The mother of all impulse purchases (at least for me)

I didn't know that today, I would buy a car. Everything was cool until this afternoon. Then, the FJ Cruiser that had been in my head and occasionally in front of me at a stop light needed to be in front of me with a sticker on the window, listing all manner of options that I didn't need but would have to pay for. And then I would check the blue book value (or have it checked for me), drive the thing and ask about the Microsoft discount (oh yes, we do).

I just figured that when the Thetans invaded, that I would need 4 wheel drive to at least pass through Eastern Washington. Also, when global warming once again turns my hill into an icy slope, I'd like to do something besides wine and get drunk at the bottom of the hill next time. I totally needed 4 wheel drive. And although I am quite a clean person, trying to vacuum dog hair out of the interior of my last car was an exercise in frustration. Now I can hose it out. With a hose.

I had fully intended that my next car by a hybrid. But when I thought about it in terms of carbon footprint and the fact that I maybe fill up my gas tank once a month, I felt that it was kind of justified. Plus, it's all about the functionality. And the cuteness.

I can't wait to wake up tomorrow and drive somewhere.


PS: This definitely does NOT mean that I intend to go camping or off-roading! And I am still just as girly as I was yesterday; just with a kick ass car.

Comments (22)

  1. John says:

    I like the FJ, but not the whole white roof thing.  I’ve seen a couple all black ones like that, with a black roof and tinted windows that look real smooth.  congrats!  hopefully you get a microsoft discount on gas too! 😛

  2. Nice ride heather, although with your name I thought the Hummer "H2" might be more appropriate.


  3. Will says:

    Sounds like you’ve experienced some FJ marketing along the way, eh?

    Just remember to check down the hood of your new vehicle.  I know you would never intentionally roll over my Prius, but sometimes my Birkenstocks don’t press on the accelerator of my 4 cylinder beast.  Besides, I might need to call on you as the the sea level rises above the roof of my car.

    Hey!  Set up a map on the blog and point out some of the cool places you end up going to.  That way we can all live vicariously through your adventures.  JK.

    Have fun!  

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    I love the white roof. I hadn’t intended to get black but when I saw it, it was love. ANd windows are totally tinted. Bow-wow-wow-yipee-yo-yipee-yay.

    Chris- there is a line I won’t cross with regard to conspicuous consumption 🙂 Chloe handbags are on this side of the line and hummers on on that side.

    Will – not that I am aware of. Just had a Toyota already with no problems whatsoever, great experience at the dealership and saw some of the cars on the road. I don’t recall any acutaly advertising or anything.

    I got a manual transmission so I should be able to keep it under control. I did get the off-road package. I thought you would all have a good laugh about that one. I thought, come on, it’s a 4×4. And then I thought, WTF? Who AM I? 🙂

  5. A Regular Reader says:

    Normally wouldn’t comment when yet another otherwise sensible person buries thier sense of responsibility in a grave of corporate marketing hype and unleashes another fundementally useless behemouth gas guzzler, but you brought it up.

    With the new EPA standards, your new "kick ass car" produces 10.8 tonnes of greenhouse gasses per year on average (ok, so perhaps you’ll only pump out 9 tonnes). Please at least say that you’ll be shuttling a carload of people around in that thing, and not just be bopping around solo in 5000 lbs of steel for a smoothie.

    Seriously – you "needed" that? What’s wrong with getting drunk when you’re frozen in? No broadband access where you live?

    Just think of this comment each time you twist the key. Then think of how good you’ll feel the day you trade it in for a reasonable vehicle.

  6. Hi Heather, I just noticed your FJ purchase in my feed reader and told Shannon about it since it’s been at the top of our ‘new car’ list since it’s been out. We’re hoping we can hold out longer but we’re glad you got one so we can live vicariously through you. 🙂 For now, our intrepid 2002 4Runner ‘Lefty’ still gets all our love.

  7. kerry says:

    Oh, I love it – I have been admiring these for so long!  Lucky gal – enjoy!

  8. mrscrooge says:

    Congrads Hamilton – hey maybe you can start your very own Redmond carpool with that thing 🙂

  9. HeatherLeigh says:

    Like I said, I drive much less than anyone else I know. I’ll worry more about it if I have to start driving in to the office. Guaranteed that unles you are taking the bus to work right now, my carbon footprint is less than yours.

  10. HeatherLeigh says:

    Oops, that last comment was for "a regular reader"…..doing this out of order a bit (approve comments first, then answer them, Heather)

    Julian – I’ll let you and Shannon know how it is. So far, I am under the influence of new car scent!

    Kerry- that’s what I am feeling when I get in it!

    mrscrooge – except that I don’t have a commute. It’s about 15 steps from my bedroom into my office 🙂 If I drove to work every day, I likely would have selected a different vehicle.

  11. Bad_Brad says:

    I’m a bit amazed at the villification here.  I think Heather could have come to her blog and posted that she had just clubbed a baby seal for the fun of it and some people would have been less disgusted.  Last I checked, it’s perfectly legal to buy (and God forbid, drive) this kind of vehicle.  For all the hand-wringing about carbon footprints, it’s not as if Heather drives solo 300 miles each way to and from work.  It’s not the vehicle I would have purchased (I’m not even that into vehicles, period), but if she likes it, she’s worked for it, and she can afford it, good for her.

  12. HeatherLeigh says:

    Thanks Bad_Brad. I was a little surprised too but people feel brave about being judgmental when they get to be anonymous. Leads to holier than thou syndrome ("I’ll tell you how to live your life but won’t let you know who I am so you won’t judge me back"). Some bloggers don’t allow anonymous comments but whatever.  Really, it was only one person and I’m not that concerned. Besides, I have agreed to stop burning rubber tires to fuel my puppy sausage factory so it should all balance out.

    Also, when you have a blog, people feel they own a little piece of you to some extent (oh, the comments on my appearance! They’re rich). Like their opinion should mean more to you than it does (like there’s some sort of bilateral relationship between me and someone I have never communicated directly with….ooh, that’s bad grammar….anonymous grammar police?). So some guy I don’t know (who thinks they are a regular reader but doesn’t know if I have kids) doesn’t like my car selection. Pfft. Hey, at least he said I was otherwise reasonable.

    Anyhoo, Bad_Brad, apprecaite the support 🙂

  13. patblue says:

    Good for you HH.  I have had my eye on this rig for a year now..But the 4Runner is still my pride and joy..Maybe I will just have to copy cat you.  I have been eyeing the silver and the new sandstorm color.  The quandry over no sunroof option is also a tough one.  The rig actually does good on gas comparatively and is safe.  I get some flack from the bleeding hearts about my carbon output and encourage  folks if they are that passionate about what I am doing,  they can certainly buy down my points at to absolve their judgement and stay off my SUV driving case.

    Enjoy you new car HH, this is exciting!

  14. HeatherLeigh says:

    Haha..Patblue. You are the best. Let’s go out to lunch and you can experience my new ride! I looked at all the colors except the brick (which was nice but seemed a bit too expected for me). I didn’t want anything bright like the blue or yellow. The car didn’t look as pretty in silver. The sandstorm has no shimmer to it whatsoever. I thought it looked like butter pecan ice cream. Have you seen it in person? The color looks flat. I didn’t think I wanted black again but it was the most striking to me.

    Incidently, Michael’s Toyota is storing vehicles over where the K-Mart used to be (what is that 156th?). You can’t get intot hte lot without a sales rep, obviously, but you could see the colors. The sandstorm is kind of ick when you see it.

    Anyway, 4Runners are nice. I wanted one of those so badly at one point but couldn’t afford. Hey, if you decide to trade in for a Toyota, let me know so I can refer you to my guy and collect a hundred bucks!

  15. Wine-Oh says:

    What a fun car. You won’t hear anyone call it a soccer mom car. 🙂 Has Jonas been in it yet? I’ve seen a few around but its not really a car you’d find on the mean streets of NYC. What did you do with the RAV4?

  16. HeatherLeigh says:

    Yeah, I have already had comments with opinions about my sexual orientation. Not sure what that is all about but people can think what they want. Jonas has not yet been in it. It’s higher than the Rav. And I don’t think I am ready to get the dog hair in there yet. Still celebrating the smell.

    I actually got a good trade-in on the Rav from the dealership. I bought the Rav there and they have all my service records and everything. I was going to have to replace the brakes and tires so they gave me about $800 under blue book which I think was absolutely fair. I was pleasantly surprised by that. With the MS discount too.

    When all was saidf and done it was only about $4K more than I paid for my Rav. That doens’t seem possible but it is. And I got lots of options. Crazy!

  17. Rick Pennington says:


    Well, I clubbed a baby seal today, stuffed it with dolphin unsafe tuna, then roasted it over a styrofoam and unfiltered coal fire while basting it in a sauce comprised of crude oil and the tears of orphans.  Orphans I say!!  

    Sarcasm aside (that is very hard for me to do, as it means denying a major aspect of my personality), telling someone that they are the Suxxorz for buying an SUV is not the way to save the environment.  The environment will be saved when people finally come to the realization that they must live in balance with it. Heather walks to her office everyday and drives an SUV. I drive 52 miles a day roundtrip between my office and home, and I drive a dodge Neon. Even though my car gets twice the MPGs as Heather’s does, I somehow think my "carbon footprint" is significantly larger than hers.  How do I make it up?  I recycle, buy organic when possible, and go out of my way to avoid littering.  Thats my balance, and I am doing my part.

    I was told once that in order to save the world, a person must first look to their own porch.  I look to mine, and I am sure Ms. Louder looks to hers.  Instead of yelling at her for buying an SUV, look to your own porch, and stay the hell off of mine :-p.


    In closing, congrats on the new car Heather, hope it works well for ya.  I look forward to the blog post about "trying out the 4wd" and "stuck in the mud…"

  18. HeatherLeigh says:

    OK, first of all, Rick…you rock! And you are right. And that is exactly how I think about it. And I do the recycle/organic/etc as well.  My distaste for any kind of sitting in traffic really helps.

    I so hope I don’t come back here and talk about getting stuck in the mud. But tell me this….is there any specific kind of cute fashion that goes with four-wheeling/off-roading? Because I could totally convince myself that I’m into it if there’s a cute outfit involved; preferrably one made of squirrel pelts (alright! just kidding about that last part).

  19. Pat says:

    did you take the new car out in the snow to test out the 4wheel drive?

  20. Rick Pennington says:

    Well, the short answer is: anything that you can get real dirty in.  The long answer depends on region.  Up here in the NW, anytime there is mud there is usually a good amount of cold, so you’re pretty much looking at jeans, a hoody, and a flannel.  Across the Mason-Dixon, though, you can get warm summer squalls, so pretty much anything you can feel comfortable getting muddy.  A good pair of cutoffs and a tank top usually work well.  And can’t forget the boots…

    For reference, try watching the video for “Mud on the Tires” by Brad Paisley (my southern roots are showing).

  21. HeatherLeigh says:

    you had me at "boots"

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