This week, I said goodbye to a friend near and dear to my heart, Charlotte the Camaro.
After following me from high school to college and all the way back to moving home, Charlotte has moved on to a new home. As my sister texted me while waiting in line for the Buzz Lightyear ride, my eyes involuntarily welled up with tears. Charlotte would no longer be in the garage when I came home. I suddenly felt a deep emptiness even though I had bought Ruby (the Prius) over 7 months ago. But there was a certain part of me that had a really hard time letting go of Charlotte, even though she sat in the garage with no one to drive her. We had so many good times together and she was my first.
For practicality sake, I’d parted with Charlotte for Ruby when I started my full time position that required the ability to drive at a moment’s notice. The sheer joy of a new car kept me from regretting the change from a convertible Camaro to the fuel efficient Prius. I also reasoned with myself that becoming an adult meant making good financial decisions and the Prius was the best financial decision I’ve ever made. But even now as I write this post, there’s a lump in my throat alluding to the sadness in my heart.
I won’t ever forget the party my parents threw me to give me Charlotte on July 24, 2005 with a cake that said “Have a Wheelin Good Time”. My favorite moments with her were when I would put the top down on the drive to high school playing “Bossy” by Kelis, wearing a jacket because it was 7:30 in the morning. When I won homecoming royalty my senior year, Charlotte was the car I rode in for our homecoming parade as my Dad and Mom drove it. And when it was time for college, I packed her up and took her with me. In college, I drove her back and forth to the outlets (including the “flasher” incident, remember Jenny?!). One of my favorite memories was when I had my top down and I ran out of gas right on Olive Drive and Richards (which everyone knows is a small incline that dips under the train tracks) and 4 men jumped out of their cars to push me to the nearby gas station. When Rob finally came to meet me at the gas station, he looked at the tank top I was wearing and asked, “How many guys jumped out of their car???” Charlotte was my partner in crime and I loved her with all my heart. Basically over 6 years of memories with her and with a simple phone call, she’s gone. I know it sounds silly, but I miss her.
She was a glorious car and I was a lucky girl to have gotten her in the first place. So far,my 20s have been all about closing some chapters of my life to open for new ones and although that transition is hard, somehow you always make it through. Even though I adore Ruby, Charlotte will always be the first car I loved and nothing will ever change that.
The people we sold her to promised to keep the name Charlotte and fix her up real good (which I know they will). And maybe someday, just someday… I’ll own a convertible once again.
But I won’t ever forget my first.
I love you Char!