Posted On: Jun 19th, 2014 By: Julie Griffin
Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “It was better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Based on the one and only true love affair I’ve ever had with a car, I can say with all of my still quivering heart, “Alfred, my man, you were right.”
Let me explain. I’ve been a licensed driver now for more than four decades. I’ve tooled around in sedans, vans and pick-up trucks. I’ve owned cars that ran like dreams and lemons that made me want to scream. And whether they cornered on a dime or slewed like drunken pigs, they all had one thing in common. They were transportation.
White, red, black, or silver. Four doors or two. Hail damaged or new paint job. Sun roof or cracked windshield. I didn’t care. In the winter, if the heater kept my toes toasty, I was glad. In the summer, if the AC kicked out icicles I was, if you’ll pardon the pun, cool. If a vehicle got me from point A to point B without stalling I was, if not joyously happy, at least content.
Did the windows go up and down? Good.
Does the radio work? Great.
Were the tires new? Wonderful!
Over the passing years, as each car aged to the point of trade-in, I matured in matters of automotive conveyance. I moved on to luxury vehicles and away from rolling junk heaps. I listened to stereo systems instead of tinny sounding radios. And every time I slipped behind the wheel of the medium blue, Buick Regal I once owned, I took a fleeting moment to appreciate the deep, sensual feel of a driver’s seat that I swear loved and hugged me warmly, the ease of its flick-of-a-finger power steering and the purr of its perfectly tuned engine that sometimes whispered ladylike yet wickedly, “Turn me loose, hon. Just once. Please.”
I had a lovely relationship with that Buick. She gave me comfort, dependability and the kind of car contentment I had come to expect. Simply put, on four exactly aligned and balanced wheels, she was everything I needed and more.
So why did I do it?
Why did I throw over my solid, reliable, low mileage Buick for a hot, racy, little number that I knew nothing about?
The easy, shallow answer is, of course, BMW convertible.
And the most shameful thing is, I was in that Buick the day that I fell for her.
It’s true. I was in a turning lane patiently waiting my turn the first time I saw that vehicular occasion of sin go by. She was quick and smooth and she knew what she was doing. She gave me a glimpse, and ZOOM! Like that, she was gone.
For anyone who has ever experienced true car love, I don’t have to draw you a road map from here. You can figure out the rest of the sordid, automotive story for yourself.
Like most of these affairs, it didn’t last long. The first day of a bad winter eventually came and the next thing I knew, my baby was gone and a dependable, four-wheel drive jeep was parked in my garage.
And you’ll notice I didn’t say that the jeep “took her place,” because nothing ever can.
But I will say that Tennyson was right. It was better to have owned and traded that convertible, than never to have owned it at all.
Julie Griffin is a children’s book author based in Colorado. She is the author of “Cristina Gradina, The Girl with Ten Busy Toes!” available on Amazon. Illustrated books coming soon: Bella the Baker Street Baker and Jack and The Bean Chair. http://juliegriffinauthor.com/