I’ve always had names for my cars.
My first one was Sally. Don’t ask me why. I just started calling it Sally and that was that. I think I gave it a female name because it became like a girlfriend to me – the place where I could sing along to the radio without embarrassment and vent about whatever was bothering me and curse out other drivers who cut me off on the road.
Next came Helga (the car was German). I had her for 13 years, so she and I became really tight. I sobbed like a baby when I finally traded her in for…Greta (another German car). Greta and I stayed together for six or seven years and I loved her spirit; she also had great curb appeal. But eventually I decided it was time to move on and I traded her in for…Steffi (yup, another German model). Steffi has been my rock, my buddy, my BFF. I tell her everything and she never judges. I can’t even imagine saying goodbye to her.
Sadly, I am saying goodbye to Hans, Michael’s car. We got Hans (yes, he’s German too) 10 years ago and he has nearly 150,000 miles on him. His air conditioning no longer works. He pollutes the air with smoke when he’s idling. He needs new brake pads. And his electronic dashboard no longer tells you anything, not even the correct time. He would cost a fortune to fix, and at his age it doesn’t make sense. And since he’s too old to trade, he’s getting donated.
We went on the web site “Cars 4 Causes” and called their 800 number and sealed Hans’ fate. Tomorrow a tow truck is coming and taking him away. He’s being sold as is and the proceeds will go to Hospice of Santa Barbara. I feel good about giving to a non-profit organization I believe in, but I know I’ll cry when we empty Hans of the garage door opener, the piles of hats and sweaters and jackets that have been in the back seat for months, the crumbled shopping lists, the cooler, the jumper cables and whatever else we unearth. It’ll be sad when the truck carts Hans away. Michael will look at me like I’m crazy as I wipe away the tears, but getting attached to cars is just who I am.
Maybe I should stop naming them?