Not Growing Old Gracefully
| It’s about my car.
I named my thirteen year old Corolla ‘Rodney’ because it gets no respect. We have endured a
long codependent love/hate relationship.
It pains me to admit I can be superficial. It’s not pretty, shiny, fast, or sexy. My pulse never
quickens at the thought of it. Heads do not turn when it rolls down the street. It ‘s embarrassing
to drive the same car my nephew bought the first week he worked at McDonalds. I should be
past that but I am not.
It came with an unusual factory option: invisibility. Every car in my town has been burgled at
least twice, except mine. I park it at the furthest point of our lot in a dark place so the neighbors
won’t associate it with me. It is unlocked at all times. I’m glad nothing has ever been stolen but
humiliated to be snubbed by petty thieves as not worthy of their efforts.
Try that with your Beemer.
It’s impossible to get a ticket in the thing. I could be doing 85 in a school zone, bottle of
vodka between my legs, and a bloody corpse in the back through a state police road block and they wouldn’t even look up at me.
Not that I would do anything like that mind you, but I’m pretty sure I could.
It smarts to go unnoticed.
The entire exhaust system fell off about six months ago and I put it back on with my lucky
exhaust repair kit. (It includes a potholder, wire hanger and bolt cutters.) My mechanic calls and
says Rodney has passed inspection, yet again. He didn’t notice the chassis held together with a
It’s bad for my ego but good for my wallet.
The inspection sticker came with a dire warning. “If you’re thinking of selling do it RIGHT NOW”,
my mechanic advises. Rodney’s body is shot. Most original parts are toast and not worth
replacing. The motor is tight and it longs to be on 495 eyeing a pretty Lexus, but it’s only a
I pity it because I can relate. We’ve arrived at the same place.
The paint started to peel like a bad sunburn about three years ago. It still runs great and I get
four months from a tank of gas. As much as I hate it I’m not thinking of selling. I’d rather find a
retirement home where I can bring a bouquet of air fresheners every Sunday and feel good
about myself the rest of the week.
In spite of our sick relationship I am going to miss that pathetic car.