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What I Did For Love


What I did for love

BY KAREN L. RANCOURT

“What I Did for Love” is a popular song composed by Martin Hamlisch for A Chorus Line, which premiered on Broadway in 1975. This is my rendition of what I did for love.

Gary, my husband of 57 years, hopefully, inquired, “Would you do this for me? Just go look at one?” The “one” thing he wanted me to look at was an electric vehicle (EV).

I suppressed my groan and cheerfully said, “Sure, we can go look at one.” Gary responded, “Great! When can we go?”

The topic of getting an EV has been coming up periodically for the past two years. I had many concerns about getting one, including:

  • It is too complicated for me to drive.
  • The battery running out of charge, leaving me isolated somewhere; this is known as “range anxiety.”
  • Long charge times.
  • Lack of convenient charging stations.
  • Higher upfront costs.

Truth be told, I was perfectly happy driving the ten-year-old Mercedes sedan we had purchased eight years earlier. Yes, it was getting along in years (aren’t we all?), and yes, repairs on it are expensive, and yes, newer technology made for safer driving. This last point convinced me I should at least be open to upgrading to a newer model.

We agreed that if I remained opposed to an EV after test-driving one, we would go to the Mercedes dealer and look at later-model, used gasoline-fueled ones. In my mind, we would do the EV thing and go directly to the Mercedes dealer.

One requirement was that I refused to consider the most popular EV on the road for personal/political reasons. Gary was okay with this restriction because he wanted us to look at something called the Hyundai Ioniq 6, citing that it won World Car of the Year at the New York Auto Show.

Okay, I thought, let’s get this done, and off we went to the Hyundai dealer. James, our sales guy, was young, friendly, and well-informed. He and Gary immediately hit it off, getting deeper and deeper into this and that of the technology and the car’s various features. The Ioniq 6 sedan comes in three models. I got behind the wheel of the least expensive model and drove it. Although I was intimidated by the dashboard – in my mind, it resembled the dashboard in a commercial jet – with James patiently guiding me, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy and comfortable it was to drive. I assumed it would be sluggish, but it was very peppy.

We returned to the showroom. As Gary and James continued to discuss all the features of the car, I was struck by Gary’s enthusiasm and excitement. I know him to be a gadget guy. In fact, when it came to the Five Stages of Technology Adopters, Gary is a 1 or 2, whereas I am a 5:

  1.  Innovators. (Gary had founded and sold a high-technology company.)
  2. Early Adopters. (Something new? Gary’s on it.)
  3. Early Majority.
  4. Late Majority.
  5. Laggards. (I am definitely in this category. I still don’t understand why Palm Pilots and Blackberries fell by the wayside.)

Anyway, back to the showroom … as I sat there half-listening to them talk, I was aware of a sudden shift in my thinking. It dawned on me that it would take minimal effort on my part to foster Gary’s joy and excitement.

“I did have a bit of an anxiety attack one afternoon while running an errand.”

I interrupted them and said to Gary, “I think we should get the silver blue Ioniq 6 Limited.” Gary was gobsmacked for two reasons. First, I was then and there suggesting a purchase, and second, I was saying we should get the top-of-the-line model with all the bells and whistles.

My guy, never at a loss for words, stared at me and finally said, “Really? Are you sure?” I was sure. We did the paperwork, and after it was prepped, James delivered the car to us that evening.

The next morning, as Gary was heading out our front door early, I asked him where he was going. He said he wanted to go look at our new car. He laughingly asked me if I thought it would be strange if he took a chair to the garage, got comfortable, and just stared at the car. We live in a condo, and I thought it would be strange.

So, where am I with this purchase of an EV? My driving needs are simple and are being more than met. I can handle Drive, Reverse, Neutral, and Park and access my two NPR radio stations, the news and classical music.

I did have a bit of an anxiety attack one afternoon while running an errand. It started to sprinkle, and I was like, “Oh, poop (or words to that effect), how do I turn on the wipers?” Not to worry, they turned themselves on, and since then, I have learned how to manage them manually if need be. I am slowly getting comfortable with the car’s many features.

“And daily, he thanks me for supporting his dream of owning an EV.”

I have no regrets about our impulsive purchase of this car. It pleases me no end that Gary enthusiastically continues to acquaint himself with all the features by viewing videos, joining chat rooms, reading the manual, and talking with his car-loving friends. And daily, he thanks me for supporting his dream of owning an EV.

I’ll admit there are times I feign interest: for example, when he points out to me the gaskets that line the doors for a quieter ride (“Those are really nice looking gaskets,” I say), or when he asks me if I want to change the color of the internal lighting (“No, the purple you selected is soothing and just fine”), or do I want to see the location of all the cameras on the outside of the car (“No, that’s okay. If you say they’re there, I believe you”).

Regarding my charging anxieties, we have four chargers in our condo, and more and more chargers are becoming available throughout the country in the coming months, especially the high-speed ones. I have all the required applications on my phone to use the chargers, and I know how to use them. Easy peasy. Old dog, new tricks, et cetera.

One reassuring feature is that the technology constantly informs me of how much charging power the car currently has, how many miles can be driven, and the locations of various chargers—a big sigh of relief.

Thus ends my rendition of “What I Did for Love.” Kind of reminds me of Chuck Mangione’s “Feels So Good.”

 

 

Karen Rancourt, Ph.D.

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