Yesterday I took an old, reliable friend who's been with me through many momentous times in my life and sold her for a fraction of what she was worth to me. It made me feel dirty and depressed, and yet I knew it had to be done. I am talking, of course, about my 1997 Saturn SL1, the first car I ever owned myself and one that I have had for nearly ten years.
I remember when I bought her. I had two jobs at the time, and after test driving serveral cars, I knew she was the one for me. She was used, but she was great, and most of all, she was mine. She cost me $11,000. and only had 54,000 miles on her.
I paid her off relatively quickly and was so happy when the day came when I finally owned her free-and-clear. She was a terrific and dependable car and lived and traveled with me for almost a decade. She saw me through graduate school; traveled with me to many spots in Utah, Nevada, and California; took me on many job auditions and, subsequently, many jobs; she was there for many enjoyable talks I had with fellow passengers, including good friends, family members, and my now husband; and she took me on so many adventures. I loved her very much.
Sadly, the last year of her life was a hard one. After nearly nine years of no problems whatsoever, she began to ail. First she started burning oil at a very quick rate, and I was told I could either repair the problem at a cost of $2-3,000, which I could not afford, so I just kept filling her with oil. Then, on a terrific trip to LA, as I was coming back home, her timing belt broke and she died. I was able to get her repaired, but, of course, the oil problems persisted. Then her muffler and spark plugs needed replacing and her fuel injection needed cleaning. It seemed to me that the money I was putting into her would actually be better spent in buying another, more reliable, vehicle, and since I do travel often and I knew I would rather buy a new car than fix the main problem, the oil waste, I decided it was time to look for a new car.
It's silly, especially since I know cars are inanimate objects, but looking for another car almost felt like I was cheating on my old car. After all, she'd always been there for me, had been completely reliable until relatively recently, and was still running well enough to get me from point A to point B. But I feared she would let me down, and I knew I had to find something I could depend upon.
Perhaps because of my fondness for my old car, I found another Saturn (this time a 2000 SL1) for $7,000 with 73,000 miles on it. It would have been nice to get a newer car or one with less miles on it, but this is what I could afford now, and I test drove it yesterday and liked it very much. In some ways, it's actually in better condition than my old car was when I bought it. So I bought it. Carmax, who I bought it from (and who I was quite impressed with overall) offered to buy my old car. I was only able to get $250 for my baby, which seemed like a slap in the face, but the used car industry isn't doing well, my old car has some problems that will make it harder to sell, and I don't have time to sell it privately or shop sround for other offers, so I took what I could get.
As they removed her license plates, I could almost hear her weeping, crying out, "Why are you abandoning me?" I hope she knows how much I loved her, and I hope whoever gets her next will find as much joy in owing her as I did. I hope she gets a good home (the thought of her being demolished and used for parts absolutely horrifies me; I'm glad I don't have to know).
The new Saturn drives really well and is a nice car. It has power locks and a CD player, too, which my old car did not have, so that's a nice addition. In many ways, the new car is very much like my old one; so much so that to make myself feel better, I've decided that the spirit of my old car is inhabiting this new one. It's so stupid, but it's comforting.
Weird how I get attached to inanimate objects. I'm very sentimental about things. Jonah jokingly told me he hopes I feel as strongly about him when I have to put him in a home. lol