Monday, March 03, 2008

Goodbye, old girl. You were a good Volvo

The Volvo is gone. Sold. Taken away. No more.

My Volvo was the first thing I did to step away from my ex-husband. He didn't want me to buy it. I did anyway, telling him that I didn't ask to discuss it with him. He was driving a rental car, a new Maxima, being paid for by insurance, and loved it. He wanted to buy a new Maxima. Not a 12 year old Volvo. I refused to take out another car loan for him.

I got $4000 from the insurance company when some jackass totaled my car while it was parked in front of my house. It was my grandfather's car. My family had given it to me after he died because my ex had wrecked his car and not had it repaired. We needed a second car.

It was a Ford Contour. Not luxurious by any stretch of the imagination, but it was paid for. It was 7 years old, and only had 11,000 miles on it. Granddaddy didn't go very far in it.

When it was totaled, I received far less money than the car was actually worth to me. That's the way it was though, and no amount of fighting with the insurance company could change that.

I had asked the Ex not to park it on the street. He did anyway. Some jackass plowed into it. And just like that, it was gone.

The smell of my granddaddy? Gone. The little pieces of him I would find in the glovebox or between the seats? Gone. My granddaddy's car was gone.

I was beyond livid. The Ex had already wrecked his Golf. For which I held the car loan and title. Now, the Contour was wrecked. In about a month from then, he would also wreck the Jetta, which I had just paid off about 4 months prior to that.

I was not about to get a new Maxima for a man who couldn't afford it and couldn't be trusted not to wreck it.

So I bought an old Volvo. Paid cash. Drove it with pride because it was paid for. I loved that car. It was more than a car. It was a turning point.

Buying that Volvo was the first step in my decision not to put up with the crap anymore.

In December of 2006, Guy bought me a new car. Something that I could fit my gear in and still close all the windows. Something that my keyboard could ride in and still be in its case. Something that we could take Lovely and Papa along in to gigs and still be able to haul my stuff. I accepted it begrudgingly.

It felt like I was giving up this independent streak. This piece of "piss on you, world" that had allowed me to come up for air in a drowning marriage. I was sad to give up driving my Volvo.

So I didn't. Not at first. I would still take her out for errands and such. But the more I drove the new Jeep, the less I needed to drive the Volvo. It was enough to just have it in the driveway.

But this week, I knew it was time. It was time to see her off to a new home. Guy wanted to salvage it, but that made me too sad. So I posted it on Craig's List (I know, I know, will I ever learn?), and asked for someone to come and save it from the salvage yard. I had people lined up around the block.

$350 later? My Volvo has a new home, and I have a new outlook.

Giving up that car to me signifies that I have given myself over completely to this new life. To me, it shows that I am 100% comfortable now being completely connected with Guy. Still an individual, but not completely independent.

It's like I finally understand what my mom told me so many times.

She wouldn't buy a piece of clothing if she thought my dad wouldn't like it. I thought when I was younger that it was because she didn't think for herself. Didn't stand up on her own two very un-feminist feet.

Now I know how wrong I was. She didn't wear something he wouldn't like because she loves him. It made her happy to make him happy. She liked the things that he liked. She trusted his opinions. And she valued what he thought of her. I get that now. I love Guy like that.

So goodbye, Volvo. You were a good car. You were a good move for me, but I don't need you anymore. I'm part of a team now.

And I'm desperately happy about that.