An Open Letter To My First Car

About a month ago, I was faced with some deeply saddening news. Though my beloved Ford Escort had made it through inspection with nearly flying colors, the kind gentleman at the auto shop warmed me that the floor of my precious coupe was likely to deteriorate within the upcoming winter and wouldn't be passable in the next year's inspection. Granted, that gave me a fair amount of time to keep an eye out for a replacement and ride out the next few months with my silver bullet of a car, but sometimes opportunities come into our lives that we can't bear to pass. I can now say that I'm the proud owner of a Grand Vitara, and while getting used to the SUV life will be a welcome challenge, I couldn't be more grateful. As a college student, any car is a blessing to have, but a majority of people go into acquiring their first vehicle knowing that this iconic, rite of passage possession simply can't last forever. Here's to the cars we've loved and lost, and the memories we carry on in their honor!

To my first car,

After three very long and eventful years, it is time to say goodbye. I told them you still had some fight left in you yet, but I think it will be in both of our best interests if we part ways sooner rather than later. I hope you can find it in your mechanical heart to forgive me for replacing you, but I think we both knew that it was time. We've had a beautiful run, and I would hate to end things on a sour note.

Despite all your interesting (and at times terrifying) quirks, I will miss your constant company. Sure, there were times when you sounded more like an angry vibrator than a vehicle, but that only made you that much more charming. You've been there through my final days of high school and two grueling years of travel back and forth to college; I think it's safe to say we have been through a great deal together. Between the intense 90s pop jam sessions, halfhearted arguments over who rode shotgun and who would be held hostage by your two-door design, and late night trips to Taco Bell, who wouldn't be smitten? More than that, we've traversed a completely different country together, along with a fair majority of the state of New York. I firmly believe that the journey is just as important (if not more so) than the destination, and none of my adventures would have been possible or complete without you.

I'll admit, I haven't always taken the best care of you. I don't know that we've ever been through a legitimate car wash together and there were times your backseat looked more like a garbage receptacle than anything else, but I can say with great confidence that though we may not have always showed up in style, we certainly showed up with character. At the very least I could likely make a small fortune out of the various soda bottles I've had to clear out of your every nook and cranny--there's always a silver lining!

Moving on from our very committed relationship means moving on to an entirely new chapter in my life, one with credit scores and having to climb up rather than down to get into the driver's sear. Not only that, I'll be trading that homey old-car scent for eau de dealership. For someone who is as nostalgic and often adverse to change as I am, this symbolic trading of tires means more to me than just swapping plates and signing paperwork. In letting you go, I will be leaving behind an old friend, one who taught me much about life and yes, even road rage.

Thank you, my trooper of a beater car. I hope you find peace and rolling pastures in your retirement, or whatever it is that old cars like the most.


A grateful temporary owner

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