The Yellow Xterra

I’m over the whole “fairness” of vacation thing. I guess it is fair that two people get the same holiday off every year and no one else does. I mean, it wouldn’t work anywhere else but whatever. We’ll move on.

My car is in its death throes. If you know me, then you know it’s been dying for years but I think this time it’s serious. I’ve visited the car place at least 4 times in as many months with the last visit just last week. I’ve had the struts in the front and back replaced, a new radiator, the transmission resealed and something called a solenoid replaced. The plan is to go car shopping once we’ve bought a house and we’ll hopefully start narrowing in on that soon.

I currently drive a gray Neon. It was my first new car post college and I got it because I needed a car and it happened that the people at the clothes store wouldn’t set me up with a room while I was holding hundreds of dollars worth of clothes. The money I planned to spend on clothes became my down payment that very day. Basically, I bought the car on a whim and it was one of the most regrettable things I’ve done if you discount marrying my ex-husband.

I had done some research on Consumer Reports, but this particular make and model were not reviewed since the Neon was a brand new car. Later, it would make it into Consumer Reports as one of the top 10 worst cars to buy used thanks to a slew of mechanical problems.

When the car dealer sold it to me she described the color as “iris”. She didn’t mention the street name for iris was “street camo” or “asphalt gray”. When you think camo you think people will pause in wonder as a head floats in the sky, but no they don’t ever see my head – they see free space which means I’m constantly dodging cars that don’t see me. My car has been “parked in” twice where someone pulled into my driver’s side door while it was parked on the side of the road. I had the door repaired once, but couldn’t bring myself to take it back into the body repair shop since it would have made my third time. See, my car has been a little invisible roadside hazard waiting to happen since the beginning. I’ve had workers drop things on it from the roof of one of the apartment buildings, I’ve had a fence fall on top of the hood and just countless others of large dents appear. With each new major dent has been a lack of note apologizing or offering up insurance details. Right now the car is horribly dented, there’s a crack along the hood of the car, the bumper is torn and there are about 15 chipped out circles on the roof that are rusting out. It’s a rolling eyesore without AC at the moment.

These days I want a bright yellow Xterra and I don’t care if most of my friends find that ridiculous. People can actually take notice of a bright yellow Xterra in the sea of soulless bland blues, grays, browns and blacks. No one can say “oh sorry, mistook you for the driveway, my bad”. Plus, it’s a taller car (or SUV if you prefer) – a rolling yellow wall of contrast to the “iris” hues of the rest of the world. It’s a happy car – the kind that says good morning you dull little four-door sedan. Who wouldn’t want to be greeted by that?

Just think, on Thanksgiving day when I’m out there with my little step stool cleaning the thing (since I won’t be engaging in vacation plans), it will cheer up the neighborhood.

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