I had an awkward realization today. None of my romantic relationships with men ever lasted over two years, but I've had my car for nearly 10 years. My car is my freaking significant other.
This epiphany hit me because my car Big Red (yes, I name my cars. You don't?) has spent the last week in the shop. Dropping him off actually hurt my heart and I told Scott, the dude at the repair place, to "take good care of my friend." He looked me like I was insane. I thought guys understood the car/driver bond; especially "car guys" who work in repair shops. Apparently they're not as deep as I give them credit for.
Anyway, while BR was in the shop, I was driving around in a newer, shinier rental car that I named Young Un. It took a lot to not feel like I was being unfaithful to Big Red by driving Young Un. And despite the fact that YU was MUCH cleaner than BR, and ten years younger, and had four fully-functioning windows, and had fancy USB charger ports, and had a radio that picked up Amarillo, and got way better gas mileage, I really missed Big Red. (No, really. I did.) We've been through a lot together and a younger, hotter replacement just wasn't the same. (I could get into how Big Red has a V6 engine and Young Un only has a V4, but with the metaphor I'm currently running with, that would just sound vulgar.)
So when I got the call that I could pick up BR today, I was ecstatic! I took YU straight back to Enterprise and asked them to drop me off at the shop because when you "pick Enterprise, they pick you up." Or drop you off. Whatever. They're not sponsoring this post (although corporate advertising is ALWAYS welcome on the blog), so I'll mangle their slogan however I want to.
Anyway, the guy who drove me to the shop was this teenaged, goofy chatty guy named Gerald who peppered me with questions (the friendly kind, not the creepy kind).
"Did you enjoy your trip?" "Oh, your car was in the shop, what was wrong with it?" "Do you have big plans for the weekend?" and on and on and on.
And somehow, one of his questions had me mentioning that I'm looking forward to when the Guardians of the Galaxy movie comes out because I'm a big fan of comic book movies. And that got us onto comics: DC vs Marvel (obviously Marvel, with the exception of Wonder Woman), Arrow on TV, the upcoming Justice League Movie and how I was pretty sure I was Wonder Woman when I was about four years old. The chat I had with that kid was the best, dorkiest, nerdiest conversation I've had in awhile (with the exception of a very brief online chat about wearing chain mail in the zombie apocalypse) and I had (for not the first time) that "and THIS is why I'm single" epiphany. And then I put it ALL together and realized that I may not have a guy in my life, but I've been going steady with my car for almost a decade now.
Normally, this kind of "aha!" moment would make me feel lame. Then I realized that I've been with Big Red longer than some of my friends' first marriages lasted. And then I also realized that I've been to COUNTLESS bridal showers, weddings, baby showers and kids' birthday parties once the babies grew up. That is a DECADE of giving gifts. I think you see where I'm going with this.....
In July 2014, Big Red and I will celebrate our tenth year together.
FYI: the traditional 10th anniversary gift is aluminum or tin (but with Big Red we've really got those things covered), so we've started gift registries at Auto Zone and Discount Tire.