This is the story of my greatest love affair.
There are relationships and then there are love affairs. The latter never end well.
You start a love affair knowing you’ll be lucky enough to get out of it alive, metaphorically speaking. From the beginning, you know your heart is on the line. You dive in headfirst under the delusion that maybe yours will be different, that yours will stand the test of time. You pray that you’re right.
I went all-in on mine. We spent many a waking hour together and I neglected my friends to do so. I quickly started to collect fond memories with my lover. We went on roadtrips together. We took the road less travelled. They were my ideal travel companion, always ready for an adventure. It was the little things that I loved about them, like how they let me pick the travel playlist that fit my mood; upbeat, pick-me-up, melancholy. I dreamt of going everywhere with them. I planned our future together.
I was proud to show them off and would brag about them to anyone who would listen.
The attractive ones always break your heart
They were unbelievably fun to be with, carefree and a lover of life. They showed me possibilities and helped me to be a better person. They made me feel I could be anyone I wanted to be. I wanted to be a better person for them. I would have done anything for them. Man, I was in trouble.
They eventually became my most trusted confidant. My lover saw me laugh, cry, scream. They knew my darkest secrets, watched me make mistakes, and saw me at my worst. I couldn’t keep anything from them. Through it all, they were there for me when I needed them the most like no one else could have been. That is, of course, until they weren’t.
They were never unfaithful but I got the distinct impression our time together was limited. They became increasingly unreliable. They spent more time away from home. They started to keep things from me. I was losing trust in them faster than I could say, mini.
They held the power to break my heart, and they did.
In the 12 years since we met at the MINI dealership, I have never wanted to be with any other car. You made driving a form of joie de vivre, not simply a means to an end to get me from point A to B. Like a dog owner, I always hoped people would see you as my automotive equivalent, someone who was as cool and as stylish as you. Who was I kidding? I didn’t stand a chance.
The roadtrip to Vancouver that we took two years ago was one of my fondest memories together. I’m sorry I made you sit in the scorching heat in Merrit, that was cruel of me. Thank you for your forgiveness. I’ll also never forget how our dog, Baldur, loved to come on car rides even though your hatch was barely large enough to accommodate him. He didn’t care, he enjoyed the drive as much as we did.
You were there for me through some of the hardest moments of my life. As I sat in the parking lot of the Canmore Nordic Centre on a cold December evening after cross-country skiing, you held me up as I took in the news of my father’s illness. I’m sorry if I scared you when I wailed. Thank you for getting me home in one piece.
You were my trusty steed for over a decade. It’s silly to cry now because I knew when we met that I’d have to say goodbye to you first, I just didn’t think it would happen so quickly. To say ours was a love affair is an understatement. You were my first car and an expression of who I was. I’m not sure how I’ll ever replace you.
I hope your new owners have the means to bring you back to life. With any luck, we’ll meet again one day. I know for certain I’ll have another affair with one of your kind. When that day comes, I hope you can be happy for us.