I love you. And not just because I am supposed to love my enemies. You have actually given me and my car a huge compliment. My white Honda Civic is twenty-six years old. That’s like two hundred in car years. Consequently, she hasn’t gotten much attention lately. She has been feeling forgotten and unimportant. I don’t neglect her on purpose. It’s just…well…she’s soooo old. A few months ago an elementary school student yelled at us, “GET A REAL CAR.” She felt very sad that day. Kids can be so cruel. Even on a good day her aches and pains weigh her down. Her muffler rusts out every few years and she overheats when she goes up steep hills. The poor old girl has been hit twice and her body still shows it. If not for my continual affection for her, I’m sure she would’ve given up by now.
My love for her began when I was seventeen. At that time a woman named Peggy got custody of me (long story). Peggy wanted me to learn to drive before I went away to college. She began my lessons in her gray Nissan Sentra, but that car quickly gave up. It was weak. We needed a new car. A strong car. Alas, Peggy was a Wal-Mart greeter and had no money for another vehicle. Lucky for her, some people from our church in Pacific Beach, Washington had saved money for a car and intended it for Peggy. These generous, anonymous people were part of our church family.
When I first heard we were getting a car I begged for it to be a stick-shift. Peggy wanted an automatic. It didn’t matter of course. The decision was out of our hands. Our church family picked out a white manual 1990 Honda Civic. I learned to drive in that adorable little car, and I loved it because it was a stick shift. Peggy referred to it as “a pregnant lawn-mower” but even she had to admit that the car was a huge blessing to us.
A few years later Peggy bought herself a newer car. For a short time, she owned both cars. One weekend when I was home from college she said, “I don’t feel like driving you back to Seattle. Just take the Honda.” So I did, and she’s been mine ever since.
I’ve been driving her for 18 years. That’s half my life! She’s been a faithful companion through traffic, snow, sleet, extreme heat, and obscene amounts of rain. She has slaughtered swarms of bugs, killed a bird or two, and endured the taunts of judgmental idiots who simply can’t fathom how special she is. I also love her because she was a gift from people that I adore in a hometown that I miss. Her missing radio and rust never bother me because every time I look at her I am reminded of my family. I happily tolerate her lack of air conditioning and temperamental clutch because she holds a special place in my heart.
So you might be wondering why I am thanking you, whoever you are, for taking her away. Frankly, I needed a way to let her go. Since she has no air conditioning, I’ve been miserable driving her this summer. I’ve had to spray water on myself while I drove her so I wouldn’t get heat stroke. Even with the spray bottle I think I was getting mild heat exhaustion every time I drove her. Now you have taken her and set me free. I feel physically better, and emotionally ready to let go. I don’t think I could have done that without your heartless thievery.
You should know that I reported her stolen before I realized what a favor you had done for me. Sorry about that. I’ve moved on. If I get her back I will give her away as a gift. If you keep her, consider her a gift. If she leaves you stranded on the side of the road, half way up a steep hill, in hundred degree weather, consider that her gift to you.
P.S. Since writing the above a new development occurred. The same day my Honda was stolen some friends loaned us a Mazda (which they affectionately named Maizy). Maizy has a working air conditioner. Two days later I got my Honda back at 1 in the morning, but it was too late. I had already fallen in love with the air-conditioned Maizy. I felt bad at first, but my shifting loyalty is totally justified. I mean seriously, no air conditioning? She simply isn’t the car I fell in love with all those years ago. Anyhoo, these generous friends of ours let us keep their Mazda, for which we are very thankful. My Honda went to Wheels for Wishes a few days later. If you have a vehicle you’d like to part with, I highly recommend this organization. Unless of course, you have a Batmobile. If that’s the case, please email me right away and my husband will get in touch with you shortly.