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Patch Drives: I Think I'm Ready For a Relationship

I need to put my vehicular demons to bed and begin my search for the perfect car for my family. Armed with a compatibility checklist and optimism, I'm ready to make a love connection.

Editor's note: This is the second in a series.

I’m not really a car person. 

I feel like I just offended half of southeast Michigan with that statement. I know it’s not right. Living in Metro Detroit and confessing to being not really a car person ... it’s not right. That’s why this journey to find the right car for my family is a bit challenging. That’s why your help is greatly appreciated.

Last week, I told my story in the kickoff to this new series on Patch. In , you heard all about the many reasons I need to break up with the full-size van that has worked for my family of six up until now.

Over the past 22 years, I have driven a lot of different cars, never really falling in love or making a deep connection with any of them. It was always just something that got me from point A to point B. I drove small cars like my Ford Escort. I drove big cars like my vintage 1984 Pontiac Parisienne. Aside from getting a little braggy about my super amazing parallel parking ability (in any size vehicle), I never really cared what I drove.

I sound like such a player — a real love 'em and leave 'em type of girl. Maybe it was the one that got away that made me this way. 

Yeah, once there was this really cool car – all shiny, new and fancy. The kind of car that gets a girl noticed in a crowd of other cars. And that car was all mine:  a 1992 Mazda MX-3. It was a graduation gift from my father; it was sweet. And did I mention it was all mine? Until it wasn’t.

That dope ride of mine was stolen. Leaving me alone, confused and without a ride.

Can we go on a date?

Fast forward 20 years, four kids and here we are. I am ready to tackle my vehicular demons and really commit to a fulfilling auto relationship.

As I prepare to test drive my first vehicle I put together a compatibility checklist to take with me. Here it is:

  • Chemistry: Does it feel right? This may be one of those things I find out right away or it may take a drive around the block. I need to listen to my gut on this one.
  • Appearance: How will this look in my driveway? And the highway? My standards are very low, but I do have some. I refuse to drive a yellow car, not really into pastels either.  
  • Lifestyle: Will it fit my lifestyle, which consists of carefree weekend trips up north to my cottage, where I sometimes like to take Sunday drives around the lake.  OK, wait, that’s not my lifestyle. Mine goes more like this: load kids and sports bags, run errands, unload kids, watch baseball game, load kids and sports bags, unload kids, drop off child at gymnastics, load kids, unload kids, grocery shop, load kids, unload kids, don’t forget child at gymnastics, and so on and so on. Will it work with that?
  • Affordability: Is it reasonably priced and will the gas tank size break the bank this summer? Even though I hate caring about gas mileage and such, in these times and with four busy kids, it matters.

So here I go, armed with my checklist and optimism. I’m ready for car love. I’m ready to make a match. Thank you for playing the role of Chuck Woolery and helping me navigate the road to my love connection.  

Next week: Patch readers seem to have a love-it-or-leave-it attitude toward the Ford Flex (is it really that boxy?). Regardless, it was the vehicle that was most recommended to me last week, so I'll take it on a first date and let you know what I think.

Patch Drives is ; the cars Youngblood chooses to test will be at her discretion and not affiiated with any advertising relationships.

Andrea Langhoff April 26, 2012 at 11:44 PM
First love!? 1988 Chevy Celebrity...and this was in 2002. Silver (with rust details, of course). A real beauty! It was a great relationship, and still a great reminder that attitude is everything. :) Good luck with the Flex!
Brendan McGaughey April 27, 2012 at 04:57 AM
A gold '99 Jeep Cherokee (a.k.a the Golden Chariot). Great car. Incredible turning radius, not so hot in the gas mileage department... Got me through high school and a year of college until I totaled it on US-131. RIP!
Dot April 27, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I just had the pleasure of driving a 2012 Chevy Traverse for a week. I must say I was impressed. It has 8 seat-belts, but my 6 kids won't fit in there as they aren't little anymore. Good luck on your search! For our family outings we have a 2003 Ford Excursion that seats all 8 of us comfortably! I don't understand why they don't make them anymore.
Erin April 27, 2012 at 05:08 PM
First ride? '73 Dodge Dart, 340 engine. Gold with black top, sweet. Angela - good luck on the test drive(s)! Let us know -
Mike May 12, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Slightly off topic.......I was sitting at the light at Auburn road and Dequindre the other day......Had a Chicken Shack moment...when some young guy, who looked like someone under the legal age, turned west off of Dequindre in what appeared to be a Model T convertible! I can't begin to describe the feeling of envy. It was so tall! and the top was down. Makes my first car story not worth bringing up. =o\

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