“After a few years, you can buy a new car.”
-My dad about once I get a job.
A part of me died inside when I heard my dad’s words earlier this week. How could I replace Doris? She’s family! I may not be a mechanic and may not understand much (make that anything) about how cars work, but that does not mean I don’t love my car.
Doris joined our family in 1999. She was already 7 at the time and was meant for my sister, who was a junior in high school. I was still in middle school, so aside from sitting in her passenger seat or in the back, we didn’t really get to know each other. The whole time Doris — who was still unnamed at this point — was under my sister’s care, she was just another car in our driveway.
But then, I inherited her. Our family was minus one minivan and plus one new Camry and I found myself in the possession of this purplish-silvery car (look at the picture above and let me know if you can think of a more accurate color). I’d never had my own car before this, having shared the aforementioned minivan with my mom while I was in high school. I was a sophomore in college and finally having a car of my own was quite exciting. As it is for most young people, it meant freedom.
Eventually, my friends named her Doris. Although she’s obviously a car, once she had a name, Doris became a person to me. She was a friend I could talk to (yes, I do talk to my car) when my human friends weren’t available — and even when my human friends were in the car with me.
Then came my move to Idaho. My dad transferred the title to my name and I became Doris’s legal owner. Doris and I bonded in Idaho Falls. I took care of her when she was sick and she accompanied me on some of my adventures. And when I had no choice but to get Idaho license plates for her, it was a sad day for the both of us.