Sunday, March 9, 2008

Car Wars: Return of the Jetta

First off, a big shout out to Marin for today’s post title…that bit ‘o genius came from her wondrous mind. (Marin, what would you have done if I owned a Daihatsu Charade? Besides ridicule me for driving a sinfully ugly car? *apologies to both remaining Daihatsu owners left in the U.S. Did I offend?*)

And it’s true, ladies and gentlemen, I finally got my car back on Saturday morning! I can’t tell you how excited I was to have my Penelope back in the garage. As you may recall, my car got slammed into on January 26 while I was on the BNL cruise in Florida (which seems like eons ago). After well over a month of countless calls to my insurance company and body shop, my car is better off than it was before it was hit! All noticeable scratches that have been accumulated over the last 2 ½ years are gone. Because the damage covered virtually the entirety of the passenger’s side of the car (plus some on the back of the car, as well as a panel on the driver’s side), it has a new paint job on at least 65% of the car…plus they detailed the whole car when they were done, so the rest of her sparkles too! It’s like my car got a facelift…a kind of vehicle-botox, if you will. Only this kind of botox was totally covered by insurance, as opposed to the deadly bacteria Hollywood starlets inject into their faces, which I’ve heard ain’t cheap.

I only have 2 complaints: one is that the interior of the car now smells a little weird…kind of like wet paint or something, I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s just not the smell I’m used to…but I’m sure it will fade away in a few days. I may invest in an air freshener if it doesn’t improve. The second is that the stereo speaker on the passenger side of the car buzzes if there is ANY bass in a song...and I have the bass knob turned almost all the way down. So I may need to take it back to the shop next week at some point...but I'm trying not to think about that right now.

Some before and after pictures....

Before repairs...just after the accident, and my mom said it looked worse in real-life. (And yes, my car was parallel to the lawn when I left it):


When they pulled the car around, I was still wrapping up my paperwork with the rental car company. (Enterprise had a counter ON SITE at the body shop…heaven! And yes, for those of you who are wondering, it turns out that heaven IS a body shop with an on site rental car outlet. And I bet Paul Rudd is always there as well. Why? Because it’s HEAVEN, that’s why. DER.) Anyway, when they pulled it around, I was like a kid at Christmas. As soon as I signed the last of my paperwork, I bolted. I probably would have run out there and hugged it had it not been for two things:

  1. I didn’t want to smudge, scratch, or smear any part of the glistening wax job they’d just done. Let me reiterate…it was BEAUTIFUL.
  2. There were lots of people standing around, ready to judge the girl making out with her car…which is an inanimate object, after all. But hey, who’s to judge what is and isn’t love, anyway? Suck it, body shop personnel.

I did a quick walk-around to make sure there wasn’t anything to be concerned about before pulling away. Everything looked great. Then I got in. And something weird happened. My euphoria was momentarily replaced by some very unexpected disorientation. It was like I’d never sat in this car before…everything felt completely unfamiliar, like the feeling when you get into a rental car and you have to quickly acquaint yourself with where everything is before you drive off. The stupid Jeep I’d been driving for over a month had become the norm. Well, that’s just GROSS…so this had to stop FAST. But then it all slowly came back to me…there were the same stereo buttons that are noticeably worn by my obsessive need to find the perfect song on the radio, there was the cling pad for my Zune, and there was the can of Turtle Wax a guy at church had lent me to help get out the scratches in my paint that were no longer there. Ok. This was indeed my car. Phew. And I drove off, happy as a clam. Well, a clam with the ability to operate a motor vehicle.

I realize this is all a bit over the top. It’s a car. Not a family member, friend, acquaintance, or even a pet. But I do enjoy my car…I spend a LOT of time driving (48K miles in just 2 ½ years…I know, it’s crazy), and it’s by far the NICEST thing I own. Well, it's probably neck and neck with my Friends DVD collection. That's pretty sweet, too.


Cindy & Brian said...

wait...did your car get hit and run too? Like my poor sweet Guadalupe did in October? I had no idea JK. I am so sorry. BASTARDS. Anyhow, I am so happy for you that Penelope is better than ever. I wish I could say the same for Guadalupe.
And for the record, I AM offended by the Dihatsu comment. Totally not ok.

Jeff Wilcox said...

What kind of horse power does it have? I don't know...but look how shiny!