Yesterday I bought an SUV.
Other than the exterior color, it’s really amazing. It’s fully loaded and pretty lux. But the truth is that while I am happy about the new car, and new car smell and all of that, I kinda hate my new car.
Or rather, I hate what it represents, which is another piece of pre-Hope identity kicked to the wayside.
In recent months I’ve really embraced motherhood and really tried to meet Hope where she is. We both have benefited from this effort.
But there’s something about this car purchase that sits on me like a giant thud.
Yesterday morning I was the owner (free and clear by the way) of an adorable little red Mini Cooper that I called, the Chili Pepper. “Chili” was my dream car. I’d wanted a Mini for years, but really never thought I’d get one. I’d had a sports car right out of college and then I had a cute sporty wagon. So when I started my doctoral program, I took the plunge and headed to the Mini dealership, where I fell in love with Chili.
I loved that car. Me and Chili had seen a good chunk of the east coast. Like all of my previous cars she was a stick shift. and I loved the handling and the power this little car channeled. She was distinctive with her little personalized plates. People would walk by Chili and smile. People would ride in Chili and marvel at just how awesome she was. When Hope moved here, my ownership of Chili was definitely an indicator of my potential “coolness.” She was different. Did I mention that I loved her?
I owned Chili for 5 years, almost to the day. Her warranties were just about up and repairs and upkeep can be pricey on Minis. She’d just endured a repair that would’ve been about $6K but for the fact that it was covered under the warranty.
Then there was Hope’s instrument; she plays a tenor sax. The dang thing took up the whole boot trunk. If I ever offered another band kid a ride they couldn’t be from the low brass or percussion sections, that’s for sure. And Hope plans to take guitar lessons this year so there’s really a need for more room.
Finally, there’s the trip to Boston and Martha’s Vineyard of 2015. I had to get a roof bag to accommodate all of the luggage. We stayed at the sexy Boston W hotel for a few days, and when we drove up, we looked like the Beverly Hillbillies traveling in a clown car. It worked, but it was clear that it wasn’t optimal and that something was going to have to change. I was simply too cute to look like a traveling vagabond on vacation. The faces of the uber hot valets when they saw up pull up invoked all kinds of shame.
So yesterday, I cleaned Chili out and sold her out for an SUV—a Nissan Rogue. It’s gray, which I hate, but it is what it is since the deal was just something I couldn’t walk away from.
So, what’s the rub?
Losing Chili for a much needed family car is another way my life has changed since becoming a mom. It was the end of another chapter. It was another thing I gave up for the good of my family.
I don’t regret it, but I’m so sad, so so sad. I’m all in my feels.
Cause I’m a wee bit selfish and petty.
I knew trading Chili in would be hard for me, but I teared up as I stood in CarMax, looking at her one last time, reminiscing about our good times and how I was sad to close this chapter on my pre-Hope single, footloose and fancy free life.
Since then, I’ll admit that I’ve had two all out snot-riddled sobbing sessions since coming home with the new car.
Grief is a beeotch and it hits you in the worst ways at the worst times.
I know it’s not about the car; it really is about what the car represents.
Now, instead of this distinctive cute car, I’ve got a great car that is just like everyone else’s great and reasonable car. . Heck I’ve already tried to break into two other cars like it while shopping ,and it’s not been quite 24 hours since I signed the papers.
I always knew where Chili was in a parking lot. <snif>
And did I mention that Hope is unimpressed? The source of disinterest in part stems from the fact that I deviated from my intended purchase plan. In essence, she’s salty because I didn’t buy the car I originally intended to test drive and purchase and plan changes generally don’t make her feel safe. So, there’s all that drama left to unpack too.
The new car is new and different in a cool way, but it’s another change, it’s another accommodation required of this life, that frankly I didn’t give a lot of thought about until about 6 months ago. Another naive parenting pothole for me, I guess.
I will fall in love with the new car. It will get a name and develop a personality, and I will learn to find her in the parking lot. In time the new car will allow me to cart Hope and some friends around, take her to summer band camp and maybe even take her away to college. This will be a great chapter. I know it will.
And in time, I will be able to remember Chili and our time together and not be sad. I’ll remember it for what it is—a chapter in this life—and I will think about when I’ll be able to get another Mini. It will happen, and we’ll all be happy.
Until then, I’m a bit sappy about this required change.