Well, I finally did it.

Years ago, I moved from the 1990s into the 2000s for car models. I then took a step back to 2000 when I started driving my parents’ garage-kept car. It’s still in wonderful condition and looks and drives like brand new. But with 86,000 miles and nearly 20 years on it, I began to get a little nervous about having to possibly sink money into it for repairs if anything went wrong. Plus, I need a very dependable car for my many miles of commuting.

After a lot of thinking and research, I found the car of my (realistic) dreams (no Jaguar F Type Convertible, Porsche 911 or Ferrari unless I win the lottery) and got a wonderful deal on it. I now drive more like a granny than ever before – despite my new little coupe being ever so peppy – because I just don’t want anything to happen to it!

When I went to the dealership for a test drive, it took me a full five minutes or so sitting in the driver’s seat before I even started the engine. First, I had to get acquainted with all of the bells and whistles, which took much longer than I imagined. I felt as if I were on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise with all of the knobs and gizmos and screens and this model doesn’t even have all of the brand new, top of the line technology. I felt like a numbskull when I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the radio or control the air conditioning. Thankfully, the salesman was patient with me and probably didn’t realize that the car I have been driving the past few years had no satellite radio, no push-button start and lacked the safety system that beeps and flashes lights every time someone pulls up beside you.

I got comfortable enough to take it for a spin and completely fell in love. Now I just have to figure out how everything works. I can pair my phone and answer calls or run music from buttons on the steering wheel. However, the first few times I drove it my phone started automatically playing the same song and I couldn’t figure out how to stop it. For a moment, it made me long for a car with zero technology. I have an entire bag of CDs and cassettes (yes, cassettes!) from my old car that I can’t play anymore.

I had to get out the owner’s manual to find out how to release the rear fold-down seats and open the gas tank door, only to discover there’s no gas cap anymore. I still don’t trust the backup camera and can’t believe you push a button to start the engine. At this rate, I may know how everything on it works by the time it’s completely out of date.

Kristin Emery can be reached at kristinemery1@yahoo.com.

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