Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Love at first sight is a myth

Rachel's car died yesterday. This resulted in two days of emails about car shopping and how it's only fun when you have $50K to drop and you live in Europe, where it's easy to track down a car with the appropriate number of pedals. (We're car snobs. We like our clutches. We like shifting into fifth gear on the freeway wearing high heels and feeling like Charlie's angels. OK, the last one may just be me.)

Anyway, in this email chain as we discussed the conundrum of car shopping, I compared it to dating. (I'm not doing online dating anymore, y'all. I need more dating stories. I suppose I need more dates. One thing at a time.)

Because here's the thing. If I had all the money in the world, I'd be driving a fire engine red BMW sedan with six gears and a smooth-as-butter transition and an engine that is almost completely silent, with just a hint of a purr to let you know that there are a lot of horses in underneath that hood. #Cargasm!

But I don't have unlimited funds. In fact, when I bought Androg, I had pretty much no funds; it was nine months after my mission and I'd been working part-time, low-wage jobs for six months. So I was working with these criteria: 1) stick shift; 2) foreign; 3) less than 100K miles; and 4) didn't totally suck. When I met Androg, it was not love at first sight. I didn't want a station wagon. Everyone has silver cars; I really wanted a little color. And then Jennifer told me it was really easy to hook up car seats, and I thought about returning him.

But you know what? We persevered. We had our bonding moments. We slept together. We went on road trips together. We moved. I washed him. He started every time, except twice (one at a very inconvenient 5 a.m. on a Saturday, but we didn't know each other that well yet). We went grocery shopping and driving through the canyons and to soccer games and worked together. I washed him (sometimes, but Androg is a dirtbag, so he doesn't need a lot of bathing) and gave him new tires and oil and did not blame him at all, at least out loud, on that day in 2010 when we got stuck three times in one day. Morning. We got stuck three times in three hours. I'm actually really lucky he ever forgave me for that day.

And now, even though I've driven other cars -- including one car very similar to the dream car I described above -- I'm not trading Androg in until I have to, which in my family pretty much means I'll drive him 'til he dies. Yeah, I'd like a truck, since I move so dang much, and I'd like a Subaru that has 4-wheel drive, and I'd like something newer with all the gadgets and an engine that doesn't make the whole car vibrate when I approach 80 -- but that's all just superficial stuff. What Androg and I have is deep. It's forged in the canyons of Moab that aren't supposed to be accessible to us front-wheel drive folk and the parking lot of my townhome complex where I slept in the back because my phone had died so I couldn't tell my roommate I wasn't camping as planned but was actually coming home and she dead-bolted the door and I didn't have the presence of mind to just ring the doorbell and wake her up, so I slept in the back of my car in the parking lot outside my front door. You don't just walk away from moments like that. You build more of them. You mark each other with tire treads on the soul and butt indentations on the heart.

And that, my friends, should be my dating philosophy, right? Or should have been my dating philosophy years ago when I wasn't tired and I was in some sort of regular contact with available men. Maybe I should do online dating again. Are men less Internet-offensive in Texas?

While you think about that, I'll move on to a sad shadow of a post I meant to do but never got around to doing and now feels less relevant. I was going to do a top 10 list of things that are awesome about working again. Some of those things are: a paycheck, eventually insurance, other people to eat my cookies, a paycheck, earning my weekends, being tired all the time and feeling overworked like an adult should. But the best thing about working? Coworkers. You never know how much you miss awkward newsroom conversations about bodily fluids and weird crime and what terrible people you are until you have to make conversation with regular people and you realize you don't know how to talk to regular people anymore.

Also, it means you spend St. Patrick's Day in a pub (of sorts), which is way better than being in pajamas at 9:30 p.m.

My colleague Nicole snapped this picture at the bar on Monday. She was kind enough to not send the one in which I appeared to have three chins. Because, you know, I'm really vain. Normally I look like a supermodel in pictures. I have that street cred to keep up.

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