Due to a series of unfortunate events, (caribou on the road, car slamming into the back of us) we have to buy a new vehicle. I am very fond of our current one, a 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe. But then, all our family cars gradually come to feel like old friends. I picture this one all banged up, languishing in some steel graveyard and wondering when we’re coming back to get her. Yes, our car is a she. We planned to drive her till she dropped, an emotional and a financial win. Alas.
Here is why I loved her. She had great pickup on the highway. You could pass anyone in a pinch. She was so comfortable, and all the knobs and doo-dads were in exactly the right spot. I’m short, but our SUV fit me well. She felt like home whenever I was driving around. So I’m resistant to getting something new.
Clarence talked me into test driving a 2016 Toyota Rav. Since my daughter has an older version, I figured I’d be comfortable with it. Our cars seemed strangely the same. But nothing felt right about this one. Boxy, stiff, with a weird dashboard that managed to hide important buttons like the seat warmers. I wanted to take it out on the highway, so we headed toward the perimeter.
My husband is a positive person. I’ve never heard him talk badly about anyone, and he truly can’t understand the kind of negativity that was welling up inside me. I was working myself up with all the things I didn’t like about the vehicle.Then I had one of those, ‘can’t find the wipers, where’s the wash?’ moments, just when Clarence said, ‘turn right here.’
I lost it. There is no right turn! I said. What are you talking about?? My voice was so high and loud, I’m amazed I didn’t shatter the windshield. No, right HERE, he said. Well, duh. I’m practically hyperventilating through the combination of sadness about our car, not enough information on the one I’m driving, and Clarence’s driving instructions. You’re going to miss it! he said. It’s right here!
Ah. At last his meaning was clear. Turn left, right here. I was so busy working myself up into an old fashioned snit, I couldn’t hear what he was trying to say. Which was, try out this nice car…see if it can replace the one you love. You’ll figure it all out, and by the way, turn here. Once I calmed down, we returned to our regularly programmed relationship.
Want to head home now?
Let’s drop the car off, then. Tell the guy we’ll think about it.
I cheered up immeasurably. The car wasn’t a bad colour. It hid the dirt well. (Behind all the drama, there was reason.) So when you see me next, I’ll be with another vehicle. There may be some awkwardness at first, as we get to know each other. I’ll probably feel like I’m cheating on the Santa Fe. But after a few months on the road together, the new vehicle and I may just start to feel like family. To celebrate the car love story, here’s the band, Queen. And yes, I stole their title.