I think I may be headed into a mid-life crisis. I seem to be drooling over any car that doesn’t scream “Mommy Mobile!”
I didn’t realize I was in this tragic time period until I got into a fender bender and my rocking Honda Odyssey mini-van was in the shop for over a week. I skeptically went into the rental car agency knowing that somehow I would end up in a Ford Focus or Taurus to drive as my van underwent surgery. The guy looked at me, smiled, and handed me keys. I followed him outside and he said, “Ya know, I was going to put you in this new Buick. But then I saw you and thought that you don’t look like the Buick type. So, here ya go.”
I stepped beside him next to the gold Chevy Malibu and was ready to say something sarcastic (but true) to the guy like, “Thanks. My mom drives one of these.” When he said, “Hey, it is over here.”
I turned and there was this sweet black car. I thought, “Hot diggigity, it’s a Lexus. I am gonna rock out to school in this!” I asked the dude what kind of car it was and he said a Mazda 6. Hmm. It was promising.
Jumping in and finding a good spot for my purse (you know it has to be close enough to get into, but it can’t really ride on my lap because that is just odd), I put the key into the ignition. It purred. Mmmm. It is promising indeed.
I turned out of the parking lot and felt five years younger. I shot down the Boulevard (it is really called that) and felt another five years younger. By the time I pulled into my driveway, I was 21 again and ready to scrap my van forever, grab a wine cooler and embrace the life of a non-mommy mobile.
I couldn’t stop thinking about this car. It handled like a dream, it was fun to drive and it got great gas mileage. I started telling everyone about my “borrowed” car. I told my husband that I had to keep it. I stomped my foot for emphasis. After a few of these discussions, he actually noticed my ongoing ramblings about the car and began to talk to me about maybe trading the van in soon and getting something else. Once that door was opened, I was on it like fleas on a dog. Every moment we were hanging out, I would suggest different non-mommy type wheels. He kept steering back to an SUV or a smaller SUV. He wasn’t getting it. I loved this sweet car. It even had a perfect place for my purse. Sigh.
Today I had to give it back. It was gut-wrenching. I took my oldest, String Bean, with me. With his DS in hand, he was eerily quiet the entire drive there. I put on somber music – The Cure – and drove slowly. I gently rubbed the steering wheel, sweetly accelerated when the light turned green and completely drove straight past the rental place. I managed a slick u-turn in a non u-turn area, but it didn’t matter (and, damn, that car can turn on a dime!) I was the King of the World and had only a mere three minutes left. Soon, I would go back to the mommy car with ground french fries in the door jams. Soon I would be driving a small barge through town. Soon I would be using my key fob alarm to find my van out of the million silver mini-vans at the mall. *sniff sniff.
Luckily, the rental car guy was really busy and he gave me the option (hooray) of driving the rental over to the body shop. I grabbed String Bean and we jumped back into the ride and took our time making our way there. As we waited inside, I looked out the small window at the sweet car sitting right smack next to the van. It was almost like a movie trailer. Narrator with amazing low voice, “She struggles with her identity. Not that she wants to lose her precious life she has now, but she somehow wants to combine it with the one of yesteryear. Tune in for the finale entitled – The Car That Got Away, and the sequel, Don’t Cry, It’s Only a Petrified French Fry.”
Yeah. It’s like that sometimes. The mom thing is cool and all, but there are days when maybe it would be nice to have a sweet, sporty car and feel 21 again – even just for a little while. 🙂