I’ve never admitted this before. I thought it best not to, because people don’t always understand and so they send for the men in white coats who dress you in that tight-fitting and incredibly unfashionable jacket.
I name my cars.
Why would an intelligent woman such as moi name her cars, you may ask? Isn’t that a Stephen King Christine sort of thing? Not necessarily. You see, ever since I saw The Love Bug, that Disney movie about Herbie the Volkswagen Beetle who was sentient in his own mechanical way, I decided to treat my first car with respect and affection—just in case it’s alive—so I gave it a name.
I try to give my cars names that suit them. For example, I once had a Chevy Astro van that I called Van Go-Go. It was a van, it was always on the go hauling kids and groceries, and I loved the play on Vincent’s name. Shameless, I know.
I become very attached to my cars. I bond with them. I hold onto them for a decade or more before being persuaded to upgrade to a newer model. For Macho Guy, the car thrill is gone after a couple of years, and he wants something newer, hotter, faster. I consider myself fortunate that he only feels that way about cars. 😉
A few years ago, when my Jeep Grand Cherokee Ltd topped eleven years old, MG persuaded me to trade Kee-Kee in on a crossover we could pack to the roof with our gear and drive it down to Florida in winter. MG went on reconnaissance first, scoped out the possibilities, and narrowed the choices down to two that fit our budget: a Chevy Equinox and a GMC Terrain. Both vehicles were fine, but neither convinced me to give up Kee-Kee.
MG noticed that I wasn’t turning cartwheels over either of his choices, and it was going to be my car, after all. He asked what I thought of the two. I was non-committal. I just shrugged. He let out a very resigned sigh . . .
MG: There is one other crossover I looked at, but I’m not sure I should show it to you.
MG: Because I know you’ll want it.
ME: [with ears perked up] Oh?
He was sooooo right. The moment I sat in the driver’s seat, I lusted after the Ford Edge.
SALESLADY: The Edge has digital controls. Its touch screen has four quadrants: navigation, entertainment, climate, and phone. You can pair your phone with the SYNC system, and then receive and make hands free phone calls through the car. Use this button on the steering wheel to interact with the computer to tell it what you want.
ME: [in hushed tones] The car has a computer I can talk to?
She pressed the button to demonstrate, and I heard a harp like tone and then a female voice.
COMPUTER: Say a command.
It spoke! Just like the computer on Star Trek’s Enterprise! I got so excited I almost needed a change of underwear.
ME: [over the moon giddy] This is like piloting the Enterprise shuttlecraft!
MG: [from the back seat] I knew she’d like it. She’d buy a dump truck if it had all these gadgets.
There was never any doubt that we would buy the Ford Edge Ltd with its talking computer, geek girl that I am. The only decision remaining was what I would name my new Edge. That decision was an easy one. I named her after the actress who provided the starship Enterprise’s computer voice.