Sigh....I have a green Ford Escort that has seen better days. I have owned the car for 8 years and it has trooped along. Yesterday it was clacking, I got my "husband" on the job and he replaced the spark plugs and deemed it okay to drive. This morning on my commute the car was not behaving like its usual self. I crossed my fingers. On the drive home, it starts seriously malfunctioning. I make a heartfelt prayer to God not to leave me stranded on the side of the road 70 miles from home (it's fricking cold here right now). God listens...and the car dies just as I pull into my own driveway. Gotta laugh about stuff like that. Last year was my first year of commuting to school and I prayed the car would last through the school year. On the last day of school, I took my last final, drove the 70 miles home, and went to get my hair done. On the way home from the salon the car breaks down. I feel great loyalty to this car, even though over the last 8 years its appearance has deteriorated from the cute used car it was when I bought it at the tender age of 19 to something of an embarassment when I roll up to my daughter's day care in it. The Escort got broken into a year or so ago and the tiny back door window on the passenger side was broken out. Not wanting to invest money in a car that I suspected was about to give up on me, I had Prince Charming tape first cardboard, then a more high tech piece of plywood over the hole. The paint is peeling and its starting to rust.
Last November, the car successfully got me profiled as a delinquent citizen (instead of a neurotic, highly motivated nursing student, of course) by a highway patrol officer when I got pulled over for speeding at 6:30am. The road I drive to class is one of those roads that is mostly two lane but every 10 miles or so it will open up to three lanes so that traffic going one way or the other has a chance to pass the annoying drivers who insist on going 45 in a 70 mph zone. Being an experienced commuter, I take full advantage of these opportunities knowing that if I don't I will be stuck behind these a-holes for another agonizing 10 miles. So I get pulled over and from the way the officer is scoping out my car on the way to my window I can tell I'm in trouble. He is immediately irritated that I can't find my registration (even though he can easily run the car or as a last resort LOOK AT MY LICENSE PLATE). He makes several comments about my hi-tech plywood window and proceeds to make me demonstrate adequate functioning of my brake lights, tail lights, and turn signal. He seems surprised when I am able to produce a driver's license and proof of insurance. He wanders back to his car and takes his time writing the tickets (condescendingly informing me that he will let me off with a warning on the registration--my hero). He ambles back to the car with the ticket and is explaining the dire consequences of the ticket to me in really. dumbed down. format--when suddenly he stops and asks if I've been drinking. I indicate the giant bottle of Mountain Dew in the cup holder. He doesn't think I'm funny at all. I am forced to get out of the car and perform an excruciatingly long sobriety test on the side of the road while he hammers me with rude questions: "Why are you so nervous?" Um, I don't make it a habit to get sobriety tested....I haven't even had a drink since June. When he finally decides that I am not under the influence of anything stronger than caffeine, I am allowed to leave. Since he seemed to be looking for something as soon as he scoped out my ride, I can only assume I was profiled for not driving a shiny new car. Poor little Escort.
This car has broken down multiple times over the years, but the fact that it has never once left me stranded when it malfunctions endears it to me all the more. Since I've had the car from age 19 to age 27, this car has seen me through my wild younger days when I learned that 5 people can, in fact, fit in the backseat of a Ford Escort if they want to badly enough, my 500 mile trips home to see my "husband" when he and I first met and to the hospital twice when my babies were born. Add to that a year and a half of commuting to school (during which time the car often had to listen to me break down and cry because that was the only spare time I had to do so) and four moves to various parts of the state, and yes, the Escort and I have been through some shit together. Alas, I fear the car will have to be replaced, and unfortunately, college doesn't exactly rake in the benjamins. Send good thoughts my way...I need a new ride stat!