Dear Phyllis

Dear Phyllis,

Oh my beautiful, shiny, sturdy, reliable Honda CR-V! Where to begin!? As I sit here in the Firestone waiting room, anxiously missing you while you get your annual inspection, I can’t help but reflect on our years together.

We met almost a decade and a half ago. You remember! I was fresh out of seventh grade, still wearing braces and a training bra. You were still glossy and bright red, and didn’t make that weird squeaking noise that you do now. You sat on the lawn at the Honda dealership, and the moment we all laid eyes on you, we said, “Yes. She’s the one.”

For the next few years I would remain a passenger in your backseat (no matter HOW many times I called shotgun, older brothers are the worst). Then when I turned 15 and was graced with a learner’s permit, you were my number one practice vehicle. You were nervous at first, but I didn’t let you down (except for that mailbox incident. Seriously, I’m sorry! That thing came out of nowhere!)

Regardless of a few hiccups, I received my driver’s license and as a result, received you. We finished the second half of high school, driving our friends around and listening to Simple Plan CDs at full volume.

Then college! You were there for me during all of those late nights (studying!), the crazy weekends (working on papers!), and the social events (at the library!)

After graduation, we conquered the real world, going together to job interviews and internships. As I grew older and put more miles on myself, so did you. Our relationship became just like that of the relationship in the book “The Giving Tree” (except I didn’t chop you up).

Once you hit your 200,000 mile mark a couple of years ago, I started nervously counting down the days until you gave in and decided it was too hard to go on. But you somehow made it to 210,000 miles, when I really got nervous and actually started to hold my breath whenever I started your engine. At the 220,000 mile mark, I cynically began to plan your imminent funeral. At the 230,000 mile mark, (and just know that I’m not proud of this!) I started browsing around for other cars, just in case.

But now here we sit at Firestone, 235,858 miles under your belt and you have yet to let me down.

Sure we’ve had our rough patches. Like the time you got tired of rolling up the driver’s side window and just let it remain open, for all of the city of Richmond to see. Or the time you forgot how to turn off cruise control while we were going 75mph down I-64 in the middle of the night, and you refused to slow down no matter how hard I pressed the brakes. Or the time you wouldn’t open the driver’s side door so I had to crawl out of the passenger’s side every time I exited. Or when you decided that air conditioning is only necessary when we drive 45mph or faster (that’s only okay in the wintertime! It’s not really that funny in the summertime, Phyllis! Sorry about all of the foul cursing but in 97-degree weather, you kind of deserved it!)

All of that aside, though, you have made me so proud. During the long road trips out of town, the short trips around the city, and everything in between, you have been my gal.

Right now you’re bravely being poked and prodded and honked and opened, while I sit at Firestone, drinking coffee and watching Rachael Ray. Then when it’s all over, we’ll go through the car wash at Exxon (yes, the one you like!) as my apology for putting you through everything.

Phyllis, please stick around for as long as you can (what do you think about trying to be the oldest living CR-V?) I would miss you dearly if you died!

And frankly I can’t afford to replace you.

With love from your spare tire to your dipstick,

Rachel

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