Getting Close to Blowing Up Too!

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
My husband teaches shop and can fix anything. I believe the exception
should be my 1977 VW van, which burst into flames last week. She
(“Gertrude”) looks like something off the streets of Baghdad. I earn
enough to afford a new car, which I think I deserve, as I bring in more
than half the household income. He wants to buy a $5K oldie and have
a year to fix up the van. I see that as buying trouble and wasting time.
But how do I convince him that the other long-delayed items on his
honey-do list are far more important, and that restoring the blackened
shell is a waste of time and money. Divorce seems too high a threat.
Getting Close to Blowing Up Too!
Dear Getting Close:
Divorce is too strong an outcome, but not a bad place to start with a
hyperbolic threat as in, Do you want t get divorced over this? It’s the
kind of shot over the bow that will at least get his attention and make
him believe you are serious.
After 34 years you deserve a new car. Do your research. Identify the
top two-three models that meet your needs. Get a trusted friend to go
car shopping with you to be sure you have your options right. Then
come to the dinner table with the following proposition: Hubby, I’m not
going to drive another oldie. I’ve done the research and I wan to buy
an A, B, or C. I think I can get a good deal on the end of this year’s
models, but could probably bargain better with my guy helping me
negotiate. [Note: single women pay more at car dealers.] Please shop
with me and help me get the best price. I will pay for it out of our
equity line of credit from the house so we’ll get a tax break while we
pay it off. If you want to make a hobby out of resurrecting Gertrude
you are welcome to drive her when you’re done. But I’d rather put that
money towards Gertrude 2. My money’s on you.