car and driver

Life really has been filled with lots of changes for the past 11 months.  Moving to Seattle was the biggest noticeable one, but that really was just the beginning….. or the middle, or the first part.

Really the biggest changes have been the unseen ones.  The changes in everyday living and being that came before the boxes and the move, and long after the boxes and all the unpacking and finding a storage space for two of our five sofas; after purchasing bookcases; and as I continually scan craigslist for that perfect chair or table.

I’ve been in school for a long, long time, but no where in there did I learn what goes into making a life with another person, what goes into planning for a future as two people as a singular unit.  I have known Partner for a long time — going on 14 years. We me on our first day of freshman orientation at college.  I remember meeting him then: he was smart, funny, a bit arrogant, an excellent soccer player, and loved music and cars.

After college we fell out of touch for a while, but when he tracked me down about four or five years ago, I was not at all surprised when he let me know that he had recently purchased a Mitsubishi Evo.  In fact when he said that was what he got, it completely fit.  The Evo is a powerful performance car — there is a rawness but also an elegance to it.  Yup, that was the car for him.  Well, the Evo and the 1999 Nissan Sentra for which he built a motor.  That car is so powerful it shakes the whole house when he starts it up — it far too powerful to be a daily-driver in Seattle.  Even the hint of rain and tires will spin.

In June we took the car to be tuned by English Racing.  Here is on a lift about to roll onto the 4-wheel dyno for tuning.

In the five years since Partner first purchased the Evo his life changed and he got more into cycling, and then he got more into me. Well, actually, I got more into him, he was already into me.  Still, nothing could have prepared me for the changes of the automotive type around here.  This week Partner sold the Evo.

For a long while now we’ve known that we would be replacing my 1998 VW Jetta TDI.  It is a nearly 14 year-old car that lived all of its life up until now in states that salt their roads.  While my car is in amazing shape for its age and it is mechanically sound, I knew that it was soon going to be time to replace it with something else because the Jetta would need more money to be put into it to keep it up in the coming years. At some point that becomes a losing situation.  Even before moving out here I knew that I would be replacing my car with another TDI — once you are used to getting 45-50MPG you just can’t go back! — this time preferably a wagon.

After many talks this fall about replacing my car, we determined that we would wait another year — until the dissertation is done, until I am fully employed (I felt very strongly about that last point).  My car suffices for us when we need something practical.  Yes, something a bit more suited to our lifestyle would be nice, but my car give us excellent milage for the longer trips and we can throw both bikes in the back of my car — albeit awkwardly and in a way that means we can’t pack too much else.  Sometimes my car makes me nervous — I hate to think of it breaking down on us somewhere in the middle of nowhere, but still, I am hesitant about replacing it because right now we have three cars for a two car garage.  My car is the one parked on the street and I am not really keen on parking a brand new car on the street.  After more conversations about the cars this winter, we settled on something a bit more radical: sell all the cars!

The Evo sold the other night.  It was snatched up quickly.  That night we moved the TDI in the garage. Opening the door to the garage now and seeing anything but the Evo in there is strange — even if it is my own vehicle.

There is a lot to figuring out this new life together, but I never would have thought that one of the changes would have been Partner selling the Evo.  I don’t know what the timing will be on selling the the Sentra and the TDI.  First I think we both need a moment to get used to the new automotive configuration.

Yesterday morning before I left for campus, I found my spare key for my car and put it in Partner’s key ring.  The TDI is now our car.


About OneGoneTwo

bioethicist, cultural studies, literature, and visual cultural scholar, writer, and lover of design
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