Crazy B*tch (Memoirs of a Lemon Lover in Recovery)
Chapter 42— Sometimes the Light At the End of the Tunnel Is Really a Train…
By our fifth year together, it was starting to look as if the costly repairs were levelling out if not finally receding. I was very encouraged. Perhaps now I could start paying down the sum I borrowed from the line of credit to buy my car. When I first bought the car, I had a very plausible and noble plan to have my car paid off in five years (or less). This plan, like many other good intentions, served to be useful only as a big ol’paving stone on the proverbial path to hell. The costs of maintaining my beautiful black car were proving to be beyond the scope of what I originally envisioned.
My relationship with my car is not unlike a relationship with an individual who is “high maintenance”. She was beautiful, so much so I was mesmerized, and thus blindly devoted to her every little ‘need’. I was beholden to her, so I bought things to make her happy. If she was not running well, or even seemed to be the least little bit ‘off’, I would throw money at my mechanic until she was running smoothly once more. With every little repair, wash, and polish, I convinced myself that this would be the one thing that would make her ‘happy’ and allow all things to run smoothly.
Therefore, when I finally experienced my first “winterize” bill of less than one thousand dollars, I was ecstatically optimistic. My new boyfriend, someone every bit as smitten with my car I was, took me out to celebrate. Unlike the other men I had dated, my boyfriend not only pretended to understand my devotion to my car, he whole-heartedly threw in with me just because he cared enough about me to value the same things I valued. So, we celebrated by going out for a long drive in the country, and a moonlight cruise home with the moon roof wide open. It was such a romantic evening that I even let him drive for part of the way.
Holding hands, and looking deep into one another’s eyes, we spoke of future road trips with this black beauty. We planned to buy posh new accessories like memory foam seat covers, and new car mats. He even wooed me with talk of a special anniversary full detail. It was a special night chalked full of intense and romantic car lovers’ love. As we pulled into the drive way, the first fluffy snowflakes of the season started to fall. We quickly closed the moon roof, and turned on the seat warmers—just like the two crazy kids in love that we were!
One of the reasons I endured so many costly repairs was because of how blissfully stable this car was. Thanks to the stable car, and the fabulous winter tires, I no longer felt any anxiety or apprehension about winter driving. In fact, I increasingly found myself looking forward to the first snow fall. I loved my winter tires, their roar on the highway made me imagine I was flying a Top Gun Fighter Jet. Ne’er was there a lass who laughed more like a mad scientist than I did whilst driving through ice and snow. When I drove in the ice and snow, I can honestly say, no woman loved anyone or anything more.
Unlike many of my cars’ past, starting was also a treat in cold weather. Though I rarely tested this theory, I know for a fact that my beautiful black car would start—first key turn—every time/all the time, regardless of the temperature. She was a powerful hybrid of tank and rocket ship, solid, reliable and fast!
My faith in my car’s ability to start was unshakable, so you could imagine how shaken I was when she failed to start one brisk winter afternoon. I was truly baffled as I was out Christmas shopping, and finishing my last shopping stop of the day when my car failed to turn over regardless of the number of key turns. I was cold, shaking, shaken, and highly emotional, so I did the sensible thing—I called my dad. If anyone could smooth things over between my car and I, it was my dad. He loved us both so much, and he was a good mediator. While I was waiting for my dad, I also called my mechanic. We hadn’t spoken in a few weeks, and I thought if he wasn’t missing me, he’d at least appreciate hearing about what was going on. He was a wealth of information, and often out-classed my dad in the intricate new electronic details of the machinations of my new car. He was the perfect translator, and that was important because the cornerstone of any good relationship is good communication. Thanks to my mediator, and translator, my car and I would, hopefully, reconcile our differences in short order.