Schmich: In quest for a new car, indecision takes the wheel

When it comes to cars, I've always been responsible. I've spent a lifetime in little Japanese cars, mostly Hondas. They've never done me wrong but never satisfied my need for adventure.

I'm also cheap.

I've never understood why anyone would spend a fortune on an automobile in a big, congested city that devours cars as mercilessly as snakes devour mice. I capped my fantasy at $25,000 and tried not to yawn every time I read about the marvels of the Ford Focus and Honda Fit.

"How do you like your car?" I asked everyone I knew, only to learn that this was like asking, "How do you like your baby?"

People love their cars, I've learned. They are as loyal to their cars as they are to their sports teams and pets.

Ask them to recommend a car and most will guarantee you that the one they drive is the one, the only one, worth the love.

This is a heartening testament to the quality of cars available today, but it just confused the choice.

Buy American. Never buy new. Why do you need a car anyway? In my quest, I've heard it all.

Meanwhile, as I've learned and yearned and mulled, an independent voice has grown louder: The thrill of a new car would quickly fade. The new car payment would not.

And so I wait. Breaking up is hard to do.