Needing to buy a new car was not unexpected, but still I was unprepared. I had been driving around in my trusty old SUV hoping it would last, oblivious to car commercials and anything that reminded me that buying a new car was imminent.
The time had come. I had an idea of what I wanted, but there were so many options. Previously owned, lease, new? The choices kept expanding and soon my desk was covered with printouts of all the cars available in my price range.
I was conflicted between trusting what I liked and trying not to strain our already tight monthly budget. I was certain I would be satisfied with any improvement over my almost twenty year old car. I don’t like white or black cars, but they were in the running along with silver, charcoal, red and blue. I was willing to compromise.
Awake at 4am, the options were whirling around in my head. I crept out of bed and went to sit on the living room couch, hoping my dog would let me pet him. I looked out the window and thought of Lanikai, my Hawaiian mermaid beach. Slowly I conjured up the waves, the colors of sunrise. What the hell, I’d ask the mermaids.
Normally the mermaids could care less about anything on the material plane. Asking them about a purchase would normally be answered with a snatch of song. But I asked anyway. The answer was immediate.
Get the red one.
The red in the model I was looking at was a gorgeous ruby, exactly the color of my favorite lipstick. Get the red one. Of course. I, who lived and breathed color, would notice it every time I walked up to it.
The next morning I threw away all the printouts of non-red cars. That left one previously owned and one new. I stopped torturing myself. I bought the red one and named her the Ruby Slipper. I never looked back, and my magical mermaid red lipstick mobile and I are very happy together.