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I Heart My Jalopy

December 5, 2012
by

Alright folks, I have to tell you something about myself. Here it goes:

I drive a beater. And I like it.

I’ve actually written about it before here. But please forgive me for singing it again. My little Honda and I have been through hell and high water – quite literally. It’s been to Vegas several times, and Laura will remember a particularly scary flood-related moment on the 10 freeway, I think. I bought it when it was still a mere pup with only 16,000 miles on the odometer. The thing still smelled new, even though it was two years old. It’s the first car I ever bought: I was 20, had just signed the lease on my first (non-dorm) apartment, and needed some wheels to get me around. I paid for every cent of that car (plus interest! … to my dad…) And even though it was nine years ago now, I still remember the feeling of dropping that last payment in the mail.

We’ve been up mountains, across valleys, through cracked exhaust manifolds and leaky radiators. When I had, literally, nowhere else to go, that little blue car has been my safe place. (ok I’m not saying I *lived* in the thing a la Jewel, but there was this one night I slept in it. That’s a whole other story, and despite the fact that I was crying the entire night, it’s actually pretty funny.)

When I shared every. single. space. that one small haven of steel and glass was exclusively mine.

I’ve never named it, and I don’t normally ascribe a gender to it. But man, that car has seen me through so much of my life. And even though the paint is oxidizing where it isn’t scratched up, and even though we have to pour coolant into it every few months, and even though I can, technically, afford a much “nicer” car… I love my little blue heaven. I’ve driven that car the majority of its 185,000 miles, and now, 14 years later, it feels like an extension of me sometimes. I could parallel park that thing blindfolded (but don’t worry I won’t actually do that.)

Last night, though, I thought we might be close to bidding our good-byes. I rolled the window down to get out of the parking garage at work, and the damn thing wouldn’t come back up. I kept clicking the button and it would budge a millimeter and then stop again. Eventually it wouldn’t even do that. Sad. Sad. Sad. I can deal with a lot. I can deal with the dented hood and the effed up paint and the back door that makes a hideous groaning sound when opened. But people, I can’t live on the my-window-doesn’t-roll-back-up level of P.O.S. ride.

At more than 185,000 miles, I never thought it would be something like the stupid WINDOW that would force me to make the call. It feels so cheap. Like a daredevil dying of an infected paper cut.

For now, the crisis has been averted. Masa managed to get the window up last night. And this morning, when I (totally accidentally, didn’t think) put it down to get into the garage, miracle of miracles it went back up! So let’s please all say a small prayer to the hoopty-gods that my little Honda hangs on and doesn’t pull a stunt like that again. I want to take it over 200,000 miles, and at the rate I drive it, that’s going to take another couple years.

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