When I was little I read the story of the Velveteen Rabbit. It's the story of a stuffed rabbit, who has feelings and becomes real because of the love of a little boy. When the little boy can no longer play with the Velveteen Rabbit because he comes down with scarlet fever and the rabbit is deemed to be laden with germs, the rabbit is crushed.
This story really struck a chord with me when I was little. So much so, that I used to rotate what stuffed animals I slept with so that no one would get jealous or feel left out. Let me remind you, that I was very little. So ever since I read this story I have unrealistically assigned feelings to inanimate objects.
For example, Esther the Escape. I bought Esther in 2002, a few months after I graduated college. It was my first grown-up act after college. I did all the research by myself, test drove cars, and went to the dealership all by myself. I loved that car. She got me through law school, she drove me to the bar exam, she drove me around on my wedding day, and she moved me in to my first house with my husband.
As much as I loved Esther, she was getting old. With almost 130,000 miles, Esther was starting to slow down. This past weekend, Brady drove her and realized that I was missing gears or the transmission was shot or something. I'm not sure what it was, but it was bad. It was Esther's time to go.
So we went to dealerships, negotiated for a long time, and bought a new car. I was very close to crying. I really was sad to lose my Esther.
She may not have gone above 60 mph and yes I had to use pliers to switch from air conditioning to heat, and the brakes weren't so hot, but she was still my car. She was a symbol of my entry into adulthood, a symbol of my independence. I made Brady tell me that the dealership was going to fix her up and she would go to a loving family. Then my father made the remark that they "were going to junk that old thing." I still choose to believe that she will be restored to her glory days.
I said goodbye to Esther and welcomed Stella, a 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe, into my life. I'm still getting to know her, but I think we are going to have a pretty good time together. Plus, she gets the grand honor of bringing Baby Brady home from the hospital.
Goodbye Esther, you were a fantastic car and I'll always remember you.