This is probably how Frodo felt.

I still hate car hunting.

My old college roommate loves it, always has. He used to spend hours upon hours at Autotrader and, picking out cool cars that he could afford. He never bought any, but he'd figure out a way that he could buy them - selling his car, buying a ticket to Arizona from Southwest, doing it on Fall Break weekend so he'd have enough time to get it back for classes on Tuesday. He had no intention of ever doing so, of course. He just wanted to see that he could. It was bewildering.

I find it this confusing because it's so far off from where I am. I feel desperately lost when I car hunt. Friends will give me useful car advice about buying cars ("Above all, pretend you know what you're doing"), but when I actually get into the lot, I feel like Hansel after he figures out that animals have eaten all his breadcrumbs.

Every day I hunt for a good car until I find what seems a reasonable deal. That night, I explain to my family, friends, and roommate what kind of car I want to buy, and they explain why it's not a good idea. So I call the guy back and tell him I'm not interested in that rebuilt '84 El Camino he's selling, and I start over.

I think I'm only ready to talk about this now because I think I might have finally found a car. It's a '93 Volvo 850 selling for $2K just over the border in Maine. I'm driving up tomorrow afternoon, Hopefully, this time tomorrow I'll have agreed on a deal, so this trip won't be a complete waste of gas money and this long, merciless trek will finally be over.

But, if not, I can see if that Camino's still selling.