Unexpected Love Stories – The Wide-Berth Buick

I had to drive my brother’s Prius back to the house for him today.

It made me ask myself: Do I become a Person Who Drives A Prius merely by the act of doing so? Is it inherent? Is it forced upon me by the fact that it handles like a wind-up, and has the rear visibility of a Hot Wheels?

But I digress.

I don’t really like driving Toyota cars (I have a crush on an old Toyota truck model, but have never driven it, so withholding judgment). Partly because they all feel a little bit like driving a toy car. Even my mom’s previous FJ Cruiser SUV. Maybe particularly my mom’s FJ Cruiser SUV?

It is about like what a Barbie car would be, and it was even a very loud color, so as it was refusing to accelerate above kid-safe speeds on the on-ramp I could at least hope to be given wide berth as a child driver.


It’s mainly because I’m spoiled. I learned to drive in several cars, but I actually became a driver in a big old boat-like Buick.

I never would have guessed it would become something I was fond of, even as I heard people talk about their first cars. It’s a grandpa car. Literally, there is a CarMax commercial that makes fun of my car for being a boat, as a kid is trying to learn to parallel park.

Parking the thing is a beast (the Durango my mom has now feels like the easiest thing in the world, and it’s not technically smaller) –and I’ve met a few too many curbs along the way.

It’s also always ridden smooth and heavy. It likes to go 70 or 80, as it gets some good momentum and airflow, totally the best car for interstate driving.

I drove while I was still impressionable, and now it’s the standard by which I feel other cars.

I think it’s a goner.

I said goodbye to it a while ago, when my sister drove it off to a different state–I felt at that point that I might see it again, but needed to not count on it. When she said she was bringing it back home, I was so happy I told everyone in the same breath as I told them she was visiting.

After about 6 months of jumping from car to car (including my mom’s own transition) I was astonished to find myself not even realizing I was in a car and driving.

(I WAS paying attention, so don’t fret, it just felt natural.)

And then the little shimmy-under-the-hood started to get pretty pronounced. We have one more run into the mechanic to try together, and then I’ll be letting it go again.

I don’t know what will be my next fits-like-a-glove car. I’m probably not getting a new one anytime soon and will be car-hopping for a while.

Hopefully my perfect car is NOT a grandpa-boat car, but something a little more zippy, like a Beetle.

Or maybe I’ll get used to driving tin-cans.

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