A couple of days ago I was talking to a friend who said that women don't love their cars, not the way men do. I begged to differ. That's when I remembered a blog I posted a few years ago after I dumped the car love of my life.
It was a convertible—my first and probably my last. The two of us had a great relationship. It was young and had a great ass. But after a few years, I wanted more than it could give me. I hated myself, but I needed a sedan with a back seat. It was an agonizing decision, but I had to part ways.
Breaking up is hard to do, but I’d been through it before. You grieve and then you move on. I told myself the convertible wasn’t right for me. But when I unloaded my Thomas Guide and waved goodbye, all I could think about was the exhilarating feeling the two of us had cruising down Pacific Coast Highway with the warm Southern California air sweeping over our curves.
In the days after the separation I was overcome by a debilitating ennui. Sure, I had a new love, an International type: sleek, reliable, engineered to perfection. But the breakup with the convertible wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I needed counseling, so I unloaded all my emotional car baggage on a friend. She told me she was attached to the first “nice” car she ever owned. All the others were just transportation. Just transportation? Could I be happy settling for only that? It made me wonder. How many cars had I really loved before?
My first car was one of those generic Fords, painted in a shade of green not found in nature. I inherited it from my sister when she moved on to another car relationship. The Ford had a stick shift and got about ten miles per quart of oil. It was the sort of ride you parked six blocks from wherever you were going so your friends wouldn't know that you two were an item. Early on, I realized our affair wasn't going to last; it was a high school fling that would never get me where I wanted to go.
My next car was a robin’s egg blue Corvair Monza with wire-wheel hubcaps. It had been around the block a few times, which gave it an aura of danger. People said the Corvair was bad for me, that gas emissions leaked through the heating system. Ralph Nader told me to dump the car or it would be the death of me. Big deal. So I had to leave the window open in the winter when the heater was on. I was young and impetuous. It was a small price to pay for what I thought was "the one."
After that affair ended, I hooked up with a Toyota Celica, my first new car. I wanted so much to love it. It was a sporty four-speed that never complained about carrying my bicycle rack on its back. Eventually, that accommodation just wasn't enough. I tried to make it work, but when I was with the Celica I shifted from heartbreak to heartbreak. On hindsight, I stayed in that relationship way too long.
After that, I went through a series of auto affairs. None of them lasted very long. The convertible was the first car in years that could light my fire but it was over all too soon. I've been with this new car for a few years now. We're in a good place. I don't push its buttons; there are too many of them to figure out. It takes me where I want to go and never complains when it's tires are low or when I crank up the radio to "deaf." Time will tell if we have a future, but I’m warming to the heady aroma of leather and the sound of the soft purr when I turn it on. Who knows? Some day we may be racing around curves on the Angeles Crest Highway and I’ll finally say the words: “I love you, baby.”
So what about you? What cars have you loved before?