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An Ode to Buffy (not the Vampire Slayer)

July 6, 2009

Last night, I received a phone call from a man who told me that he is going to buy my car.

I am ECSTATIC! I have never in my life sold anything, let alone a nearly 10-year-old vehicle with bumps and bruises, so my faith in my ability to sell the damn thing was not very high. But I managed to convince a man and his 15-year-old daughter to buy my car for only $200 less than my asking price (and $50 higher than Kelley Blue Book). Tonight, we are going to exchange cash for keys, where I will hand over the signed title and he will hand me my license plates and I will never see this car again.

As I was driving the car back to Hoboken tonight (I normally keep it stored in our building’s garage because the parking in Hoboken is atrocious), my friend V asked me if I was going to miss it. I told her I hadn’t really gotten all that attached to this car, even though I had it for 2 years. Indeed, this car has taken me to many places. Philadelphia, Washington D.C, and Boston. Erik’s apartment for the first time. But for some reason I am not all that sad to see my little red car go. I suppose part of it has to do with how much money I’ve spent on it and part of it has to do with the fact that I haven’t been driving it a whole lot lately and to me it’s more of a burden than a method of freedom.

But the question reminded me of how much love I had for my first car, a 1994 Nissan Sentra, that carried me all around Oregon during the first 5 years of my driving career. Affectionately named “Buffy,” my car was the first car my father bought for me just a few months before I went to take my driver’s license. It was a small, rickety car, with a backseat that really didn’t hold anything bigger than a bag of groceries. But I drove it up and down the I-5 corridor between the University of Oregon and my house in Small Portland Suburb, and it was my refuge during a very tumultuous sophomore and junior year in college. I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t had Buffy, but I’m sure it wouldn’t have been pretty.

I gave up Buffy when I moved across the country in 2007. My dad sold it a few months later to another parent buying a beginner car for their teen. Even though that car also had it’s fair share of problems (a couple of bad batteries and an alternator, and NO AIR CONDITIONING), I still love it. I told V that I think we all have fond memories of our first cars. Just like we have fond memories of our first loves, even if they were complete crap.

Do you have fond memories of your first car?

  1. July 6, 2009 9:12 PM

    My first car was a 1978 Buick Skylark, which was rust colored. My parents bought it for me before my senior year of college. I didn’t have my own car prior to that. It was previously owned by a little old lady, whose children took it away when she hit the garage a few too many times. I could only get AM stations and it guzzled gas & oil. This car got me through student teaching and driving back & forth 2 hours each day, plus trips home from school, which were 8.5 hours long.

    Just before one of my first job interviews (I was driving to Chicago from southern Iowa), I took it in for an oil change. When I went to pick it up, I was bouncing all over the place. When the garage put it up for the oil change, one of the original springs went. Given the cars age, it wasn’t easy to find a replacement. Plus, the town I went to school in shut down on Sundays. I told the guy at the garage there was no way I was driving to Chicago with a car that bounced and they needed to fix it for me. He managed to find a part from somewhere and I was able to drive to Chicago semi-sanely.

    I gave up the car when I got my first teaching job (not the Chicago one) and bought a 1994 Buick Skylark. It served me well, that old rust colored boat.

  2. July 7, 2009 3:23 PM

    1979 Chevrolet Monza. I got the car in 1986. It was turquoise blue with white pleather bucket seats and it was missing the pedal for the brake–just a stick coming up from the floor. I was just finishing my senior year of high school. It was old, but it was in slick shape and the previous owner had souped up the engine. I was know to indulge in the random drag race through my suburbs. Loved that car.

  3. June 11, 2010 9:31 AM

    What theme is this? Can’t wait to start my own blog.

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