There shouldn’t be anything emotional about it. It’s a horseless carriage, an automobile, a vehicle, and, finally, a car. It is a bunch of aluminum, steel, plastic and rubber all arranged into a complicated piece of technology whose sole purpose is transport me, and up to 4 other people, safely from place to place. Why, then, should I have an emotional attachment to this tool?
Well, for one thing, it’s mine. I own it. It’s one of a handful of things I do own. I saved up, sold my Harley, and finally paid for it in cash. It has seen me through good times and bad. It saw me through a job, the birth of my son, a layoff, the entire life span of three businesses, and the beginning of a 4th. It has helped me through a whole lot of projects, and helped me advocate for Autism. When everything else is going wrong, when I had to sell my house in a short sale, and file for bankruptcy, I could, at least, go and sit in my car.
And it has personality. Oh, yes; surprising as that sounds, it does have personality. The ignition doesn’t quite work, so you have to know HOW to turn the key to get it started. The trunk is bent from being hit from behind, and there is a sea-sickening like vibration from a mis-fire on one of the cylinders. The CD Player had already stopped changing CDs by the time I bought it, and now it doesn’t even play CDs. The tape drive, well, it’s a tape drive. And the stereo display only works when the car is about to die; which it has done from time to time. Still, the radio plays, and I can use the bluetooth via the stereo, after an arduous process of manually scanning channels, and suburban life does offer a wide range of stations without needing to replace the antenna, which was broken by low lying bushes at the Zoo’s annex parking lot. I won’t even talk about the transmission, but as soon as I get past first gear, it keeps going in the direction I want it to go.
So, okay, I understand that there are lots of stories in this car, and that it is those stories that make me sentimental about this car. And, sure, it would be really, really, really nice not to stop the car and see smoke whisping out from under the hood. But I do love my car, so I guess it’s okay to celebrate its recent milestone. It has earned it. After all, I’ve been behind the wheel for more than 104,000 of its now more than 200,000 miles. I guess you could say, we’ve earned it, together.