You may have thought you learned everything about me last week when I answered about a hundred questions. Here’s something else though:
I’m kind of obsessed with cars.
A good friend of mine joked last night that I change cars like some people change clothes and I can’t argue with that. In the last 15 years that I have been driving, I have owned 8 cars. I guess my car hoarding problem is on par with my shoe hoarding problem.
“What? Only 15 years?” you might be asking yourself. “I thought Salt was way older than that.”
Well…I am. Also as a teenager, I was lazy and/or completely terrified of taking my driving test and as a result I did not get a license until I was 20 years old. Just imagine how desperate my friends and family were for me to stop asking them for rides everywhere. Desperation in 1998 apparently cost $500 because that’s how much my father gave me to buy myself a car. I’m sure the price would be much higher today, what with inflation and everything.
I know I’ve addressed this somewhere on my blog before, but I name all my cars. Is that weird? What is probably weirder is that I gender-assign them as well. Sorry not sorry.
Anyway, Clyde was a 1987 Ford Tempo. He was a giant piece of crap that might as well have had a big neon sign on top begging people to hit me. I got rear ended by a Suburban within the first two weeks of driving him and went on to get into several other accidents, none of which were my fault. But he was my first car and I loved him. Clyde’s best features were his completely useless luggage rack on the trunk and the fact that I put on so many bumper stickers that in the end I’m pretty sure that’s what was holding him together. Somehow I ended up driving Clyde for 2 years until one day he just stopped working…while I was making a left in front of oncoming traffic. Luckily this would be the one time that no one ran into me.
After Clyde there was Sake.
Sake was a 1991 Honda Accord with really bad sun damage. I bought Sake myself and I LOVED him.
Actually this car was pretty cool. Sake’s best features were POWER WINDOWS AND A CD PLAYER. And one blown speaker, but whatever. I swore up and down that I would drive that car until it fell apart underneath me. That didn’t happen because someone made the huge mistake of showing me a picture of the new Mini Cooper that would be released soon in the US. Then a dealership opened up a half mile from my house. I was done for.
This is Dee:
Dee was one of the first Mini Coopers sold in the state of Maryland and the reason why I fell completely in love with quirky, small cars. Because she was part of the initial batch of Coopers she did have some issues, but I still loved her. I actually started up a car club in my area and would organize drives and get-togethers for fellow Mini owners. I started dating a guy in California that I met because he also drove a Mini. He convinced me that I needed to buy the supercharged version. So in 2005, I traded Dee in for Boo:
And if you were wondering where Boo got his name:
Boo was wicked fast. I traveled across the country, all over the great state of California for the next 3 years, then shipped him back east on a truck when I moved home. To date, I owned Boo longer than any of my other cars: 5 years. That’s when everything started to break and my warranty had run out so I knew it was time to move on.
At this point I wasn’t a fan of the redesigned Minis so I didn’t want to get another one, but I wanted to stay in something very small. Maxine was the obvious choice.
MAXINE SMART. GET IT!? God I’m so clever.
The Smart car was totally cute and totally impractical, especially for a woman considering having a child at some point in the near future. I was sure our days together would be numbered, but it was fun while it lasted. Do you know how many people can fit in a Smart car? I do.
The answer is 8 as long as you don’t plan on driving anywhere.
One of the more interesting adventures I had with Maxine was driving her to Ocean City for a weekend festival and the last night there, a bunch of what I assume were drunk college students on senior week literally PICKED HER UP AND MOVED HER. I got a ticket because they put her down in an illegal way and I had to call the cops and fill out a police report. Totally obnoxious, but makes for a great story now. I didn’t have to pay the ticket either.
So then I got pregnant with Betty and the search was on for something with 4 doors that could fit an infant seat. Whereas I felt like most of the new moms I knew were lusting after minivans, I wanted the smallest car that I could safely get away with. The compromise was Bruce Wayne:
My Mazda 2. Bruce was a good car, but lacked pizazz. I wasn’t supposed to care about stuff like this anymore though because I was about to become a mom. I drove Bruce for less than a year and then moved on to Blanche, who I’ve mentioned before on my blog:
Blanche is a Mazda 3. Safe. Practical. The mommiest mom car I would ever drive. She’s also the biggest car I’ve ever owned and it was a scary adjustment learning how to parallel park her, but we worked it out in the end. Blanche gets us from point A to point B and those were the only points I need, right? How many times did I need to tell myself before I finally believed it?
Ugh. I missed my small cars so much.
My husband – who just so happens to sell cars, which is the most enably profession ever for someone like me – knew that I was jaded and the other day when someone showed up at his dealership with a new trade in, he told me all about it. I drove by on my way to pick up Betty from school and saw the car outside. It was love at first sight.
The dealership generously loaned me the car (total perk of being a salesman’s wife) last weekend so I could test it out, see if I was comfortable in it, and test Betty’s seat in the back to see if it would even fit. The minute I was behind the wheel, I knew she was mine.
Meet Fifi LaRouge.
I am by far the best car namer EVER and I didn’t realize how monochromatic all my past cars have been until I wrote this post. She’s so RED!!
Betty loves her too. When we walked outside she exclaimed “I ride in Mommy’s new car!” and the fact that Fifi is the same color as her beloved Elmo is a huge selling point. She sits up higher than she does in Blanche and has a much easier time seeing out the window, hence I get commentary on every dog, truck, person running, or playground we pass on her way to school.
She’s already something of a car enthusiast herself anyway.
We still have Blanche, but my husband drives her now and I will occasionally if we have to go on a long trip. We traded in our other car (a black Mazda 3 with no name) for the Fiat.
I can’t wait for my lunch break so I can go for a drive.
What was the first car you ever owned? What was your FAVORITE car you’ve owned? Do you name your cars weird things like I do?
Happy New Car Tuesday, everyone!