Monday, August 1, 2011
Does your car have a name? If not, do you at least think your car has a personality? Do you talk to it?
I ask these questions because I sold my car this week…my silver Saturn that I bought new way back in 1999. It had 180,000 miles on it - 180,000 miles that the Saturn and I shared together, It and me.
So doesn’t it make a little sense that I felt guilty – and sad – when I let it go? I felt sad as I drove to the dealer to pick up my new car. Then while sitting in the dealership filling out paperwork, the Saturn sat outside warily as I tried to avoid its gaze. What was going to happen to it? Would its new owners take care of it and appreciate it as I had?
So maybe it was just a bit of PMS - typical emotional female stuff - but doesn’t it make sense that I felt sad? Twelve years ago when I bought it I was practically a different person. I grew with that car. It drove me, safely, across mountains and deserts, grappled with intense heat and snowy roads, endured my tears and laughter, through a major portion of my life. It was a good car, even if I never did name it.
Even today I still feel a little sad for that car, sold because it was too old, given away because it had too many miles, wasn’t as reliable. But I’m not crazy. Ever since cars were invented people have named them, personified them. My Mom always patted our dashboard and told our car it was a good car. Treat it right and it’ll take care of you. Movies and films have featured talking cars – cars with personalities like Herbie, KITT, and the General Lee. Why do we think of our cars as human?
Somewhere out there is my silver 2000 Saturn SL2. If you see it, would you give it a pat on the hood and say “Hi” for me?