Last Thursday night I ended my day in an unusual way. I went and got a new car. New car getting is terribly exciting and I have been very lucky to have had this experience many times in my life. If I count just brand spanking new cars with less than 20 miles on the odometer, that’s four times including Thursday night. I have also had two private owner cash purchases and one “pre-owned dealer-certified” experience as well. It should be noted that this covers nearly 25 years of car getting.
I am of course very happy about the new car with its distinct new car smells and fuel efficiency and shininess and practicality. But I am sad too. I am missing my Kermit, my four-wheeled companion for the last nine years. A lot has happened in the past nine years, but one constant has always been me and my big green Audi Allroad who faithfully carried me and my life in and out far and near and always through everything/everywhere/everyway I wanted to go. And yes, I am crying buckets of wistful tears over my time spent with this hunk of metal.
Kermit actually existed in two versions of itself. The first generation joined me in 2002 fairly soon after I was engaged and moved in with my fiancé. I was driving another beloved Audi at the time, Ruby the A4, but she was too sporty for all the schlepping that I was needing to manage with my two new charges, my soon-to-be-step-daughters not to mention the plan to get a dog, (which then became two dogs). She was a manual transmission too, so fun to drive, but again, not so practical. His Land Cruiser, while bitchen, was just too huge, so I suggested the Allroads, being an ardent Audi fan. (Including my three, there have been a total of seven Audis in my immediate family, one still being thoroughly enjoyed by my brother.) He found one that was a year old, had 17,000 miles on it and every single solitary option you can think of as it was owned by a full-on Audi geek. The geek man loved it, but wanted a new Audi toy, so we lucked out and got it for a great price with all the tricked out features to boot. Plus, it could handle the amount of gear and sports equipment we were about to foist upon it.
My love for that car was immediate and intense. I would read the manuals before bed until I understood all the specs; I would get it washed once a week; I would snuggle into the heated seats if it was anything below 70 degrees outside. And it could pass going 80 uphill! And it could take a corner like a Porsche! And it could 4-wheel drive romp through mud and snow! And the stereo was a private front row concert to all my favorite tunes every day! Plus, it felt like it was all happening while riding on a cloud.
Then, one morning while driving along in a 40 MPH zone on the now almost auto-pilot route to work, a kid pulled a U-turn from a parked spot right in front of me and I crashed into her left front axle, thankfully not her door or I would have killed or maimed her. There was smoke and screeches and airbags and broken glass and adrenaline and when I could see again a few moments after impact, I unlatched my seat belt and walked away from my car that was now, as they say, totaled. When my then-husband arrived at the scene and I burst into tears at the sight of him, he was apparently so comforted that I was up and walking around with no visible signs of injury, he dismissed me, and instead went over to the car as it was getting loaded up on the flatbed tow truck and sighed perhaps too heavy and sad a sigh over a hunk of metal in the face of my obvious shock and oncoming bruises and pains. (That should have been the final straw for me that the marriage was not going to make it, but it took a few more car-crash like events to really get it through my head. Live and learn, and please, just listen to your gut every single time! An important digression…) He came back over to me and said with utter exasperation he didn’t know what he was going to do now, and I said, through more tears, “All I know is, I want the exact same kind of car.”
And so, the 2nd generation Kermit came into my life.
More on him and me tomorrow. I need to back away from the keyboard, wipe these tears and go for a run!