Thursday, November 13, 2014

The End of an Era

File this post under sentimental rambling...

Way back in the olden days when I was 17, my parents very generously bought me a car.  At the time, I don't think any of us would have expected me to drive it until I was 30, but these things happen.  I loved my car like only a teenager can - it was my freedom to go where I wanted when I wanted (you know, with my parent's permission).  Previously, I had to get permission and ask to borrow one of their cars, so this was a major improvement.
Summer of 2002 - the earliest Civic picture I could find
This car was by my side (or rather, surrounding me) as I finished high school, started a new adventure at a college where I didn't know anyone, moved to Indiana where I didn't know anyone, and drove back and forth across the Midwest more times than I can count.  If I'm being honest, I didn't trust other teenage drivers very much, so I always volunteered to drive everywhere, and I would never EVER let anyone else drive my car.  This means I drove my friends all over the place, too.
2006 - John took this picture about an hour before he asked me to be his girlfriend
When John and I became friends, he didn't have a car at school, so I drove us all over Lincoln to the various churches we visited, midnight IHOP runs, and many concerts within a 3 hour drive.  When we finally got our act together and started dating, he became the first friend I had ever let drive my car.  I remember some of my friends being like "Whoa, this is serious!" and yeah, it was.
2006- I took this picture of John on the way to New Mexico when we were dating
Shortly after the previous picture, John hit a tumbleweed, which became lodged in the front of my car! 
We drove to New Mexico for fall break that year, and I met his grandparents.  We drove to Indiana for Thanksgiving where he had the marriage talk with my dad.

Once I graduated and got a real job (way back in 2006), I figured I would get a new grown-up car soon.  But then I just didn't.  In 2010, John and I decided that we needed at least one nice dependable car for ourselves to drive on our many road trips.  He tried to be a gentleman and let me have the new car, but I wasn't ready to trade in the Civic, so John got the nice car, but he insisted that I drive it whenever the roads might be icy.

I always figured a day would come when I was forced to give up my beloved car.  Either I'd get into an accident where insurance would declare the car totaled, or the engine would just break beyond repair.  But it never happened.  So I just kept driving it.  Last summer, we decided it was finally time to trade-in, so we started looking at options and then a year later, still hadn't taken the plunge.  I was dragging my feet because I didn't want to let my Civic go.  This summer, we said we HAVE to get me a new car before winter, so we started seriously looking into it and I started trying to emotionally prepare.

Farewell, old friend!  
We finally did it this weekend.  And I knew I would be emotionally distraught, but it was so tough!  When the guy came back with the trade-in value I felt so defensive of my little car.  She's a great car!  She's worth way more than that!  You don't even know her!!!  (calm down, Andi - stop being crazy!).  Don't worry - I didn't actually say any of those things.  I just tried not to cry in front of the car salesmen (somewhat unsuccessfully).

The worst part (well, other than the bargaining part - why can't cars just cost what they cost?  like sweaters!) was that the new car wasn't ready, so I was all prepared to say goodbye to the Civic, and then we had to wait another day.  So I got to cry again when we signed the title over on Monday, and then I lost it again when we had to drive away and leave my trusty little red car behind in the car dealership's parking lot (she looked so lonely!).  I'm sure the car guys were rolling their eyes at me, but they don't know about all my feelings!!

One thing that made me laugh was cleaning everything out of the Civic.  I found the following items in the glove box, which I rarely opened:
  • 2 garage door openers of unknown origin (maybe to my parent's house, or their previous house, or the one before that?)  
  • Frequent buyer punch card from the Sno Cone stand in Wichita
  • One of those free mix CDs that recording studios would hand out after concerts.  
  • Phone charger of unknown origin.  It didn't look familiar.  So if you lost your phone charger in the last 10 years, I may have it.
  • Ping pong ball - we used to play at the rec center on campus, but their ping pong balls were always dented or smashed or missing, so we got our own to bring each time.  I kept it on the shelf in my dorm room, and apparently it has been living in my car ever since graduation.  
  • So many pens.  Where did they come from??
Anyway (longest post ever), while I'm very sad to say goodbye to my beloved old Civic, it was time.  And I'm very excited about my fancy new car (with things like a giant sunroof that actually opens and a CD player that might work all the time!).  Plus it will be way safer in the snow, which arrived approximately 8 hours after I took possession of my new vehicle.  And in 20 years when I have to trade this one in, I'll probably cry.

**Disclaimer: yes, I know being sad about a car is not a real problem.    



  1. It can be hard to let things go sometimes! i was definitely sad when we sold my trusty little car this past summer. It takes a while before your new car feels like 'you'. I am sure you will be safer this winter though!

  2. I hope your new car lasts you 20 years. All I was thinking in this post is "they don't make them like they used to". When I was dating a guy in undergrad, he let me drive his car once (but I think it was because he had been drinking and I was his DD) and he made such a big deal about that he never lets anyone drive his car. I didn't really think it was a big deal. But now I get it. I hope you enjoy your new car and are not too overwhelmed with grief over your old one.

    In other news, did I know you lived in Indiana? What part? I

  3. OK I was with you all the way on this one. A year and half ago I had to trade in the car that my parents bought the year before I started driving, the one I learned to drive in, the one I split my time with between the Jeep (because there were four drivers and three cars there for a little while), and the one my parents gave me when Corey and I got married. Bessie was with us for 13 years and 230,000 miles. That car was awesome. I miss her dearly. Though I love my new car, Bessie was great. I got super nostalgic when we went to trade her in. And to tell you the truth, I walked out of the dealership and drove off when they brought me the trade in value. I told Corey and the salesman that my car was worth far more than that to me. It took Corey another week to get me back to the dealership. I'm telling you all of this because I know you get me. And I don't want you to think you're the only one. :) I'm excited for your new car though! Yay for tiny SUV drivers! (That's you and me of, course.)

  4. ANDI. I literally teared up reading this post - I loved reading your tribute to your beloved car! And I also completely understand that feeling! My first car was a 1993 Ford Escort station wagon, and it was my BABY. My parents bought it as our family car when I was in kindergarten, so I literally grew up in the car. It ran like a champ until it finally/tragically died in 2009. I cried when I had to get rid of it, and for months (no, years) afterwards. I still miss that car SO MUCH. I keep telling Kevin that I want to get a station wagon next time I need a new car, because I loved that car so much (plus, so practical, haha!). And Kevin currently drives a 1999 Civic, which is a tank! It has over 200,000 miles and it still runs like a champ! We're hoping it lasts for a lonnnng time :)

  5. This is such a fun idea for a post! I got my (first) car about a year and a half ago, considering I am still paying it off to my parents, I hope I can drive it foreverrrrrr and have as many stories/memories as you. But hey, sweet new ride! I bet that feels pretty fancy!

    ♥ perfectly Priya