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Friday, June 23, 2006

On how fast you can buy a car/get married

We are in the process of purchasing a used car -- sorry, pre-owned vehicle. One of the terrors this holds for us is going to see the finance person, submitting our life history in triplicate, signing a half dozen or so inexplicable forms, and hearing how much the car will really cost, after adding in all the fees. Then there's getting the license plate, and insurance coverage. All in all, we can count on about two or three hours, at the best, and often more than that. Why? I can understand most of this, if I work at it. You should be able to prove that you own a car, rather than having stolen it, for example. The state needs tax money to build roads, pay police and teachers, and other state employees. (To win a political office in South Carolina, you must campaign on a platform of zero taxes. And then we wonder why our roads are so bad, our school busses/buses are the oldest in the country, and we don't have enough policemen. But don't get me started . . .) But it's still a painful process, and it seems to take too long.

Getting married can be much quicker. It usually isn't, if you count all the preliminaries, and the reception, but the actual ceremony doesn't usually take more than a half hour, even with a couple of songs and prayers, and it can be a lot less time than that.

You'd think that owning an auto was more important than acquiring a spouse. For some people, I guess it is. But a car usually starts depreciating in value from the time you put the key in it, and eventually will have to be junked. (We got $50 for a 1988 Ford Taurus with a cracked block and a non-functioning heater coil this week.) A marriage should be more valuable as time proceeds, becoming the most important of earthly relationships.

I was reminded of some words from "Heaven Came Down," by John W. Peterson, who wrote about how quickly a transaction was made, namely having our sins paid for by the sacrifice of Christ. That, of course, is the most important transaction, and Peterson was saying that it's instantaneous. Well, it is and it isn't, but that's another story.

I wouldn't say that there is an inverse relationship between how long a transaction takes, and how important it is, because there isn't. But I wonder what would happen to the divorce rate if those desiring to marry had to give their credit history, wait for others to check on things and finalize deals, and go to three different places to transact necessary business before getting married.

Thanks for reading!

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