So I told you all yesterday that I was off to read some of my favorite bloggers to see if I could find some inspiration and Boy Howdy...did I ever. Today during my lunch hour I visited Sextant over at Navigating the Finite. Sextant is an avid reader, a Jack of all Trades and a Master of Most and I always learn something when I visit his blog.
He writes some pretty interesting book reviews and the other day he reviewed a book entitled Engines of Change, A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars by Paul Ingrassia. He gave the book 5 stars out of 5 stars so it's probably a pretty good book. I asked him in the comment section if he could tell me what car had been his favorite car and which had changed his life the most. His response about his 1970 Duster and his Plymouth Voyager Mini Van and his question asking me the same prompted me to leave an entire blog post in his comment section which I just copied and am pasting and editing here for your reading pleasure and enjoyment...lol. Well at least I hope you enjoy it and that it prompts you to consider what car was your favorite and which one changed your life.
Here's what I wrote to him:
Of course, being the true Southern lady born in Arizona of Hispanic heritage that I am...I knew that if I brought up the subject of a man's favorite topic...cars, that I would get a great response back! And I did, it was very interesting reading about your fav car and the one that changed your life the most. I even had to google quite a few things to understand what you were talking about. Like Ziebarting and Blizzack tires. I always learn something reading your blog!
Ok, my favorite car was my big old Red Ford Explorer. My ex-husband and I bought that SUV right before we split up forever. We made a deal between ourselves that in lieu of child support he would continue making the payment on that car.
A few months later I met a nice man, that was a love interest for a few months and later turned into a dear friend. The ex-husband must have been spying on me and saw this new man driving the car he was paying for! The outrage! It was one thing for this new man to be sleeping with his wife (which he wasn't) but it was an unforgivable insult for this new man to be driving a car he was paying for. So he stopped paying! Without telling me! A few months down the road the repossessor came to take it away!
Fortunately I had worked for American National Bank in the repossession department and this repossessor and I were friends and he was very nice about the whole thing and even told me how I could get it back. After living without my car for a weekend I showed up first thing Monday and refinanced the car in my name and paid for the car my own damn self!
But that is not the reason that the car was my favorite car. The reason it became my favorite car was because of the fun I started having once I left my ex-husband behind. I remember trips to Arizona with my kids to show them the land of my birth and to introduce them to their family. I remember trips to the beach and to skate parks and band trips. I remember going out with girlfriends for happy hour and having one of them throw up out the passenger window after drinking a tad too much and how her vomit stained the paint and forever that memory sat right there on that door. That dear friend was with me when I traded it in and she fondly stroked the streaked paint while she and I both cried saying goodbye to Old Red! I still miss her, the car I mean because the dear friend is still my friend...on facebook :)
The car that changed my life is the sweet little White Saturn that I am driving now. Why you ask? Why is that the one that changed my life the most? The Saturn is the first car I ever bought on my own. And when I say my own I don't just mean the only car that my dad didn't buy for me or co-sign a loan for me or my husband co-purchase with me (only to flake out in the end).
No...when I say that is the first car I ever bought on my own I mean that I took my lil ol self on a Saturday to the car dealerships in Bakersfield and wheeled and dealed on my own only to be turned down by Ford, Toyota and Honda for my debt to income ratio. I was a single mother, times were tough, did Ford, Toyota or Honda care? Nope!
So I was driving myself home in my Ford Explorer that was on it's last legs due to transmission problems when I drove by General Motors and saw a Saturn Ion with Suicide Doors and I was intrigued. So I dried my tears and I stopped and I test drove and I was approved by GMAC to purchase the Saturn interest free!!!
As I drove away in my brand new Saturn I was filled with pride in myself that I DID THIS! I bought a car without the help of a man. I can do this! I can make a life for me and my kids. I can buy a house on my own and not wait there in the tower combing my beautiful brown locks waiting for my Prince in Shining Armor to come save me. Nope...I was my own Princess in Shining Armor and I've been saving myself ever since! Many mornings as I leave for work I turn and look at my house, my couch, my kitchen table, my curtains, my KINGDOM and I say to myself, I DID THIS...ME, MYSELF AND I. My Saturn taught me "Si se puede!"
How about you? What was your favorite car? Did you have a car that changed your life? Funny how we have such a connection to a car. I've cried many a time I've seen someone drive away in a car that I used to own.