This Car Is From The Past, Man

The other day, something hit me: In our daily lives, Jessica and I rely on an electronic device and a piece of machinery made in the year 1986. Our dear Nissan, which I blogged about in loving detail way back in July, is still a very complex piece of machinery with electronic components and levers and gears and motors and pistons and processes I can’t even begin to understand – but it got me thinking: is there anything else I use regularly that’s so old?

Here’s a personal computer from 1986, an Apple IIgs:

It cost $999 and had 128 KB of RAM, expandable to 8 MB. It weighed 65 tons and filled an entire warehouse and needed to rest ten days for every hour of use. My current computer, by comparison, is a 21.5-inch iMac that has 8 GB of RAM but can handle up to 16, has 500 Gigs of hard drive space, feeds my plants when I’m away and fits into the coin section of my Jeans pocket.

Here is a cell phone from around the same time:

And here is a calculator from roughly the same time the car was made, 2700 BC:

Anyway, the point is, we need a new car. This is nothing new; we’ve needed a new car since before we got the Nissan in a “family transfer” from my parents. Don’t get me wrong: I love our little car; its small, still has working AC, has a great turning radius, and fits right in our new neighborhood. But it’s not long for this world, and that’s just the truth. We need a new car, and we need one soon.

But the issue is: we also need a wedding, and we’re planning on dropping ten G’s on one, which doesn’t leave all that much money for a car.

From the modicum of research we’ve done, it seems unwise to spend under 5 or 6 thousand on a used car, and throw in DMV costs and a higher insurance rate, and we’re definitely talking more than half the cost of our wedding. And then it starts to seem like a whole lot of money.

But then, I start thinking about priorities. We need a car. Do we need a wedding? Not really. But in some ways, of course we do. We don’t NEED a lot of things. I don’t need the two shelves of alphabetized comics and graphic novels that I’ve spent my future child’s college fund on over the last few years, but I do love them and they do bring me immense joy, and I lend them out and they bring other people joy, and I’ll have them for my whole life if I treat them right. And that’s pretty awesome.

And anyway, I’m talking about this as if it’s an either/or situation, which it’s not. We’re going to have a wedding, and we’re going to get a car. But putting things in perspective can be a frightening prospect – sometimes it’s a lot more comforting to keep things out of perspective, the same way it’s nice not to check your bank account for a month.

When it comes down to it, well: we do need a wedding. Because sometimes when you want something bad enough, it turns into a need. A real one. Someone asked us the other day (it might have been Jessica’s mom?) if planning a wedding was fun or not, and we looked at each other and realized we had no answer to that question. We might not be able to answer it until after the wedding, or maybe never at all. And probably, the answer is “sometimes yes and sometimes no.”

But we are both excited about getting married, and about having a big ol’ shindig for our loved ones. Really excited. It’s going to be awesome, and it’s going to be worth every one of those million pennies we spend on it.* And though it is a little bit mind-boggling to consider the amount of money we’re going to spend on it, I firmly believe that it’s entirely worth it.

[*I recommend not converting your wedding budget to pennies. A million pennies is kind of a crazy thought.]

Our next car may last us 15 years; the wedding will last for a day. But we need them both.


7 responses to “This Car Is From The Past, Man

  1. DUDE you have us CRACKING up over here. The calculator and the Mac were far too much for me. We were just talking the other day about how dated a movie looks nowadays, despite awesome graphics and CGI…by just how old the cell phones are. It’s all future-y and then they bust out a phone the size of Gary Coleman. (Too soon?)

    Anyways, good luck hunting for a new car. Hopefully you get a kick-ass deal on it and you don’t have to sacrifice any of the wedding budget or whatever…but I totally agree. 15 years/1 day. Definitely a thing to consider…

  2. sometimes yes and sometimes no is a great answer, because it’s exactly true.

    sometimes we miss wedding planning and sometimes we like using up our free time being lazy and drinking wine. we do miss having something to work on together, but that of course, doesn’t have to stop with wedding planning.

    good luck car huntin!

  3. Sometimes I love our wedding. I get a kick out of some of our wedding projects, and it gives me an excuse to need to do crafty things I wouldn’t otherwise do. And then I go into our garage and see all of our other projects that have been languishing while I fiddle around with Photoshop and glue guns, and I think we’re wasting our time on this wedding. Then someone tells me they have our save-the-date magnet placed prominently on their refrigerator, and I realize how much we all need a wedding.

    Yes, you probably need a car and a wedding.

  4. The wedding is going to be totally worth it for you guys! I mean, you’re not spending a year writing an “All Things Car Shopping” blog for a reason.

    Your wedding is super important: you’ve declared to each other your intention to spend your lives side by side, and now you’re going to seal the deal in front of all your closest friends and family members. The decision to marry somebody is way more important than the decision to buy anything, even a house. And the occasion needs to be properly marked.

    Besides, you’ll have your new car for 15 years (or 30 years if you emulate all the Berkeley parents I know), but the memories of your wedding (and the pictures, of course) will LAST A LIFETIME. Actually, more than a lifetime–if everyone treats them right–like your comics–those memories and pictures will become family heirlooms that will get passed on for generations.

  5. P.S.–Remember those donkeys, Heidi and Monique? Well, apparently they have a blog, and they asked me to ask you if it’s okay if they linked the post your wrote about them to their blog. Don’t ask me how I know these donkeys.

    Their blog is:

  6. Well clearly I want to know how you know these donkeys.

    And yes, of course they can link to my post! I’d be honored silly.

  7. At the museum once this dad was trying to get his little kids to understand how really really old this Egyptian artifact was and he told them it was 100 times older than their car, and the kids were all “ooooh, that’s old!”

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