Schaumburg, IL

I Fell in Love at a Schaumburg CarMax

Sherry McGuinn

A small car can give you a big boost, trust me

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Almost six years ago, I bought a 2012 Fiat Lounge 500 and never looked back. Even though our town and the surrounding area is loaded with car dealerships, my husband and I decided to check out CarMax as we'd heard good things about it.

Not a “car person,” per se, I decided it was time to drive something a little sexier than my previous Subaru. The Subaru is a great car and won all kinds of safety awards, but I was ready for something different. Plus, it was at the point where expensive repairs were in our near future.

So, as frugal as I normally am, I decided it was time for a new, USED car.

My hubby and I headed over to the local CarMax, split up, and started looking for something that said “Sherry, take me home, baby.”

This was around the time that both my parents were diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, and about two months before I found a lump in my breast that turned out to be cancer. I was lucky as mine was early-onset and thankfully, I am fine. My parents weren't so fortunate.

So, my head was in a weird place. Everything felt a bit surreal, and as I walked around the huge showroom, I started rethinking this whole thing.

It should be said that I was still employed at the time, so financing wasn’t an issue.

As I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for, I decided to hone in on curb appeal, like you do with a house, and leave the rest to my husband. Safety, mileage. You know. Like that. Again, as I said, I didn't know a whole heck of a lot about cars, other than how to drive them.

Immediately, I was drawn to a Ford Mustang. It was sleek but powerful-looking, and I loved that freakin’ horse on the bumper. It wasn’t red like I would have preferred, but it was sweet, regardless.

I got in, and it felt good. Hot, people. It was comfortable, but the longer I sat there, the less comfortable I felt. Something was missing. That je ne sais quoi, if you will.

The Mustang was still a contender but I kept looking. Next up: The Mini Cooper. So damn cute and I’d been seeing them all over the road. But, was that a good thing. Did I want to see myself coming and going?

There were several Minis on the floor and I looked at them all. The thing is, they had a teeny, tiny trunk, and I didn’t think that would fly after one of my manic trips to the local produce market where I’d stock up on phytonutrients.

The beginnings of a headache reared its ugly mug and I was about ready to put the whole car thing off for another day until my hubby, who was standing by a car on the other side of the room gestured for me to come over.

“What about this? The mileage is out of sight and it’s gotten great reviews.”

The car in question was a metallic, chocolate-brown Fiat. Small, but not too. And hella sexy. To me, anyway. And, surprisingly, the trunk was roomier than I thought it would be. Score!

I got in the driver’s seat and immediately I knew. This was the ride for me. The interior — brown and beige leather — was surprisingly spacious and ultra-comfortable. I didn’t feel too low to the ground, either, as I did in the Mustang.

That was it. A done deal. I should say, being half-Italian the whole Italian thing got me, too, even though the Fiat brand is now part of Chrysler.

I’m still driving that car, today. It’s my “chocolate kiss” and I love it. It has plenty of giddy-up and whips in and out of lanes like a rocket. And, when I see my Italian oncologist for my six-month check-ins, we talk about our Italian cars. A Maserati for him and a Fiat for me.

A big difference, considering the six-figure tab on a Maserati, but at the end of the day, “love” is love.

© Sherry McGuinn, 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Sherry McGuinn is a slightly-twisted, longtime Chicago-area writer and award-winning screenwriter. Her work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and numerous other publications. Sherry’s manager is currently pitching her newest screenplay, a drama with dark, comedic overtones and inspired by a true story.

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My goal is to educate, entertain, make you laugh, and above all, make you think. I will be running the gamut as far as my articles go because I have a restless mind and I allow it to ramble where and when it wants. I hope you enjoy what I'm looking forward to sharing with you. If so, I'd love for you to follow me. Thanks for reading.

Chicago, IL
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