Mark Twain

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Stupid, Silly, Sad Sentimentality

My time with Maxine is growing shorter.

My 2003 Maxima, Maxine, has been with me since late 2002. I have been her driver all that time, and we have had some wonderful experiences together. I know it is silly, stupid and sad to apply sentimentality to an intimate object. But I seem to do it with cars.

She is an old girl now, her paint job is marked with dings and scratches, her headlights look yellowish rather than clear (do cars get cataracts?), and her interior speaks volumes of the multiple trips where she carried my most precious cargo ... my grand-dogs.

But she still can move like a youngster when I need her to.

My favorite memory with Maxine occurred early on in our relationship. On the way home from work one evening traffic was horrendous. Coming around the merge ramp to the high speed highway I was appalled by the volume of traffic and the speed it was moving ... fast! And then I saw it, a small break in the line of cars. I assessed the possibilities and applied the gas ... and the young Maxine took off like a shot!! We were at speed in no time and we slipped easily into the space. I remember the glow I felt at that moment. I remember patting the steering wheel and saying "fabulous, great job, Maxine you are the best." So thrilled with her performance, I shared the story with my husband when I got home. His response: "Do you know how much gas you use when you do that?" Guess you can figure out which one of us is the adult in this relationship.

There are many more experiences that bonded me to this car. And the love affair continued over all these years. I overlooked a lot in the last 12 months: the fact she took only premium gas, that she needed high performance tires because she was considered a high performance car, that she didn't handle all that well in snow, that her miles per gallon has slipped considerably, that the driver's side window sometimes wouldn't stay up, that her CD player was starting to skip, that her repairs were starting to get expensive (we just replaced her front tires and she had a $1500 struts replacement just recently.) Yes, I have overlooked a lot. Love is like that. But now she is burning oil - about a quart per 1000 miles. My husband has reached the tipping point on this car and I guess I have too.
Today we took her in to our mechanic of over 25 years - just to re-check the oil - just to be sure the fact she was 2 quarts down a month ago wasn't an anomaly. She was down another quart. They had looked for a leak and couldn't find one. As my husband and I walked out I could feel the tears streaming down my face.

I wasn't ready to give this car up.

Stupid, silly and sad sentimentality!

Another car is in our near future. I won't be giving it a name. I won't be getting attached to it, either. I won't, I won't, I won't.

I already have enough legitimate sadness in my life without finding ways to be sad about inanimate objects. But I am going to miss this car big time.

AND I hate car show rooms and car sales people. I am sure they are nice people with families and all, but I hate the bargaining game and the "let's make a deal" attitude. (Especially when I don't really want this new car.)

OK, I am done moaning out loud now.

Still sad.


  1. I know exactly how you feel. When we gave up our old Black Beauty this year it was painful. She was eleven and really, we could have possible squeezed a few more years out of her but it was getting expensive. We practically gave her away to a really nice young man and we see her almost every day. He keeps her nice and clean. We're over it now and we have attached ourselves to the Wild Child. It WAS painful though. We took lots of photos for remembrance.

  2. I don't think that is silly at all. I love my car!!!

  3. I can totally relate to this. I cried when my old Honda left us after more than 200,000 miles, even though we sold her to a young couple just starting out. Her problem was leaking oil, too. I love my new Honda just as much - it just sort of happened. Hope it does for you as well. :-)

  4. Hard not to have attachments to something that does so much good service so often! Enjoy your last days together. Oh, did you know you can get the headlights "ground" I think they call it. A friend of Charlie's did it for both of our older cars and there is a huge difference!

  5. I love my Astro van too. I got it because i was a soccer Mom and it did its job and now its' standing doing nothing.
    So I keep thinking I should sell and buy a small one just to bounce around in but my guys say no.
    This car is good for 600k mi.With regular maintenance it should run without problems or so people say.But they stopped making it so we have only 10 years worth of parts for it.


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