The End of an Era

  I was going to write about my vacation from this past week, but instead I’m going to talk about the end-of-life of my beautiful 1987 Acura Integra RS, license plates MYTOYRS.  I have an appointment today to bring my car in for the Voluntary Accelerated Vehicle Retirement (VAVR) Program.  It’s one way for the state to rid the world of older polluting cars.  In exchange, I’ll be $750 richer.

It’s almost 1:20 a.m., and the appointment is for 11:00 a.m., but I haven’t cleaned out the car of my personal property yet.  I’m in denial.  Maybe I didn’t really make that appointment, and this is really not happening.  I’ve had it for over 22 years and 175,000 miles.  I’m way too emotionally attached to it, and it was like that in the beginning.  I wouldn’t let Daniel drive, I had to get it an alarm, I washed and waxed it every weekend. Twenty two years ago, I was in college, living at home, working part-time, with no real responsibilities.  It was a much more simple period in my life, AND my life isn’t that complicated now!  By losing the car, it feels like I’m erasing those years of my life.  I had just turned 19 when I bought that car back in 1986; I was in the middle of college, didn’t have my first real job yet.  Since then, I’ve had an almost 20-year career in human resources, married for 18+ years, my daughter just turned 12, and I’m about 10 years from retirement!  A lot has happened with while I’ve owned this car.

As the story goes, when I bought this car, I promised my parents I would keep it for 10 years.  Those 10 years went very quickly, so I never really felt like I wanted to buy a replacement.  Over the years, things broke.  Some got fixed; some didn’t.  For the past two years, the left hand signal hasn’t functioned well, but it wasn’t really worth it to fix.  The safety features of newer cars have improved immensely over the past 20 years as well.  I don’t have any air bags or traction control, and that would be good for the family.  It doesn’t have cup holders, but that’s probably the only fancy feature I really care about.  Although it passed smog last December, the registration fee will come up soon, so I knew I had to do it before then.  Right before I went to Kansas, I made the appointment for the Saturday after I returned because I knew I had to stop procrastinating.  From what I was told, I’ll be bringing it to a scrap metal shop.  They put the car on a list for 10 days in case a collector wants to claim in (fat chance!)… and then it gets crushed.

When I wake up, I’m going to clear out my stuff from the car and give it a quick wash.  After all, if I’m leading it to its demise, it might as well go out with dignity.  Then I’m going to take my final photos of it in front of the house. 

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I’m going to get enough gas to get me to the dismantler and turn the car in.  Then we’re going to lunch, probably at Harry’s Hofbrau, my comfort food place.  Afterwards, my reward will be to go test drive a car, the Nissan 370z.

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Maybe that’ll make me feel better… because right now, I’m just a little sad.

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