Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Car Talk

I like to think I'm about as far from a material girl as you can get (no way I'm about to be mistaken for Madonna, big M or small), so I certainly don't believe that a car says all that much about a person. But today, I took a look at mine, and thought in a flash that it could symbolize me in several pretty scary ways.

So, I decided this will be my first intentional meme. (A newbie, I found out I started one before by accident.)

How does your car represent your life?

I drive an old, tired, dirty, no-frills Saturn. It has power nothing. (How many bloggers crank down their window the old fashioned way?! I scraped together my pennies to buy it, my first car, 12 years ago, back when $250 a month scared me, but I scrupulously paid my loan off nearly a year early.) I remember the new car smell lasting longer than I expected, but car care took a back seat, no pun intended, once kids came along. Snacks, Disney audio cassettes, tissues, and emergency diaper supplies litter my front seat. Goldfish and raisins litter my back seats. I angled my rearview mirror for a slight view of the road, and a good hard look at the wrestling mats I call car seats. I am almost never alone in my car, and while I drive, I multitask. I spend most of the time in my car fulfilling requests and demands - for food, for toys, for stories, for intervention, for mediation. Like my life, my car gets too loud for my liking, and the crying jags inside take a toll on the shock absorbers. My car needs some TLC. It's always low on fuel, makes a few weird noises, and sometimes smells kind of off. Crayon scrawls decorate one door's interior, giving it a wounded look. I wish I could afford to trade in my car for something more fuel efficient, but also something roomier, more comfortable, more convenient. I have given up on style. Sometimes I am embarrassed by my car, but not in a status conscious way. My car might be kind of gross, but it's mine and I feel like I should be the only one talking smack about it.
Clearly, I'm not just talking about my Saturn, here, people.

Your turn.


Anonymous said...

Our car is my husband's domain (we only need one car, since he takes the train to work...) and it's like this: no one is allowed to eat or drink inside the car and if there is a speck of dust on the paint, it is to be cleaned off immediately.

His greatest sadness in life is that his wife and son spend more time in his precious automobile than he does.


redheadmomma said...

I drive a Honda minivan. It's not too new, not too old. It's eternally cluttered with everything you can imagine. Every so often, I get a bee in my bonnet & clean the whole thing out, with car wash, and I'm so proud of how great it looks, but within seemingly minutes, it goes right back to where it was. (Sounds like me with a great many things)

It's really comfortable to drive, and I can drive a REALLY. LONG. TIME in that car - which is good, because I've logged countless miles taking Noah to all his therapies. It has a lot of dings in it. It's a beautiful dark shade of blue.

Maya hated driving for the first five months of her life, and her crying used to upset me so much that I'd hang my head OUTSIDE the car in the wind just to get *away* from the screaming. (Thankfully, that phase passed.) We expanded our family in that car, and we've taken lots of trips in it. It's been reliable except when I got a flat, when a rat got into the engine and chewed the wires, and when I invariably leave a light on.
I have screamed in frustration in that car; I have wept more times than I could count in that car; I have thanked my car for being reliable and for leather, because the seats would be growing science experiments if it didn't. It has a strong engine, but I don't get the oil changed enough. And I have an "autism awareness" magnet on the back. When I see other cars with the same magnet, I smile sadly and say, "hey, sister."