January 19, 2018

What Would Mrs Robinson Choose?

It’s time for a new car—yes! Finally! Now that my youngest son has successfully tackled the stick shift, I can pass the keys on to him. My 11-year-old white (marshmallow) Volkswagen Jetta has served me proudly. It took us to California when the kids were small and ploughed to the tops of ski hills with a honk and a wave as we passed the occasional SUV stuck in the snow on the side of the road. You could fit a body and then some with its Sicilian-sized trunk. People were always amazed at what the little Jetta could pack.

It was a very sad day when I sold my 1988 Alfa Romeo to my brother-in-law to purchase our first Jetta (we owned more than one), the “official” family car. We went for practicality and never looked back. It was a great alternative to the minivan, which I  vowed never to own. Sorry, no offence to any of you who drive one. I don’t care how many kids you can stuff into one.

My first car was a 1981 Ford Mustang, a surprise graduation gift from my parents. My father worked for Ford and was determined to find me a safe and reliable car. Not only was this the best first car ever, but it was the start of my love affair with cars.  

However, before my Mustang, I had test-driven several convertible two-seater sports cars, which I couldn’t get enough of. But then I saw Richard Gere in the movie American Gigolo, driving his sexy convertible 450SL. SO F’N HOT! It was a game changer, and I became obsessed with convertibles. In 1986, I traded in my beloved Mustang for a 1979 Fiat Spider 2000, another fun car—navy blue with a tan interior and a great stereo system. After driving around in my Fiat for a few years, I decided the maintenance cost was more than my bank account could handle. With Fiat being the acronym for “fix it again, Toni,” I should have been wiser.

So with that, my parents stepped in again and suggested I drive something more practical. Again with the practical! Introducing my new Honda Prelude! This relationship didn’t last long, six months to be exact. So in 1989, I purchased and fell in love with a red Alfa Romeo Graduate, named after the film classic. With the roof down and the wind in my hair, it was my baby and the car of my dreams. Complete with personalized “LLOREA” plates. Too much?

So, bringing me back to the beginning, “It’s time for a new car,” what kind of car? Is there an image I want to portray? The practical side (seriously?) of me thinks I should purchase another Volkswagen, a Tiguan perhaps? How about something sexy? What does that say about me? Am I the only one who thinks about this stuff? I’m a single 50-something woman, and I don’t want to be a cliche or stereotype.

This will be my car, so it has to be fun, right? Can I let go of the four-door Jetta for a sports car? IDK, I’m having a hard time with it.

Full disclosure,  I test-drove the new Fiat 124 Abarth. SERIOUSLY, I could get used to calling “Toni” to fix my car after this test drive. The car drove like a dream. Keeping this in perspective, I drive a Jetta city, so anything will feel amazing. LOL. My son says, “It’s a no-brainer, get the Abarth, you’ll still  have the Jetta for any family rides, and you can drive the two-seater car the rest of the time.”  I’m actually considering this. Do I go for an automatic or manual? l wanted to ditch the stick, but once in the Abarth,  it screams stick shift! What to do?

What would Mrs. Robinson choose? In the movie, “The Graduate,” Mrs. Robinson was seducing a much younger Dustin Hoffman… would she like the sporty new Fiat, its barely consenting age 😉

As for my Alfa Romeo, it still ranks hands down as my favourite car. I know I’m probably overthinking my decision. Once the nice weather kicks in, I’m sure I’ll know what to do.

We spend a lot of time driving around in our cars, maybe too much time, and perhaps we take it for granted. But, for those family vacations, going to the movies, quick stops at the grocery store or heading to the beach, a car isn’t just a car.

A car is a journey to our destination.



Photo credit: collierautomedia.com

The comments +

  1. Noony Santos Paletta says:

    Mrs Robinson? Hilarious!

    Well – guess what? I just got myself a new car! I was like you — I said no to the mini-van – so I drove an 8 seater SUV instead! Felt like I was driving a freaking bus! The past 2 years I’ve been driving a BMW sedan – love the car, amazing to drive… but I wasn’t ready for a sedan! Plus I didn’t choose it – it was a practical move when Michael bought his Porche… I ditched the SUV and was happy w the Bimmer — but I’ve always wanted a … MINI! I know – not sexy — but damn cute and fun! and I wanted a specific colour, too —which they stopped making in 2013 – so I had to wait … but I found one w low km (30,000) brought it home 2 weeks ago 🙂 It is tiny and impractical and barely fits my groceries — but it’s mine and I love it! Her name is Margot (girls named her) – she is my baby. So to you I say — YES it can be about the car!! don’t go practical if you don’t have to — and your son is right – if the other car is still around for road trips then you are covered!! GOOD LUCK!! HAPPY SHOPPING!!! N


  2. I have a 2012 Tiguan, the replacement two years ago for my 2010 Golf TDI (6 speed manual). The Golf was fun to drive. The Tiguan is a car with a few perks, like a panoramic roof. No matter how you look at it, the Tiguan is still a VW, so it’s not going to be sexy and it’s going to be expensive when something does go wrong with it (although I just saved a ton of $$ fixing mine by myself a week ago). It does have a big back seat, something Mrs. Robinson would required, however! ;p

    I say go new Mustang. You’re a Ford girl, after all.

    • Lol, Mrs Robinson would definitely require the big back seat;). I’m not feeling the new Fords, too much of a muscle car for this girl, that said, an old 64 Mustang would be amazing. The new Fiat is gorgeous…another option is the Audi A3?

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