This was like trading my Barbie car for GI Joe's jeep and twice while taking goodbye pix I had to stop to announce "Ok, I might start crying now." This would be normal. I cried in Target's maternity clothing section once because everything in there looked like it was designed for someone who moisturizes and has hosted a Thanksgiving dinner. Crying over my old car would be nothing.
I didn't cry though. Stifled it both times. I was happy to stop visualizing stuffing a car seat into the back of the Civic and balancing it on top of a Martin Amis book I've yet to read and a cashed can of Sugar Free Rock Star. The Honda Civic, at least the coup, is compact. An infant-length arm, extended from the back seat, would still be close enough to me in the front seat to stick its tiny wet finger in my ear. It's a car for someone who never knows when she might have to jam.
A couple of times on Friday I thought of the day I bought it and the way my mom said she knew it was The One from the look on my face when I returned from my test spin. That was New Year's Eve, 2003 and I was beaming. It was my first non-hand-me-down car, my first major purchase, and it was a red hot little number. In the past two years its redness had begun to embarrass me. It seemed the exact shade of my arrested development.
"I've had that car for my entire adulthood," I told Chuck, who saw no reason to get sentimental.
"You got it when you were 27," he said.
"Oh. Yeah," I said. Still, it felt true that I'd been so young before that. I barely remembered the Antifreeze Guzzler With A Bitchin' Heater that preceded it.
This car feels good, safe, wrapped around our bodies. It can handle snow, which was on my must-have list, it has easy access to its backseat. It has a room to haul tons of stuff to Goodwill. It looks a bit like the Ford Taurus station wagon I drove in high school; It looks a bit like a space ship. We took it up the shore on Friday and circled the city with a poorly plotted list of errands today. I'm digging it.