Solveig • ADAMS, OR
Gold Beach High School
I still have my first car – an old girl by the name of Maybelline – and she’s the reason I swear by Toyotas, like my mother before me. Maybelline’s an ’88 Toyota Corolla, with at least 250,000 miles on her, yet at 26 years she comes with about the same amount of problems that cars half her age have. While this might be because 13 is a historically unlucky number, I think that it’s more because Maybelline is a spring chicken from a car company that knows how to make cars to a family that knows how to take care of them. Maybelline has been in our family for years, possibly since she was born and she was my mother’s car long before my parents were married. I learned how to drive in her before I was legally able and I would’ve taken my test in Maybelline, except she was at the car doctor for yet another surgery.
Maybelline has a manual transmission, which I think that everyone should learn how to use because if you can learn to drive a manual, well then I think that you can learn to drive just about anything. Manuals are much more involved and therefore more fun to drive. I love driving Maybelline more than I love driving our huge Sprinter van, McCarthy, or our silver Prius, Eleanor, simply because I have to do so much more. Honestly, I think that manuals are safer too. In an automatic, there are long stretches of nothingness and the danger of falling asleep looms over my head. In Maybelline or any other manual, there is never a time when I have nothing to do. Manuals can also keep the urge to speed at bay as well. Whenever I am in a rush to get to school I make sure to stay in a low gear so that I can’t speed without Maybelline scolding me with a roar of her engine.
As a 26 year old, which translates to about 78 people years (multiply by 3), Maybelline has a lot of problems that I have to deal with. Most of them leave me without a car for at least three days. However, Maybelline is one of my best friends and forgiveness is part of a relationship. Besides she has to deal with my problems more than my people best friends do. While I may have to take her into the auto shop on a frequent basis to find out why she’s broken down this time, Maybelline has to deal with me complaining about other drivers on a frequent basis and pounding the steering wheel when frustrated. I might have to deal with her refusing to go into third nicely, but she has to put up with me cursing at her whenever this happens. I accidentally rev her over 3000 rpms because I’m late and need to speed up quickly; she starts shuddering as soon as we get going too fast. We both put up with it because at the very base of things, I need Maybelline to be able to go places and she needs me driving her to keep her in shape.
You may have noticed that I talk about Maybelline as if she is a person. You see, to me Maybelline is a person. She may not really have feelings to hurt and she may not actually behave well for me because she likes that I take good care of her, but I like to pretend that she does because it feels like that to me. I love old cars because they have such personality and with that personality comes the feeling that they understand us and react to what we do. This is the main reason I love Maybelline so much. I am not one for inanimate objects as can be seen in my pitiful attempts at collecting. I just don’t really like stuff. However, if that inanimate object seems to me to be animate, then I treat it like a person and either start to hate it or love it for the personality I see in it. Freedom is having a driver’s license and being able to go where I want in a few minutes versus a few hours. Happiness is doing it in a car I love and truly enjoy driving. Maybelline.