I remember the night before my 17th birthday. It was pouring outside. I was cleaning out my closet when Mom and Dad called to see if I wanted to go to dinner and shop for my first car, and I thought they were playing a mean joke. In fact, I cried, then yelled at them for being so cruel on the night before my birthday. Turns out, they weren’t kidding.
We drove from dealership to dealership in the flattening rain, test drove a Saturn, arrived at Toyota. And there it was…the 1996 blue Corolla. My Corolla. I remember them signing the papers, the fake, bright light of the showroom, how it was closing time when we finally headed home. I recall picking it up the next day with my dad and driving it out of the parking lot, tickled. I’d never expected a car because my parents had always told me not to, but there it was. Trust. Freedom. Possibility on four wheels.
Since that day in 1999, my little blue Corolla (“Lola,” as she’s fondly known), has carried me away from home and back again–to school down the road and to school states away. On vacation, to the grocery store. While I’ve pounded out rhythms on my steering wheel, and as I’ve cried my way down highway roads praying aloud. She’s never been in an accident, waited for me as I’ve traveled all over the world and carried all of my belongings to and fro. Needless to say, I’m mildly attached.
Over the past few years, the same car has ushered me into married life, a 9 to 5 job, a permanent address. She has always delivered me safely to my destination. And now, after 11 years and 99,000 some odd miles, it’s time to say goodbye. I’m not entirely sure how I’ll fare when she pulls out of the driveway for the last time, but I can safely say that “Lola” has served me brilliantly in my most formative of years. I trust completely that she will serve her next owner just as well.
For the time being, Lola sits in the driveway sporting bright red “FOR SALE” signs that will hopefully give her the attention she deserves. She’s a darn cute little car, if I may say so, and in the same way that she brought me delight for 11 roadworthy years, she’ll undoubtedly be a great find for the next lucky driver.
A little “Lola” love for those who’d like to appreciate her for themselves
Thanks, Mom and Dad (and Lola), for all of the miles!