Karin and I were driving to the grocery store this afternoon and the topic of cars came up. See, our “new” Sunfire just turned the ripe old age of 7000 — kilometers that is — and we’ve gradually stopped using the word “new” to refer to her.
Oh, she’s hardly an old beast yet. Definitely not. But in car-years she’s reached the toddler stage. She’s lived through a multi-province adventure, braved a trip to the mechanic for a checkup, and a matter of fact, it’s almost time for her second oil change. My, how time does fly!
But she’s hardly a “real” car, yet.
I don’t exactly remember how the topic emerged. I was commenting on the odometer, muttering probably, and asked Karin if she missed the TourKar, her old
green teal beast who died atop the Coquihalla last August in the prime of her life.
“A little,” she might have said, “but I’m used to this one now.”
And then we started talking about personalities: how cars — vehicles in general — have personalities.
Not at first, of course. When you drive them off the lot they’re hollow machines. And then you drive them around the city, the province, country, world — and they aquire a whole lot of miles. But somewhere in the middle of all that they sometimes earn a personality.
Not every car has a personality. Karin’s TourKar did. I mean, if I drove that Sunfire off a cliff tomorrow I would regret the financial loss, but probably wouldn’t feel much emotionally — at least not connected to the loss of the car. Considering how stupid it would be to drive a car off a cliff, you’d think I must feel something emotional, but — well, I digress.
We started reminiscing about cars we’ve known — their personalities. Like my family’s old Aerostar. It had just begun to earn it’s personality shortly before it died. I was used to that van — heck, I learned to drive in that thing — but I don’t really miss it. It was old, and cranky, and we never really got along to start with.
The little red truck on the other hand, is heaped in personality. (I know dad is contemplating selling the thing and the old bugger just sits there in the little private driveway dad’s built for him on the front lawn.) That truck is almost a member of the family, and he’s been through a whole lot of crazy things that most of us don’t even remember. In car-years, he’s something like ninety-six, and spends a lot of time sitting there drooling oil, moping, and complaining about the cold. In terms of a vehicle that has earned his personality, I don’t think I could ask for a better example.
Karin had a few examples of family vehicles she’s known too, but I don’t really feel qualified to comment on those right now.
And then there is our new car. So young. So naive. You should have seen her reaction when we came back from the holidays and found her sitting in the snow: poor little Sunfire. She’d never seen snow before and pouted a little bit when I revved up the engine for the first time in ten days.
True, there are glimmers of a personality there. But she’s a long way to go. Right now, the little blue beast is still just a car — a dumb, stupid, money guzzling car.