Friday, January 9, 2009

Goodbye old friend...

I have so many things that I’ve been wanting to write about...

I've been tagged to make a list of my new year's resolutions. But to be totally honest, I prefer to make grand promises all year long rather than save them for one day. Makes ignoring them so much easier. So odds are I won't ever get around to writing about that.

I wanted to write about our fabulous Christmas holidays and all the amazing "gifts" we received. I'm one of those crazy people who actually mean it when I say, "Please don't get me anything." Which I know is annoying to family members who are legally required to give me presents. But this year we received the best, most thoughtful gifts: lots and lots of children's books (our weakness) and several really cool donations in our name here and here. Perfect gifts for parents to be!

I wanted to write about our visit to the east coast and my cool conversations about adoption with my goddaughter (6) and her brother (8). In a nutshell they think adoption is cool because it will give them more friends though they are dubious about our asking for babies, "They cry all the time. Did you know that?"

I wanted to start a weekly feature called Friday Fun Fact. Every Friday I would share one cool thing about Ethiopia. For example, did you know that the Wise Man bearing myrrh came from Ethiopia? See... I told you it would be cool!

But now that I'm sitting here, I find the only thing I really want to write about is my car. My very uncool, but much loved 1997 Saturn. Today she was towed away, donated to charity to support our local public radio station (KPCC). Sigh. I was kinda sad to see her go.

Um... hello Kat? This is an ADOPTION blog? How the heck does a very old Saturn tie into adoption? I guess it's what the Saturn represented. She was the beginning and, now the end, of an important era for me.

In 2001, I packed up and moved to Los Angeles for a boy (no, not the Esquire, but the move is what lead me to the Esq. so I'm very grateful to that other boy for getting me here). This would be the first time in over 10 years that I couldn't rely on public transportation so I needed to buy a car. I searched long and hard for a good used safe one with lots of trunk space (I am my mother's daughter). The only 'extra' I wanted was power locks. Not sure if it's rational or not but power locks have always made me feel safer. When the LA boyfriend and I went to look at this car the saleslady tried to woo me with the fact that it had a spoiler (?) and some sort uber-cool, one-of-a-kind, customized stereo system. To which LA Boyfriend promptly snorted, "you'll love that for listening to NPR." The Saturn only had 39,000 miles on her, power locks, and a trunk big enough to live out of so I bought her.

And she's been a great car...has been there for me throughout everything. She's hauled campaign paraphernalia, props and set pieces, plants, recycling, ball gowns, celebrities, and wedding gear; not to mention most of my belongings as I moved from apartment to apartment. She's been valet parked at Spago's, the Emmy's and the SAG Awards. She’s taken me on countless road trips to Vegas, Berkeley, and Joshua Tree. And on those road-trips, her tape player –and that oh so cool stereo system-- let me listen to hours of Neil Diamond, REM, Lyle Lovett, and Duran Duran. When I broke up with the LA boyfriend, I would take long drives in her listening to sad music. And when I started to date the Esq. in secret (we didn't want our friends to know at first), I kept random groceries in the Saturn to help give me an alibi after seeing him. My friend Slaw decide I had officially gone LA when he noticed that I always, always kept a beach chair, granola bars and an eyelash curler in the Saturn. Even when the Esq. and I took off for a year, she ended up helping out by holding all the random last minute things we had forgotten to put into storage--like the vacuum, a trashcan and a tupperware full of grits.

She had her share of mechanical problems of course. Never anything too serious in the long run but since I'm not car-inclined at all, I would always freak out when the mechanic gave me a long list of "required" repairs. You know, the very first glimmer I ever had that the Esq. might be the one for me was when he calmly and rationally gave me car repair words I could understand. The LA Boyfriend was worse than me when it came to car stuff, so not only was he never any help, but his lack of knowledge often just caused me to freak out even more. After all, what's the use of a boyfriend if he can't help with car stuff??

As much as I loved the Saturn though, times change and we are now waiting on our child(ren). Yes, she's still a good safe car but she is also 11 years old, and we felt we needed to get a new car with more current child safety standards. So we made plans to trade her in. Even though LA isn't made for it, I still manage to walk almost everywhere so in 8 years I've only put 20,000 miles on her. I thought it was impressive to have an 11 yr old car w/ only 60,000 miles but then the Honda guy accused me of rolling back the odometer. We went and bought a Mazda.
The new and the old

It’s funny the random things that suddenly make you realize you are A Grown Up. My best friend had been married for 5 years, built her own home and had 2 children but it wasn’t until she bought a dining room table with an extra leaf that suddenly she felt like a grown up. Something about owning an extra section to her dining room table seemed very adult to her. I guess I experienced my Grown Up moment today when I watched the Saturn being towed away. I’m no longer that single carefree girl who hauls around a beach chair. Now I’m a mom-to-be, excited that her new car has the LATCH system for car seats.

Yes, I love our new Mazda (power locks AND power windows!) and I love my husband and the life we've made together. But as I’m excited as I am about our future and what’s next, I was still a little sad to see the Saturn, and the girl who once owned her, go.



  1. Sigh. I had that moment years ago as I watched my old Nissan go. My very first car - the car that I'd had as a young single girl in Chicago and the car that carried me from Chicago to LA as a new bride. Still makes me smile thinking about her.
    But, I have to say the most amazing thing in your post was the fact that in LA you manage to walk almost everywhere!! You, Kat, are my new hero!!!

  2. i heart your new car. and that orange house. is that your house? also, i have never curled my eyelashes. should i be doing that? looks painful.

  3. I am tearing up. Your blog made me realize that one day I must say goodbye to my VW Golf, 2003 modlel, yes, the year of first-car-purchase, re-southernification, marriage, employment, first Tally Ho. We called her Baby Gray as soon as we saw her on the parking lot of the Greenville dealership. The Californian New-Age salesman was not the hassling type. We walked out with her at first visit, without any money down (that's why I love South Carolina). I knew Baby Gray was special when it rolled into its 100,000 mile, the very week that a real baby Gray was born. And if anyone says "oh, a two-door doesn't work with a baby," I'll slap them. A cart and a blind donkey are good enough for a baby. Goodbye SATURN, I'm sorry I never met you. KOSTIS