Monday, October 7, 2013


Over the past 12 months, I have struggled with a Big Financial Decision. My car ("El Guapo," the Jeep) has been limping along, and in a year has cost me a pretty penny. (My mechanic, on the other hand, really loves me.) Add to that my gas consumption, and it was time to consider getting a different car.

Last week, it happened. I found the right car, and let go of the Jeep.
Farewell, old friend. I will miss you on sunny days.

It's not without regret, but it's as near to that as you can get. From Day One, El Guapo was a good car. Started when I asked it to, got me where I needed to go, and on warm, sunny days in the summer, there was no better way to move through the world than with the top down and the tunes cranked. When the Jeep started up, it was with a growl. This car could take on anything, and he did it loudly and proudly. (Not unlike its owner.)

In a lot of ways, this car represented my independence from my ex. It's the car I always wanted, even before I learned to drive. The husband, when there was one, didn't see the point. (Sure, pick cars as the one thing about which you'll be practical, right up until you decide you want a Geo Tracker soft top. Manipulative much?) At any rate, when it was time for me to trade my Cherokee in, I went Wrangler, and I never looked back. Every time I got in that car, save for the few times it gave me trouble, I drove joyously. In the four years El Guapo was mine, we made a lot of memories.

In a lot of ways, in that car, I became this version of Maggie.

A girl who drives a Jeep runs races. She scales walls. She bikes. She swims. She competes with herself to be better, stronger, more than she was the day before. Embrace the fear; do it anyway. In the Jeep, I became willing to fail. I become great at failing, because failing meant I was willing to try. Sure, I may have given myself a black eye in yoga (true story), but only because I was willing to try and balance my entire self on my hands. Sure, it took me over an hour to "run" my first 5K, but that first try kept me moving toward faster future runs, triathlons, and midnight bike rides. That car served as my wheels during a time of great transformation.

As I signed over the title, I cried. Wept like a child, because of the memories created while driving it (chilly Easter with my nephew in the driver's seat; chauffeuring the run club girls to race expos or snowy races; waving to other Jeep drivers.) But it was time, and as my friend Linda says, some great college kid will be driving it before too long.

And then, it was time to pick up this:

Hello, sweetie.

So new, she doesn't yet have a name, this is my great-gas-mileage sweet sweet ride - a 2013 Boston Red Hyundai Veloster. So quiet, I sit a stop signs and wonder if it's still running. This car purrs.

It has all the fanciness folks seem to relish in cars today - from bluetooth phone connectivity to tools that help maximize gas. And automatic windows and door locks (it's been awhile since I've had those!) And a sunroof; dear God, there's a sunroof.

Yes, I enjoy driving it, but in a different way. If cars were kids, I could honestly say I love them both, but differently. The Hyundai suits the person I am today - nothing to prove, but a little bit of an attention hog - while the Jeep fit with the Maggie of four years ago. It's the end of an era, and a new beginning.

I can only hope that the next iteration of me does not include a minivan. Or a sedan. I just can't see that.


Amy said...

Did you notice that the colors for the Veloster have to do with races?
Century white, Ironman silver, Triathlon grey, Ultra black, Marathon blue, 26.2 yellow, Boston red. Looks like this car was meant for you.

Maggie said...

I did see that! I may never run Boston, but I sure do like the color. ;)

Janie said...

How does it feel about a cross-country run to Oregon?