Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Letter to My Car

Dear Ford Focus:

First, I want to apologize for not giving you a proper name. Ford Focus is what it says on your birth certificate (or, "title"), and the great thing about buying your first car is naming it something snappy like Lightning or Betsy or Cream Machine, and I love personifying inanimate objects, so I should have come up with something by now. But, considering the emergency situation under which you and I formed a relationship--which included Grampa co-signing my loan, something I will never live down--I would have named you Soul Crushing Debt. Debbie for short. And I hate the name Debbie, so I just didn't go there. So, I never named you. I called you Ford Focus in order to maintain the professional relationship we had, which as time has prevailed, is one of mutually assured destruction.

So maybe it is my fault that I never took the time to personalize and foster our relationship as I should have. After all, you are the most expensive thing I own, in terms of financial value and your direct correlation to my livelihood. You literally get me where I need to be. Without you, life would be incalculably harder. I should have spent more time learning how to keep your insides working, listening to your growls and grinds, and maintaining your tires than I did putting stickers on your dashboard and vomiting into the side door pocket when I was hungover.

But I didn't. Instead, I held you as a burden. For four years, you helped keep me from financial solvency. You ate gas like I ate cheese platters. You happened to have had your engine re-built with after-market parts--which is something I didn't know to avoid when I met you--and so you can't be held liable for the resulting $2,000 in repairs you needed in 2007, but I blamed you for it anyway. For as reliable as you have been in getting me in where I need to be, every simple repair on you seemed to cost a fortune and come at a time when I could barely buy a cup of coffee.

Which brings me to my point. I don't know what Satan-derived sensor you have that I overlooked, but how do you know when I'm just about to reach a payday? Or when I've just emptied my savings account and therefore live in fear of having to use my credit card? Or when I've just bragged about your surprising longevity (you are a mostly after-market, recalled Ford, after all) and shared my optimism for at least 4 more years without a car payment? Because these moments in time have always proceeded your break downs. I know we have problems, but enough is enough. Let's open up the lines of communication. Here, I'll go first.

I think you're acting out for attention. And I can hardly fault you for it. I'll admit it: I don't love you enough. And many a time I've been too wrapped up in my own shit to take care of you (remember that time I was texting and ran you into a ditch, flattened your tire, then waited a year to get you re-aligned? I'm a terrible person. I know). Many a time I've abandoned you in  your time of need. But I'm able to admit my faults. And I'm going to work on it, especially now that I'm precariously employed and that makes me realize just how much I need you to be well adjusted and functioning.

Your latest $900 repair is the direct result of something I failed to take care of when you were trying to warn me so desperately. It's my fault. And I know I've said this before, but I'll say it again this time, and mean it: I'll never mis-treat you again.

I can't live without you. I *do* love you. There, I said it. I don't know why I act like I don't. I guess I'm afraid of getting attached. But those days are behind me. From now on, you'll get all the attention you deserve.

And instead of breaking down for attention, how about you magically increase your fuel economy? Or sprout new carpet so you don't smell like a dairy barn when the inside temperature reaches 60*? Just a thought.


ps. I also don't know how you knew I needed a day off, but you did. So thanks for that.

me with Ford Focus, circa 2006. The look of doom.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Dear Audrey's Ford Focus...We never thanked you enough for your gallant service driving us back and forth to Ohio and to KY when we borrowed you all the time back when you were the new kid on the block. And thank you for taking Audrey places and getting her home safely. We appreciated it then and we appreciate it now!!

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