Sunday, May 21, 2006

Things Automotive

Time to get the family mobile. In a fairly stupid move we decided to get a new car. It wasn't the car that was stupid - it was getting a brand new one instead of a gently used type. In justification though, Kirk had a long and bitter history with cars. Just in our married time we had owned 7 cars. While we were dating he had owned another (and frozen the engine on a memorable date that included the conversation 'don't you think that noise is a bit strange?' 'nah, it's fine').

He had gone through the obligatory car phase - he owned a black mustang. That was before I 'knew him,' but I definely remember the obnoxious guy who peeled out of the parking lots at dances and rehearsals, stereo blaring. He converted it for drag racing, and said he used to be able to rev the engine and watch the fuel gauge drop. Actually, he's lucky not to have killed himself in that car. He and his friends used to go up at night to a deserted highway on the edge of town, park a mile apart, turn off their headlights and then drive at full speed towards eachother. While he was in Thailand, that car was stolen. The only thing they ever found was the bumper, wrapped around a tree.

He had gained (a little) intelligence and common sense since then, and had spent enough time swapping engines and doing maintenance in the army that he was no longer willing to be a car guy. So when we had a bit of extra money in the bank every month, it seemed reasonable to invest in a reliable car. Kirk wanted no maintenance; I just wanted one thing - four doors. Sure I was a master of the contortions necessary to get three kids in and out of car seats in a miniscule Honda, but somehow, it had lost its charm.

That's what domestication does to you. You find yourself in a car dealership going 'Kirk, watch me buckle these seats. Isn't that fantastic?' And he does.


Anonymous said...

That must have been a really difficult post for you to write given that your husband was stopped on the road with car trouble when he disappeared.

I don't know if it affected other readers the same way, as funny as some of it was ('don't you think that noise is a bit strange?' 'nah, it's fine'), it was really sad too.

For Kirk said...

I'm finding this all both more difficult and more cathartic than I expected. Much of the reason I'm writing this blog is to reclaim our story - Kirk's story - as an entire life rather than a single, mysterious, tragic event.

Our ongoing battle with cars was part of that. Yes, there was a certain sick irony that he disappeared when (apparently - who knows really) having car trouble, but I would rather remember and laugh about the rest of it.

Our lives were full of laughter. I'd like to get that back.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, I'm most partial to Mr. Bunny Tail, "Let the silliness begin!"

For Kirk said...

Short Bob anecdote just for you:

Bob purchased a minister's collar to wear to a costume party, but decided it looked really good on him (and was suprisingly comfortable) so began just wearing it around casually. It didn't occur to him that this might be slightly misleading until a stranger came up to him and began confessing highly personal and embarrassing sins. Bob said he was confused until the man called him 'father.' You would have thought the t-shirt would have given it away.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps he should have considered a simple nehru jacket. Could have saved him some trouble. But then again, not nearly as stylish as a minister's collar.