Today I’m celebrating the longest relationship I’ve ever been in. You’re confused aren’t you? You probably should be. I’m not married, and my longest relationship lasted WAY longer than it should have, but still had a 7 year expiration date. I guess technically, I’ve been in a “relationship” with the day job for over 18 years at this point, but I don’t really like that, so I’m not counting it. I’m talking about my relationship with Lil’ Red.
Ten years ago, on 8/8/08, I was on my way to Salt Lake City to attend a wedding. On my way out, I received a phone call from a salesman at my favorite car dealership. He said the car I had been in love with since the mock-up of it as a concept car had been released 2 years prior was just pulled off the truck in the color I wanted. Did I still want the car? Like there was even a question. Of course I wanted the car, but I also wasn’t going to be that asshole who blew off the wedding to buy my midlife crisis car. $500 paid over the phone was enough to hold it until the wedding was over, and make me the envy of every University of Utah professor that also wanted my midlife crisis car, the 2008 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L with the V6 engine in San Marino Red, school colors at the U. Sorry boys, that 28-year-old beat you to the car you wanted….
Lil’ Red and I have had quite the relationship over the past decade. She’s been my therapist through countless miles of fast driving, mountain curves, fast driving on mountain curves, and loud music. She inspired the paint color for 3 different classic car remodels in 2008 alone. She’s the reason a complete stranger followed me for over a year before he asked if he could drive her and then ended up buying her ugly brown step-sister after I refused multiple offers to sell her. (Really though….Tiger Eye Pearl was not the best Honda paint color). She’s been the fancy ride that has been to Homecoming and Prom more times than I ever did (not like that was a hard number to beat!) with the cousins who begged to drive her to impress their dates. She’s taken the kid and I on several nice long road trips. She’s been on the road from Vernal to Salt Lake so often she could probably do it without me, so take that Tesla self driving cars. She survived teaching the 16-year-old how to drive, although, I’m sure she was pretty grateful that I never let him take her himself. She’s happy to oblige when tiny humans ask me to fly balloons out of the sun roof, or go faster because it’s fun, and she was even happier when teenage boys in Challengers tried to race her and lost miserably….three lights in a row.
She’s getting up there in age though, kind of like her owner. I mean…she’s still awesome AF, and appears to have it all together, but she’s a total Monet. Once you get up close, you start seeing all of the imperfections. I suppose she takes after her owner a bit on that one. I’m not looking forward to the day Lil’ Red has to retire, because she can’t really be replaced. (Seriously, they quit making that car in 2017, there was no deeper meaning there.)
So yeah, it’s probably the only 10 year anniversary I’ll ever celebrate. As for the couple from the 8/8/08 wedding, I texted them this morning, like I do every year, telling them Happy Anniversary, and was thanked with the response “You always remember. Thank you!” I never have the heart to tell her that I remember her anniversary, because it’s also the same day I bought Lil’ Red, but I don’t think it would matter. 8/8/08 was a great day for both of us, and while I’m sure she’ll be celebrating with the modern 10 year anniversary gift of diamonds, I may have to go with the traditional gift, crack open an aluminum can of some sort of cold beverage, and celebrate the day I bought the only car I’ve kept for longer than 3 or 4 years. Or maybe I’ll use it as an excuse to go buy myself those diamond earrings I’ve been looking at, because Treat. Yo. Self. (Someone’s got to do it right?)