one another is a little independence. We will no longer have to coordinate our schedules to within one minute of each other, and I will be free to take the kid(s) (Gulp, we're going to have more than one child in less than two months!) to as many museums, play dates and other activities as my little heart desires without dredging them out of bed to pick up J at the end of his shift.

What can I say? We really know how to Focus on the Family (pun intended).

*I am not being compensated by Ford Motor Company for this post in any way...although I probably should be.

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