She was at one time a reliable, trusty, safe little car. I bought her as a birthday gift for myself just before I turned 30 and while she was used, she was new enough for me. It was a mile-marker in terms of pretending I had made it in the world and the hard work and relentless hours after all those years at work had finally paid their fruition. What’s sweeter is I owned her outright and was proud of the fact that long gone were the days of car payments and sending money to a lien holder. When the title in full was mailed to me I gave the financing company the big fat middle finger and told them to go shove an egg with their higher interest rates. I took her out for a drive that day and patted her on the dashboard and thanked her for sticking around with me after all those years.
But in October she began to let me down. One mechanical issue after another. The check engine light was haunting me. The antifreeze leaking onto my floorboard was a motherfucker to clean up. The $1000+ bill at the mechanic was hard to swallow only to learn days after that there were more mechanical issues popping up that would need tending to in January. Not to mention the new brakes, tires, catalytic converter (what the hell is that?) and then some that was bound to be invested upon sooner than later.
And so as I sat staring at my budget I realized it was time to part ways and let her go. Breaking up with cars is hard for me. Except for the one time I bought a Honda Accord 2-door and hated the absolute hell out of it and turned that sucker back in after a year. But my last love, she was a beaut and she fit me perfectly. She was tiny, but she kept me out of harms way more times than I care to count (especially on the parkway between Baltimore and DC in the midst of a freak snow shower). Not to mention, she treated me well as I relocated across the country. And her gas mileage, while not superb, but practical.
The time had come to make a decision.
So there I sat yesterday at the dealership nervous to sign on the bottom line. Depressed that my future would be again writing checks for monthly payments. I wasn’t in the mood to buy a new car, but I wasn’t in a position not to.
And then the sales guy came back with an offer for my trade in. He wanted $2000. I choked. She was worth more than that. Even Kelly Blue Book told me that. I wanted no less than $3500. I gawked at his offer. He looked at me and then I teared up. No car that I had been in a relationship with that long was going to get away from me for mere pennies. Did this guy think I was just some broad with big boobs, no brain and knew nothing about cars? Ok, I am, but who’s to say he needed to know that?
And that’s when he said to me, “Ma’am, when we went to assess the value of your car and drive it around it wouldn’t start for us.”
"Oh, ain't that just the shit?"
So apparently, it was the right day to buy a new car and the right day to say goodbye to something I loved more than a fat kid loves a grilled cheese and ham sammie.