Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines...

What is it about that first day of Spring that makes me want to go topless around the neighborhood? Oh no, not that top, the top of my car people!!! There is something energizing about driving with the Spring wind in my hair and some long-awaited warmth on my face! I can drive for hours just looking at all the trees, bushes and flowers busting out from a long winter’s hibernation! I’ve been doing this for years.

However, my all-time favorite Springtime drives were with my sweet friend, Happy! She was my girl. We would go on long drives together through windy country roads and over bridges taking pictures along the way. Sometimes we blasted the music and other times we just drove in silence because we were “those” kind of friends. I could talk for hours and she would just listen. We were so happy together that people would stop and stare as we drove by. Many adults waved but most kids would punch each other. Why? Happy was my car, my punch buggy, my Volkswagen convertible Beetle and yes… my friend. I even purchased a personalized license plate for us, which only deepened our bond. The weeks leading up to Happy’s lease ending day were horrible. I could not discuss it or even eat for that matter. When I brought her into the dealership that dreaded day I wore my big black sunglasses to hide my swollen and bloodshot eyeballs, but those sunglasses did nothing to silence my hysterical crying. It was so bad that the guys at the dealership asked if they could call a family member for me.  

 The picture says it all, right?

The picture says it all, right?

Some of you may say I got too attached to my car but I saw her as part of our family. Ever since my first car, some 30+ years ago I have experienced some level of automobile attachment. I recall crying when our navy blue Pinto was towed away because apparently a few of her brothers and sisters exploded when they were hit from behind. I felt similarly sad when we had to say goodbye to both of our Jeeps. Not only did they bring our children home from the hospital but helped raise them too. The Jeeps loaded themselves up with all our belongings and moved us to numerous new homes. They helped teach our children how to drive. Our Jeep survived the commute in Miami traffic for four very long and hot years! Every Fall our menagerie of cars entertained many of our friends and family at tailgates. Our automobile team brought our family Christmas trees home for over 20 years. So many of our memories include these family cars, hence the bond and the separation anxiety.

 Allison, Happy and Cornell bringing home the Christmas Tree!

Allison, Happy and Cornell bringing home the Christmas Tree!

My car has also always been a personal getaway of sorts. I just can’t believe that I am the only one who leaves a situation strong only to get into my car and break down crying.

Who doesn’t remember that feeling when you first got your license and you would offer to do any and all errands just to feel that rush of independence? I still recall that pit in my stomach when I first drove off to college alone. Or that time my sister and I jumped into my car to visit a dear friend in need! Feels just like yesterday when Happy safely took me to and from the hospital to visit my husband every single day for weeks! Oh and who can forget those summer trips to the beach!

So-if we are being honest here-if you don’t treat your car like one of the family then maybe it is something you should actually start thinking about. Start out slow...go for a spin on a beautiful day!  Get your car a mani/pedi aka wash and wax!  But beware, saying goodbye is going to hurt!

Moral: There is no shame in caring and appreciating the important things in our lives, including our car!

your car lovin’ friend,

A little thing I wish for: My car and I often allow others to merge into our lane of traffic. We don’t do this for the thank you, but when someone merges without even the slightest gesture of thanks we are stunned. That is why I secretly wish I had a car mounted washable paint gun so I would write across the back of their car, “Your mother would be so disappointed in your lack of roadside manners!” 

Does your automobile have a name?