Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Auf Wiedersehen, Axel. You suited me to a 'T'

Axel, I will miss you. Sadly we will soon part ways and I must bid mein Schatz a fond adieu. Or to speak his language, auf Wiedersehen. Axel is my 10-year-old VW Jetta. (the name is a multi-layered pun, just think about it a little, it’ll come) He’ll be 11 in just a few days and I really will miss this car, but it needs to be replaced. Please make suggestions, seriously, I could use some advice. Car ownership is like any relationship, you start off all starry-eyed and in love, all the newness of it just overwhelms the senses and you can’t stop thinking about that new car sitting out there waiting to be driven so you drive to get some cigarettes, even though you don’t smoke anymore. Thank God because it would have brought a tear to my eyes to smoke in that lovely new car. Oh wait, someone I know DID smoke in there and made a tiny burn on the interior, which is still visible, but I got over it. (not) Most of us get new cars every decade or so, or in the case of my dad, every ‘score’, but whatev. Cars change quite dramatically in that period of time. I thought the cassette deck and CD changer in the trunk were wayyyy cool. Silly me. Actually, if it weren’t for the cassette I wouldn’t be able to listen to my iPod because in the Chicago-land area there is no free FM bandwidth to grab a hold of so those other devices do not work. Now cars have MP3 ports. Woo-hoo! Other amenities of newbie Axel included heated leather seats. No way, I thought! Cool! Or rather, hot! My butt hasn’t been cold a day since I’ve owned that little gem. Sweet. Needless to say, I adored that car. It replaced a ten-year-old Hyundai Excel and was quite a step-up for me. CD player, cruise control, power windows and locks, the good life, really. I still do adore Axel, kind of. Many, many things have since broken. Like any relationship, the honeymoon period was over and reality set in. Predictability is a good thing and I appreciate reliability. Well, the glove box is reliable. It falls off if you open it, which is a nice trick to play on one’s nemesis, “Oh hey, could you get my sunglasses out of the glove box? Thanks. Ooooh, sorry that just took out your kneecaps, I forgot it was broken. Oh wait, silly me, my sunglasses are right here on this handy little holder on the visor. Mea culpa!” Or like that partner who leaves the toilet seat up, you deal with it but it bugs you. Similar to my broken drink holder. Clever design, really, it slides into the dash when you’re not using it. AND THEN NEVER COMES BACK OUT. Like any relationship, sometimes you just need to realize that the broken things are too much and hinder any further worthwhile connections. Like the turn signal lever, which I think, it the best broken thing on my almost 11-year-old car. It has been turned on and off 10,000 too many times and now has no separation from left or right, it just slides up and down indiscriminately. So if I hit a bump, even a tiny one, what with my nearly ancient suspension, it comes on all by itself. Annoying. Finally though, and this last part is all my fault, not Axel’s, a relationship is a two-way street, you know. One morning I forgot that the trash cans were at the end of the driveway and I backed up into them, knocking a letter ‘T’ off of the insignia. So I no longer own a Jetta, but rather a ‘Je_ta’, which I have joked is almost French and an affront to poor Axel. Je t’aime Axel, je t’aime. Bon voyage. Adieu.


  1. Well, coming from someone who has never owned a brand new car I don't really have anything special to offer up to you. I can tell you that we have been very happy with Ryan's Honda Civic- which was used when we bought it, but it's a Honda, so that's good quality, and we've been happy with my Toyota Civic van- again, used- it easily seats both kids in their car seats and holds both large dogs. I understand your sadness though, I was sad when we got rid of my first car that I had driven for a long time too.

  2. I meant Toyota Sienna van- oops!

  3. I think the old Jetta has been very good to you. You have been able to make him run for a long time. Welcome to the world of a car payment again. Fun times!