My family has a fantastic website, where everyone (all 12 of us, plus our spawn) posts news, reviews, photos, etc. This site is responsible for allowing us to refrain from gathering for a family reunion, thus preventing numerous meltdowns, shoutdowns, maimings and murders.
Once in a while, someone will post something just to brag on a new major purchase or increase in social status. This has little meaning to some of the rest of us, we who pride ourselves with living somewhat within our means and doing things the old fashioned way, like cooking our own meals and making our own ice cubes. Simple things like that. Recently a family member asked what kind of car we drive, then posted this about his new vehicle:
|‘ …Bought a new magnetic grey 2008 Nissan Versa SL hatchback in April… Love the car, plan to tint the windows in the future and install aftermarket rims….I already have a sound system in it. Four 6.5″ 240 watt Kenwood door speakers, 1000W Kenwood amp and a 1200 Kenwood watt sub….Before, my plans were to get a ’08 Mazda3 sedan…. The interior was mediocre compared to the Versa…yadda yadda yadda…’|
Now, I’m not a jealous person. Jealousy (like worry) is a waste of energy and time, and I’m too old for that. But I can detect a vain cock-of-the-walk when I see one, and this was a prime example of one. So, I replied thusly. Everything you are about the read is true, except for the contents inside our car. Eddie’s a lot more cluttered than that:
|We own a beautiful 93 Chevy Lumina that has a radiator leak, bald tires (all 4 of them! What are the odds?!), the driver’s door won’t open from the outside (keyless entry) and the passenger side mirror has been reconnected to the car with Miracle Putty (that stuff really works! If it only came in metallic blue instead of “Putty” color).
The car’s name is Sir Edward, or “Eddie”, as we like to call him.
The interior is littered with old hats, gas receipts, a blanket, two pairs of shoes (mine) and our own GPS system, two local area telephone books.
We installed our own sound system, replacing the factory-installed am/fm/cassette player with a sweet radio/cd player purchased from Walmart for a mere 19.95. What a steal! It doesn’t quite fit in the dash where the old system was, so it’s held securely by scotch tape that does need to be replaced occasionally.
I would like to tell about Lola, my 99 Saturn, and how, when I changed the rear signal bulb, all the turn signals stopped working, and when I step on the brakes, all the interior and dash lights come on. Or how her rear passenger side window won’t stay up. Or maybe I just did.
Don’t get me wrong. I have, once, owned a brand new car. In 2001 I bought a Ford Focus, and was proud of it. But I was 44 years old at the time, and had been driving a 1979 Grand Marquis banana boat. I was newly divorced, moved 600 miles away from the home in the country where I had spent the previous 26 years as a rancher’s wife, and I needed a smaller vehicle, preferably one that didn’t have a U-joint and transmission going out. “Sparky” signified something other than status to me. She signified a new beginning, a new freedom, and a new debt that I, alone, was responsible for.
Then, in 2006, when my now husband and I were taking a trip back to my hometown to visit my family, a man in a pickup, talking on his cell phone, t-boned my car at a highway intersection. I’m embarassed to say that at the time of impact, I wasn’t worried about us, I was more worried about my car. Fortunately, after being taken by ambulance to a local hospital, we suffered only a few bumps and bruises. But Sparky was totalled; I was almost inconsolable. The insurance paid out enough to buy two used cars, plus enough left over to pay a few medical bills from the accident. Eddie and Lola are the two used cars, both with faults and quirks that come with used cars with an unknown background. I’m not really attached to them, but at least I don’t have car payments to make. I’ve learned a car is just a car, a machine, a mode of transportation. It is not a person, nothing to prove your value as a person, nothing to brag about. Except that it’s paid for.