Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Requiem for a Car

Our paths diverged in the woods and I took the one without you on it.

The last time my ex wife and I had to buy a car, she was upset because I had essentially chosen all of our cars before.  Never mind that I made more practical choices, it wasn't fair.  After weeks of browbeating, I acquiesced.  "You know how broke we are.  Choose whatever you want and we will live with the consequences."  Little did I know, I would be living with them well past the end of our marriage.

You see, given freedom to choose whatever she wanted, instead of choosing a car for herself, she choose a Volkswagen Beetle.  The problem there might not be immediately obvious.  You see, she could only drive an automatic.  She couldn't be bothered to learn to drive a stick, certainly not from me.  She choose a five year old, manual transmission, Volkswagen Beetle.  You see, she cared more about appearances than about practicality or even courtesy.  She didn't care if I liked it.  She cared only that we would own a Beetle.

I'm probably short-changing her, but considering that I had to drive the car for the next 5-7 years, I'm okay with that.  We even got a 49cc scooter out of it, not that she ever rode the scooter.  And to make it worse, the scooter wasn't really powerful enough to carry my large, overweight torso, though I tried for a while.  I stopped when I got tired of frequent stalls anytime we (me and the scooter) went up a short incline.

I drove the beetle faithfully for years.  When we were divorced, I still drove it.  Last year, it cost me over $3,000 to keep it running.  When I chose a job in Florida (I lived in St. Louis, MO), the car was dying if I ever failed to run it for more than 24 hours.  I knew it wasn't long for this world.

I packed the car, drove to Florida, parked the car and left it.  And, there it sat for months.  Finally, just this week, in fact, I donated the car to charity.  It had been sitting in the parking lot for nearly 6 months.  I am no longer insured.  I don't drive at all.

Goodbye, VW Beetle.  We've been through some really bad times, you and I.  I hope your next owner appreciates you way more than I did.

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