Saturday, September 19, 2020

Why I am about to buy a Toyota Prado

Anne and I met in late 2005 and we have had and continue to have a warm and happy relationship since then -- for 15 years now.

But it was never an orthodox relationship.  There are some things Anne needs in her life -- such as outings and travel -- that I wanted little or nothing to do with.  While I am a homebody content to spend most of my day in front of my computer, life for Anne would be insufferingly boring without outings and travel.  Travel ambitions are just about universal among older ladies. But I did all my travels in my 30s so have no such ambitions now.

So from early on Anne and I reached a compromise that we were both happy with. We arranged to have only two nights a week together.  I would spend other nights on my computer and I told Anne that what she did on those other nights was no business of mine. No questions asked and no details offered. 

And on those other nights she was welcome to find other friends -- some of whom would be of the male persuasion -- to help fulfil needs I was unwilling or unable to fulfil.  And that worked very well for both of us for a long time.  

It was however an obviously  high-risk arrangement and there was a small rupture about 3 years ago when Anne fell in love with a soulful man from Southern Europe, Mr Wonderful, which reduced our time together.  But she had him move in with her -- and found that Mr Wonderful was in fact Mr Pain-in-the-bum. So she came screaming back to me after 3 weeks and nothing more was heard of Mr Wonderful after that. Our old arrangements were restored.

I thought that after that experience a lady in her 70s with poor health would not be wandering again.  But she still had her old needs so wander she did -- six months ago.  And this time it was big-time. She met G.., who was a much better deal than I am.  He is around her age but is fit, energetic and good-looking.  And he is a real gentleman, more than I will ever be -- and is very obliging to her. He adjusts his life to her life -- a real dream. The only odd thing about him is that he is a lifelong Seventh Day Adventist.  By trade he is a plumber -- now retired.

But Anne and I both see our friendship as unique and Anne did not want to lose it.  So despite the arrival of G.., Anne insisted from the outset of her relationship with him that she would continue to see me -- for one night a week.  And she has done exactly that.  G.. was initially dubious about that idea but he has now become at ease with it.  And I of course became  free to find another lady to give me more companionship  -- which has been interesting.

I was of course depressed to become suddenly second priority in Anne's life but with the help of friends and family got over that.  I particularly missed one aspect of my friendship with Anne -- we used to have Friday nights together and Anne would sleep over at my place so we could share a first-class Saturday breakfast at a cafe we like.  G.. did not like the thought of that at all. So the sleepovers became out of bounds for the last six months.  But I have just got back that time with Anne.

Anne was thinking about buying a caravan so she could fulfil a long-held wish of travelling around Australia. But after two divorces, G.. is poor so he owns only a light and elderly van -- nothing capable of pulling a caravan.. And Anne's car is a Toyota Corolla -- also no towing engine

But I would like Anne to have her trip up the Queensland coast and G.. would be a much better travel companion than I would ever be. So, in my generosity, I had the idea of solving their problem by buying and lending to them a vehicle suitable for pulling a caravan. But that would be a very expensive gift so, in the usual manner of these things, I hoped for a small gift in return. I suggested the restoration of my Friday/Saturdays with Anne. Anne has herself always wanted that and G.. has now agreed to it. So, courtesy of an exchange of gifts, my old arrangements with Anne have not been totally restored but a part of them that I greatly value has been

And throughout my adult life I have always owned two vehicles. For a lot of the last ten years I in fact owned three!  But, for not much more than a month, I have been down to only one -- my trusty 16-year-old Toyota Echo.  So buying a Prado will be something of restoration of the status quo ante bellum.  When it is not being used to tow a caravan, it will be available to visiting friends and family from out of town, as my second car always has been.  

Additionally, it should be some help in my meetings with single ladies.  They generally drive much fancier cars than my little old Echo and presumably look down on it.  The Prado, by contrast, is well appointed so I will presumably gain some respectability by driving it. It costs $60,000+ so that should look good as a sign of economic competence

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