Can I justify buying that shiny new Miata when I have a perfectly serviceable Honda?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Aug 01, 1998

Dear Tom and Ray:

I'm a 55-year-old with a new grandchild and a perfectly wonderful, but boring,
'95 Honda Accord. I stopped by the local Mazda dealership and experienced some
sort of out-of-body experience when I saw the '99 Miata -- in my colors, green
and tan -- sitting there, as if it had been waiting for me all of its life. Now
I really think I've gone into a midlife crisis because I'm passionately in love
with this car. I tried it on. My portly husband tried it on. And it fit both of
us perfectly. Am I nuts to get a Miata at my age? Should I just see a doctor and
get some Prozac? Or should I just give in and do the deed? -- Judy

TOM: Judy, you should absolutely get this car. I can tell from the way you talk
about it that you desperately need more excitement in your life. And if not now,
when? It's going to make you happy, right? It'll make you smile when you drive
around in it. And what could possibly be more important than that?

RAY: And there's no need to be practical at your age. In fact, this Miata could
be a perfect excuse for you not to have to ride in the minivan with your kids
and the puking little grandkids. Can't you see it now? "Oh, go ahead, dear,
Grandpa and I will take the Miata and meet you there."

TOM: And when it comes to Prozac vs. the Miata, it's a simple economic issue.
Prozac is expensive. I believe it costs about $2 a pill. Let's say you had to
take two pills a day; that's $120 a month!

TOM: Right. For another hundred bucks a month, we could have you in traffic by
Monday! Go for it, Judy. And send us a picture of you in the car. We'll put it
on our Web site at as an inspiration for middle-aged people everywhere.

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