With another Solara.
My trusty old black Solara has over 250,000 miles on it. It was the first car I bought by myself, without a man telling me what to buy. It’s seen me through 12 years of road trips, moves, and challenges. It’s protected me from bad weather, transported me to new worlds, guided me through broken hearts and disappointments and joys and adventures. I’ve replaced a couple of minor parts, a few tires, windshield wipers and batteries. But it always took care of me as I wandered. So it was really hard to admit that it’s not going to last forever, and that I should replace it before it fails me at the most inopportune time.
I tried to do it last summer, and came this close – but it didn’t happen. A year later, a few thousand miles more, and as much as I wanted to play ostrich, bury my head in the sand, and pretend it could last me another 250,000 miles, I couldn’t. There are too many little things that could amount to one very big thing. And the money I’d spend on repairs equaled a few months’ of car payments. It was time to think with my head instead of my heart.
I hate thinking with my head instead of my heart.
Anyway, I tried to change brands, since Toyota doesn’t make sports cars any longer, and I’m not a four-door sedan kind of girl. Drove Hondas, Scions (yes, they’re Toyotas, but at the lower end of the food chain), Mazdas, Nissans. Did countless hours of research, picked my friends’ brains, did more research. And then found another Solara. With the right number of miles, in the right price range, with all the features I wanted. I test-drove it, signed the papers, took it home.
So it’s done.
Right now, it feels like a rental car. I miss my trusty old black Solara. This one is white, pristine, barely broken in. With a compass and Bluetooth and heated seats. I know it was the right decision. I know I’ll come to love it, and can trust it on long trips. But there’s a piece of me that says you could have fixed the other one. It could have lasted you another 100,000 miles. Traitor.
(Sometimes thinking with your heart is kinda painful.)
Anyway, it’s done. I need to move on. Phil is going to buy the black one, so a stranger won’t be driving it. And he says I can drive it whenever I want to.
Now I just need to learn what all the buttons do on the new one. Get used to not shifting gears (I’ve driven a stick my entire life). And stop scanning the parking lot for a little black car when I come out of the grocery store.
Thank you for taking such good care of me, little car. I will miss you. Please tell my new car how to do the same.
(No, this isn’t a picture of mine. But it looks just like it.)