Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Where's my car? What am I driving?

My van went away last week. I am not happy.

Because of Sean’s job we have to get a new vehicle at least every two years. Most folks would be happy at the prospect of getting a new car, but it really drives me crazy. I don’t get to pick what I drive; it all depends on what vehicle is holding its resale value best. Plus, with all the changing of vehicles, I sometimes get mixed up in parking lots and have to ask Michael what I’m driving these days. And if he’s not with me I have to look for my pink antenna topper.

For the most part we’ve sold my vans after just one year. But I’ve had this one for almost two whole years, longer than any other car I’ve owned except my Honda, but that’s another story. Come to think of it, both my Honda and my van are related; both had to be sold because of Sean. So this is all his fault. Whew, I’m glad to know who (whom?) to blame.

Anyway, I really didn’t want to sell my van. I knew I had to and I knew the day was coming but I really was hoping to save it somehow. I tried to get my sister to buy it, but no deal. They are smart about car purchases. They have two used cars and actually keep cars more than two years.

I tried to get Sean to write a letter to GM to get an exemption to the requirement. After he stopped looking at me like I’d lost my mind, he said, “No.”

I guess I could have just sat behind it and refused to move. Granted, it would have been non-violent, but is keeping my favorite van really worthy of a Gandhi-style protest?

So the guy came, took my keys and drove it away. And I cried like a baby. What the heck is wrong with me?

I know why I was so upset. It felt like another little bit of Georgia was being taken away. My van had an Atlanta dealer tag on the back and each time I got in my van I saw that little tag … made me feel a little closer to those I’d left behind.

So now I’m driving a Trailblazer, which is a lovely car/truck SUV thing. I love the way it drives, but it’s just not as kid-friendly as my van. I miss the sliding doors; we’ve already swung the door into another car in a parking lot. (Okay, I was the one who did that but I still told Sean that was a good reason to keep a van.)

I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I am thankful I never have to worry about breaking down on the road or having to buy new tires or doing anything more than changing the oil. I realize how incredibly fortunate I am to drive a new car all the time.

I guess I’m just surprised how selling a car made me realize how much I still miss Georgia and all it stands for in my life.

A good friend who’s moved a lot said it usually takes at least five years to feel at home in a new place. One year down, four to go.

Just two more cars from now.