Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beer and coffee may prevent prostrate cancer. Assuming that this research hasn't been done by climatologists or the Beverage Marketing Board, this is good news! Especially since it specifically lists hoppy beer, my favorite kind. Stick with me kids, we'll live forever!

Did I mention we got a new car? We got a new car! This was supposed to be last Wednesday's news, but somehow that day never made it to print. Anyway, it's a Toyota Sequoia, if you want to know. Mrs. Ditchman has had her eye on one for a few years now, and since she's on the "nice" list, I went out and bought her a nice new one for Christmas. She deserves it. Merry Christmas, baby! What a wonderful surprise. What a great husband.

Okay, so it's not new -it has 75,000 miles on it. And I didn't get it for her -she dragged me down to the dealership and pointed, That one, and five hours and a hundred initialed documents later we were driving it home. She loves it. I'm happy for her. It was a long day.

I love it, too, actually, though I suspect I'll only get to drive it once a week. My Tundra is paid off this month, so the payments transfer over, which is nice. They gave us a couple thousand for the old 4Runner, which was more than it was worth, and we were very grateful. On one hand, we were sad to see the old clunky, little beast go -it was king of the last of the pre-marital possessions, and there are a thousand good memories with that car. On the other hand, when the family loaded up into the new Sequoia and drove it off the lot, no one thought to look back. The Little Ditchman didn't even shed a tear, though she was a mite bit upset we didn't get "a blue one". (It still comes up.)

So it's very clean and we got a good deal on it -at least, we feel that we got a good deal on it, which is all that really matters. It's a worthwhile peace-of-mind to have a roomier, more reliable vehicle. The thing looks brand new, with nary a scratch on it, but the high mileage makes you wonder, just where was the previous owner driving this thing, anyway? Was he commuting to Alaska? It's a 2007 model, so he racked up all those mysterious miles in just a few short years.

I think he's a he, I should say, since I don't know the gender distinction of "Librado Arellano" -his name was on the insurance card, which we found in the sun visor. So I looked him up in the phone book, and it turns out he lives a mile from here. It would be funny to pull up his driveway, honk the horn, and yell out the window, Hey man! What did you do to this thing!? Unless it was a repo, then we'd have trouble, with him coming out thanking me for returning it.

Sometimes I wonder who is driving my old Tacoma. I miss it. I wish I had never sold it, but then I didn't have a choice at the time since size mattered. (Still does. For work.) I'll never forget how proud I was for having bought such a nice car, and how grateful I was to the future Mrs. Ditchman for making it happen for me. And then we drove off in it after our wedding. It was covered in rose petals and shaving cream, and for a couple days after we were that smiling, giddy couple moving down the highway. You've seen them: the ones in the car with the hand-scrawled writing on the rear window, JUST MARRIED. I'll never forget it. People honked.

I want to ditch the car seats -with the kids in them- somewhere. I want to go out and paint JUST MARRIED on the back of the new Sequoia and drive off with my wife, up the coast for a few days, people honking at us. I want to walk in the forest and drink wine. Sit together in an old Adirondack chair in the middle of a stream. Frolic. It seems an escape is in order: some kind of small, romantic adventure that is exclusively ours. Because we're coming up on that fabled seven-year-itch -the one that if you scratch it it won't heal. You've got to do these things sometimes, lest the reason for all your subtle, unspoken melancholies becomes merely that: that you're just married.