My husband is the least pretentious person I've ever known. Quite frankly, he will be upset about this blog as he will see it as bragging. He's like that, never wants to show off; never wants anyone to think we are competing for who has the best what. So when he called me last Friday and said "he'd found the perfect card for me", I thought that was so sweet and simple. Always thoughtful. What I didn't realize is that he'd said "I found the perfect CAR for you".
I was on day three after my first chemo treatment. The shit had not yet hit the fan as far as feeling near death. So, I humored him. I went and looked at the car. A little back story.
When I first met my husband I was driving a new Toyota Celica, very sleek for it's time. Prior to that I'd driven a Camaro Z28. White. Red racing stripes. V-8 engine. Crazy stereo. I liked fast cars. I, like Top Gun, felt the need for speed.
My first car had been a 1967 Ford Falcon with a busted transmission and lots of body damage. It was actually three or four colors from the bad paint jobs during repairs. But it had been my grandpa's so it was special. Next car was a 1971 Buick LeSabre. At least it was all one color. A nice shade of puke green.
During my time of early auto acquisitions, I worked. Oh yes, I worked. Sometimes two jobs to pay for gas and clothing. I loved clothes but since I did not have a lot of money, I learned to sew. My income paid for gas, patterns, fabric and an occasional night out with friends. I didn't live elaborately nor was I spoiled. I lived within my means. I was raised in a modest townhome in Niles; played a lot of "house" and did arts and crafts. A simple life.
But I always liked a fast car. So, when I was older and able, I bought the Camaro. I was 19. Damnit, I was cool as shit.
For someone who did not have alot of "things", that was the one big thing that I was so proud of. I worked hard for that car. I drove it with complete and utter joy.
Then something called aging and life and marriage and kids happened. The Camaro was long gone. The Celica I had when we met was traded for a Mercury Sable (ugh).
And here I find myself 28 years post Celica. I live in a home that I dreamed of my whole life. But because I have always worked hard to live within my means, I shop at flea markets to decorate. We lived in a small home while raising our children to ensure they would go to college without loans. So we lived without "things" and were happy to do it.
Then my husband found this car.
It's tiny. It only has two seats. I can never ride with both my girls. It's a convertible. And it's fast. Really fast. So fast you wouldn't believe how fast it is. And yes, it's a "thing". A material thing that we could most certainly have lived without. But when my husband called to tell me he'd found a car for me, it wasn't the thing that he found. It was what it represented. (Don't get me wrong, he likes it as much as I do and we'll fight over it)
Once upon a time I was young. I was also healthy. I drove my fast cars and felt a freedom we only feel when we're that age; when we haven't been through tragedies yet and dodged cancer bullets.
So today, I took the car out by myself for the first time. I shifted gears like I'd just done it yesterday (it's been 30 years). I had the top down and loved my hair blowing in the wind (while I still have it). And I remembered that feeling. I was able to capture for a short while what it felt to be 19. And that my friends is why my husband felt this was perfect for me. Yes, it was a thing. Yes, it was unnecessary.
But to feel this way was priceless. And it took a "thing" to do it.
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