Remember when it conked out on me during my writer's retreat earlier this month and Mike and others came to my rescue? Well, turns out even good old Southern generosity cannot heal a cracked engine, so we now have the unanticipated expense of buying a new car. Yuck.
Most people who buy new cars are a bit sad to see the old ones go. So many memories. Mix tapes wedged in a broken cassette player remind us of our carefree college days. In the case of a family car, there are macaroni necklaces hanging from a rear view mirror-- missing sippy cups found in "the way back," and the way every stain tells a story. I can remember Margaret barfing up goldfish on an Amelia Bedelia book in this car. Shadow's muddy paws on the black upholstery after we went geocaching on a soggy day. Marks from Jack's baseball cleats. The crank windows that would confuse the heck out of neighbor kids when we gave them rides.
Since our family doesn't love change-- remember this picture of Jack and Margaret saying a tearful goodbye to our old green toilet?-- I know that getting rid of Tim's Jetta will be tough. New car = no Jack memories in it. No Margaret, Jack, and Shadow wedged together in the back seat. No Jack learning how to drive stickshift in 2 years.
Getting rid of the old car is sad, but it does give me the chance to poke fun at Tim a bit by telling you a little college story. You may have noticed that Tim is a fine looking man. And by fine, I mean f-i-i-i-i-n-e stretched out to 3 syllables the way Jimmy Walker would say "Dy-no-mite!" back in the day.
Well, when we were at Wake Forest, apparently Tim caught the eye of a few gay guys on campus. We didn't hear this first-hand, so I can't vouch for its accuracy, but because I have always greatly admired the opinions of gay men (Hello early 90's equivalent of Clinton Kelly and Nate Berkus!) this only raised Tim in my esteem. Good taste in accessories, good taste in men, they were playing my song.
We also heard that these guys had bestowed upon Tim a nickname, much in the same way my sorority sisters would say, under their breath, "There goes 'Wolf Man,' 'One Nut', or 'Sparky.'"
Tim's nickname? "Yumm Yumm."
Imagine my delight, years later, when Tim, Baby Jack and I received his randomly issued plates from the DMV reading "YMM-5555." Too funny. I've gotten a lot of mileage out of this one!
Tim may miss his old car, but I don't know whether he'll miss those plates.