I am not really a car person. If I somehow won the lottery, which is rather a long shot as I don’t buy tickets, a new car would be number 12 or 13 on the list of items I would buy. I have a car, and I appreciate my car, but I don’t really wrap my identity up in my car, or cars in general. I don’t have a dream car, and really, I would almost prefer it if I weren’t so dependent on carbon-spewing transportation altogether.
In spite of my automotive ambivalence, I am waxing a little nostalgic over my car at the moment. Today is a very momentous occasion in the life of my little Honda Civic. I purchased it brand new on July 21, 2000, so it is 10 years old now. My very first car, all grown up. I saved up money for the down payment and I paid $200 every month for 2 years before I owned it free and clear. I felt very grown-up in my car, filled with new car smell. No more lugging groceries on the bus, no more depending on other people to get around. My car represented independence.
The silver bullet
I made my car my own. I installed a stereo and I gave it a nickname – the silver bullet. I took it on road trips and back and forth to work. On my wedding day, it took me to the salon and back. On the day Jacob was born, it was in my car that I realized I was in full-on labour, and from its front seat (while safely parked) that I called Jon to let him know. My car has carried loads of over-excited 7-year-olds on Brownie camps and field trips. It has held car seats and it has been covered in Cheerios and it has been dented and fixed. And still, it serves its duty well.
When I bought this car, I was hoping to get about 10 years out of it. But now, 10 years later, I don’t feel quite ready to part. It might not be as sparkly as it used to be, but it has a lot of life and miles left in it. And it is mine. I know it by feel. I don’t have to look where my hand is going to adjust the air conditioning or turn down the volume on the stereo. I know how the brakes will respond and how far I can get on a tank of gas. I know exactly what will fit in the trunk and what won’t.
If you look closely, you can see Hannah in the back seat, sticking her lollipop out the window
My car doesn’t define me. But I still feel rather affectionately towards it. It is the most vanilla of vehicles, my silver Civic. Its insides are covered in kid debris, and it smells sort of like spilled juice. But it has carried me for 10 years on the road of life. And that’s really all that anyone can ask of a car, I think.
Tell me about your first car. What was it? How long did it last? And were you happy to give it up, or sad to see it go? Or, like me, are you still driving it? I’d love to know!