Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Perfect Car

My youngest son is driving a 1999 Honda Civic with bald tires and a trunk full of rainwater. We decided a couple of months ago, even before he discovered the bog in the trunk, that we need to get him into a newer and more reliable vehicle, and I’m happy to help with this. It’s only fair. I helped his older siblings with cars when they were his age. I have one caveat when I help my children with cars:  if you want financial help from me to buy and/or maintain a car then it has to be a Honda. I know and love Hondas. They go for a long time before they need any repairs, and when they do need repairs the cost is reasonable. My daughter once asked me if I would disown her if she bought a car that wasn’t a Honda. I paused to think about that. “Mom?” She sounded worried. Her present car is not a Honda and she is still in the will, but she takes care of the car of course.

While there might be advantages to having a car that can double as a fishing hole, I can’t say that I know what those are. I’m praying that the 1999 will hang in there for us for a few more weeks until we find the perfect used car for my son. I have alerted the local dealership that we are in the market, and have given my saleswoman the parameters:  Honda Civic, Fit, or Accord; 2008 or newer; less than 110,000 miles; $10,000 limit on cost; no mice living under the hood; vague scent of lavender wafting from the dashboard. This is completely doable. The saleswoman called last week to say she had just the vehicle – a 2009 Honda Fit with the scent of lavender. But it’s red. I explained to her that research shows that the police stop red cars far more often than any other color, and the driver of this car will be my precious multiculti son living in Oakland. We don’t want to invite trouble so red is out of the question. New parameter for her notes:  no red cars. Maybe we could find one with a cloak of invisibility. That would be cool, huh?

Every day I go onto and look at Hondas inhabiting my corner of the universe. Yesterday I found a strong candidate at a dealership in San Rafael. It’s a blue 2007 Honda Fit. I loved this car the instant I saw it on I love it because it’s my car; or would be if my car was for sale. I drive a blue 2007 Honda Fit. This caused me to consider if I should give my car to my son and buy myself a new one. The problem with that scenario is that I love my car and I want to drive it forever. Even thinking about giving my car away made me feel like crying. Is this what is meant by “the soul of the machine”? I am one with the soul of my car. I mean, well, for one, they don’t make the Fit in this fantastic electric blue color anymore. When I purchased my Fit, I entered my blue period. I ran out and bought a blue water bottle, blue boots, a blue travel coffee cup, and a blue jacket. When I shopped for clothing, I came home with blue dresses, shirts, socks, and underwear. (Seriously, who buys underpants to match their car?) I have never left my blue period—I’m still there. Blue post-its and stationary. Blue dishes and napkins. Blue breakfast smoothie every morning. Recently, when my husband bought a red bath towel, I demanded that he return it to the store because it clashed. “Really? Clashes with what? What color should I get instead, pray tell?” he asked in frustration. “How about blue?” I suggested; as if I was going to park the car in the bathroom to match.

I emailed a link to the blue Fit I saw online yesterday to my son. I half expect him to email back, “Mom, is that your car?” Is it too weird for a 20-something young man to drive the same kind of car as his mother? What if it’s a super terrific kind of car? Then it’s OK, right? Rest assured he won’t run out and buy blue underwear if he starts driving a blue Fit. (He’s a grown man, so I have no business discussing his underwear, even though I changed his diapers at one time.) I wonder if the obsession with color-coordinating with one’s car is a feature of owning a Fit. Maybe I can get National Science Foundation grant funding to conduct a research study.

I feel confident that we will buy him the perfect car in the near future. I just hope it happens before the 1999 spontaneously combusts, begins growing mushrooms, pops its tires, or starts hatching fish. Salmon would be nice. Except they are not blue.

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