6 years ago today, my parents were kind enough to buy the car of my dreams after the death of my beloved hand-me-down Jeep Cherokee. In honor of Drew Barrymore’s character in 50 First Dates and the Beatles’ Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, I named my 2000 Volkswagen Beetle Lucy. Most people are probably not aware, but VW’s New Beetles are notorious for engine and electrical failure, so my parents were cringing a little with this knowledge as they signed the title (because I simply could not live without it, and also it was only $10,000 — a steal at the time!) Lucy has been a member of the family ever since she first rolled down Reid Road, and she has never given us a minute of trouble (that a day or two in the shop couldn’t cure). Really and truly, I’ve always babied the car and aside from a couple of incidents (spark plugs, an oil leak, and a temperamental alarm), after 100,000 miles together I can proudly say that this car is my tried and true friend, an unstoppable little bubble of sunshine. For that reason, we decided to celebrate Lucy’s 6th anniversary as a Rasberry (and now a Napier) by giving her a wash, wax, buff and vacuum.
Here, you can see how the old girl’s aged (very gracefully indeed):
(note the differences, in 2004: a pre-Katrina roof on my parents’ house, no European car tag (a momento of mine and Ben’s new romance), no ding on the passenger side, no chrome door handles (because she needed to be more fabulous).
More than just a car, Lucy is a seriously sentimental reminder of the year I met Ben. The first days of our courtship were spent riding in that car with the sunroof open and Damien Rice on the radio, ordering Ocean Waters from Sonic’s drive-in, talking late into the night with Ben leaning against the passenger door as I tried my best to be cool and intelligent in the driver’s seat. A few weeks after we met, Ben inherited his family’s rusted out 1983 Suburban and we aptly named him Dale (it was a Scottsdale model, but the ‘Scotts’ on the emblem fell off). Like Ben and me, Dale and Lucy were forever inseparable, parked side by side wherever we went:
(a painting I did for Ben’s birthday in 2005)
Today, the view is a little different: Ben finally got a very nice car and now we’re both Ole Miss graduates.
I’m still a Mac lover, and Ben’s still a Chevy man, I still carry my best friend Hope’s Cha Cha Chica coconut body splash in the door pocket, and I still wouldn’t trade my Lucy for a million bucks. Really.