Have you ever named an inanimate object? (Your car? Your laptop? The volleyball that kept you company while you were stranded in the ocean?) Share the story of at least one object with which you’re on a first-name basis.
I found my first car next to the studio I was about to rent. Grass grew around its flat tires and there were rusted holes to the side of the windshield. When I asked my landlady if the car would remain there, she said it was actually for sale, left there by the previous tenant who had moved out of state.
“If you want it, you can buy it off her,” she said. “I think she said $400.”
So I bought it. Having been driven around by a driver when I was younger, I knew nothing about cars. And when one is trying to be independent but with no money, I was sure I could afford $400. Who knew I could barely afford everything else that needed to be done for the car? But I did. I scraped enough money to get it running – new tires, rebuilt engine, and have I mentioned – automatic stick shift?
Yes, I got myself a 1969 VolksWagen with automatic stick. I was so proud of that puppy I drove it to work 40 miles each way, never giving up when it broke down on the freeway, or when it leaked when it rained. My uncle, who worked for the airlines, gave me this special aluminized speed tape to patch up the holes. He figured, if it can keep planes together, hell, it can certainly keep my little beetle together. And I’ll be darned – it did.
It also brought back memories of my mother driving a VW Volkswagen (Yes! My mother! Driving!) and us as kids with faces plastered to the dashboard screaming “Faster, Mommy! Faster!” as we drove up and down hills.
I named that little beetle Buggy because I’m so unoriginal like that. When I got my Saturn, I named her Sal, the Saturn. So this first car was Buggy, the beetle. Because whenever I was on the freeway going 60, that little car rattled so bad that my eyes probably went buggy from having to make sure it didn’t fall apart while I was driving it.
I always figured if that tape held the way it did, little Buggy would last forever. I’d pat the dashboard and say, “here we go, Buggy Babes. You can do it!”
And she did.