Monday, August 22, 2011

My Goofy Ode to PT

I guess it’s just human nature to personify things.  You could personify your pet, your computer, parts of your body or your toys.  It’s like that teddy bear that stares at you pleadingly with its sad, beady eyes as you downgrade it from its prominent place on your bed to the closet where all your clothes going to Goodwill has piled up.  Some even personify their car, name it and refer to it as ‘him’ or ‘her.’ 
It’s just a car.  
Today, my husband and I bought our first car together.  We traded in my PT Cruiser in favor of a newer model Jeep, and while I’m ecstatic with the new car... PT was a faithful friend. 
Cars symbolize more than just transportation but the easiest method of human freedom.  PT offered me that freedom like I’d never experienced.  Because she was brand new and full of life (unlike my previous car), we could travel anywhere and I knew that we’d be fine.  When I stepped into that new car, put my seatbelt on and felt my heart pound and palms sweat with the stress of driving a new, fragile vehicle off the lot, I knew I was in love. 
Perhaps it’s my own version of personification but PT and I have been through a lot together.  
I worked and paid my car payments on time diligently.  Despite still living at home with my parents, paying my car payment gave me a sense of adulthood and responsibility that was lacking.  Paying for PT had the added bonus of helping me to establish credit (which has come in quite handy ever since). 
The first trip I took in PT was a five hour trip to Tombstone with my brother and my husband (then boyfriend).  My brother is really interested in history and fascinated by Tombstone so I decided that ten hours of driving there and back in one day was totally doable in PT.  She made the trip there and back beautifully without a single hiccup (though, the same can’t be said for me who did a significant amount of driving in one day!). 
Following the maiden voyage to Tombstone there were trips to San Diego, Phoenix and everywhere in-between.  Throughout the early years of my adulthood, PT was there taking me where I needed to go and getting me there safely (well, I think I have a hand in some of that... I [was] the driver).  
I cried into her steering wheel when I learned my boyfriend had a week warning before he was headed to Navy boot camp.  
I stuffed PT’s cargo area with decorations for my wedding.  PT drove us home after the wedding was over and the last of the decorations were collected.  
We filled the PT to the brim with all of our belongings after the wedding weekend was over for the drive to our new and foreign home 2,500 miles away. 
The road trip from Yuma, Arizona to Virginia Beach, Virginia was a bittersweet event in my life.  On the one hand, it was a great and exciting adventure.  On the other hand the day we left was one of the saddest days of my life.  Leaving my friends and family in tears was a difficult way to start our journey.  But, we had each other and PT to take us there.  
We got to see the country from the other side of her windows.
And when we finally got to Virginia Beach and settled in a place full of strangers, she felt like my last connection to home, her beautiful Arizona license plate stuck out in a world full of dull, white, boring Virginia ones. 
But now, my only souvenir of PT is my dusty license plate.  And while I may have reluctantly teared up as I watched her drive away for the last time, it was only a car and perhaps I’m just attached to the memories I made while owning her rather than the vehicle itself.  
I tried to finish this yesterday for the official ‘day five’ but yesterday was a busy day.  I’ll try and post ‘day six’ today if I get the time.  If not... I guess I just skipped a day. 

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