David Trinko: Is it a car or a crisis?

Apr. 27—A coworker recently came into the newsroom after walking past our new car.

"Midlife crisis, huh?" he asked, jokingly.

The truth is yes, our most recent big purchase is in response to a midlife crisis, but it isn't mine.

We were in the market for a different vehicle eventually. Our trusty old sports utility vehicle with 150,000-plus miles on it is destined to become our 15-year-old's car when she gets her license in August.

I didn't think we were buying a new car for a few more months. But one weekday, while taking her mother to a doctor's appointment, my wife sent me photos of this car in a dealer's lot.

It's a beautiful, sporty red sedan, with all the bells and whistles you can imagine. It even has a high-tech-looking spoiler on the back that blends a grayish black into the hood of the car.

As one of our daughters described it, it's "sweet."

My wife informed me we had an appointment that Saturday for me to test drive it before we bought it. I knew where her head and heart both were. Frankly, she deserved something sporty.

Over the years, she's borne the brunt of practicality as we raised our children. She drove the minivans and people-haulers with crackers ground into the carpet that we've had over the years.

Back when we met, she was the one who drove cool, interesting cars. I've always been a master of practicality. One of the first cars we ever bought together could have been a Mustang, but I talked her out of it.

Yes, she'll openly admit this is her midlife crisis car.

My midlife crisis came last year, when I questioned whether I followed the right path of life and got out of journalism. I learned in my five-month midlife crisis that I needed the newspaper as much as it needed me and returned here. I got a midlife crisis job, didn't like it and returned to my first true love. She was supportive throughout that journey.

As for this car, calling it a midlife "crisis" is a bit unfair, though. Perhaps "reward" is a better term.

We've spent our years constantly putting our children first, whether it's choosing our home and school district, finding a comfortable vehicle or enlisting them in whatever activities they liked. While we still have three of our four daughters at home, they clearly don't require or want nearly as much of our attention as they did when they were young and dependent.

That makes now the perfect time to start treating ourselves. Whether it's more date nights and events or a candy-apple red sedan, it's better to enjoy our lives and successes now than to wait until we're too old to appreciate any of it.

We haven't completely lost our minds. The car is our first hybrid vehicle, giving us the best gas mileage I've ever seen. It's a common brand and model that wouldn't impress true car buffs. It's carefully riding the line between sports car and family car. There's room in the back for the kids, but we still rely in a larger vehicle for most family trips.

In other words, we might be the only people who would call it our midlife crisis car. And that's OK. It feels like a reward for a life of dedication, and we'll enjoy that for now.


See past columns by David Trinko at LimaOhio.com/tag/trinko.

David Trinko is editor of The Lima News. Reach him at 567-242-0467, by email at dtrinko@limanews.com or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.