Back in about 1987 I was talking to a woman who was beside herself because she’d had an accident in her 1979 Mazda. Because of its age, although the damage wasn’t horrendous it was “totaled,” so insurance handed her a check rather than fixing it.
What caused her grief was the loss of the car. Nobody was hurt, it wasn’t her fault, the insurance covered its value, etc. No, it was that car. She loved that car. And she wasn’t poor. She could buy a newer, fancier, nicer car, but she didn’t want anything but that car. She could have gone on a quest for another 1979 Mazda—nope, that particular one was hers.
I don’t think it was her first car or anything. In her eyes maybe it had witnessed her life, a constant through ups and downs. For her it was like losing a prized pet or maybe even a family member.
Fast forward to the present and maybe I understand a bit. Mrs. L and I think it’s time to sell our camper.
Somewhere out there is a tee-shirt that says, “Sorry about how I yelled (screamed?) at you while backing the RV in last night” or something like that…yeah, I’ll own that. Mrs. L and I have had a few doozies under the stress of driving an oversized vehicle. And then there were a few repair bills and other dramas.
It wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns, but damn we had some awesome times in it! It was our escape pod. It was so wonderful to climb in the cab on a Friday night and leave, go for some adventure, forget this rat race for a little while.
My head says it needs to go—renting the space, paying insurance, etc. My heart says no way, this is family. My head, (sadder-but-) wiser older brother that it is, will win. But my heart, a couple days ago, put my hand on the dashboard and said, “I love you.”
Tell me your tales of inanimate objects that you elevated to near persondom. Not necessarily a vehicle. Why do you play this guitar instead of any other? Why is that blanket the best one in the house? Why were you so bummed when a favorite kitchen utensil was lost? In other words, why do some inanimate objects endear themselves and others don’t?
How did you give them up? Any regrets, looking back?