I should have seen this day coming — sure, people say they plan to drive a car until the wheels fall off, but it’s just a figure of speech. Turns out, one more spin down the highway and there was a very real danger of that actually happening, with very ugly repercussions.
Note to self: Do not ignore strange clicking noises and squeaky brakes.
So why, please tell me, am I so irrationally attached to this green mound of fiberglass and steel?
Seriously, I cannot even bring myself to look at other cars. In the past, I have talked about the day, years into the future, when I might possibly consider getting a new car. Once, I even went to a car lot and flirted with a blue Ford Focus, an evil tempter with leather seats and built-in iPod adapter.
But in the end, I always came back to my true love, so sturdy and dependable.
Only now I’m told that I may not have my true love to come back to. Our 11 year relationship may soon be over, and I am not one bit happy about it.
I didn’t even have a driver’s license when my mom and dad bought the Rav4. I was a sophomore in high school, and it was their vehicle for the first seven years of its life. I didn’t have a car of my own until I graduated college, when I was given the keys, and a payment book.
When I mailed in the last check, I felt a great sense of accomplishment, like I was responsible and trustworthy. I also felt like I never wanted another one of those little payment books ever again.
We were good together, me and my little Toyota. Sure, there were some tense moments, like the time I was visiting a friend and parked on the street — her neighbor then promptly backed right into the driver’s side. Thus, the aforementioned dent. In high school, I may have borrowed it from my mom to go to a sleepover, then sideswiped my friend Erica’s car on my way home the next morning. Whoops.
But if my car were a person, I know she would have forgiven me. Minor inconveniences, really, and I never got either dent fixed. Just gives her character.
And there was my dad, who poured all of his fatherly instincts into keeping me in a safe vehicle. I was getting new tires about as often as the oil was changed, and our dear friend Bob the mechanic knew my car better than his own. A stop at Bob’s Tire Shop for a check-up was a mandatory part of any visit home.
Just two years of being solely under my car, no check-ups from Dad or Bob or friendly reminders to get the oil changed, and suddenly I’m Googling used cars, with tears literally rolling down my face. Overly dramatic much?
Now it looks like I may have to actually get behind the wheel of that Ford Focus, or some other newfangled vehicle with an air conditioning fan that works on all settings, no dents and no shoe collection in the back seat (that will change fast). It’s a brave new world out there, and I just hope I can handle it.
Contact Rachel Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org.