Driving for Distraction

July 10, 2015

I have always loved to drive. I grew up learning on VW Bugs and Toyota Corollas, so standard transmission was, well, the standard. I knew it was time to switch to automatic when driving in rush hour traffic on I93 into Boston with one hand on the wheel and one hand desperately trying to keep our antsy two year old in her car seat. Not fair to use my knee for steering and this was well before cell phones were a threat to safe driving.

When the same daughter got her license and needed a car to get herself to a school with no bus service, I realized I could make the shift back to five on the floor. When we visited the Subaru lot I was thinking Impreza, and maybe even a new car, of which I had only ever bought one. We test drove both the Impreza and its sportier version when I spotted a bright blue WRX. My husband insists that he was the one who suggested I try it. Either way, one spin around the block and I was hooked. This turbo charged beauty is HAPPY. No delay in pick up- it has plenty of zip plus all wheel drive and the 5 speeds I was looking for. I was sold.

I had no idea that I was joining a Young Men’s club. My daughter’s friends, did, evidently. As do the guys who change the oil, or the random people who give a thumbs up at a stop light.

Pulling into the gas station the other day, I had to back up a little to let a woman out. There was enough room for the QE II to pass through, but she seemed annoyed that I was not backing up even further (and launching myself into the street). I pulled up to the pump and the guy swiftly leaned down. Uh-oh, I thought. Maybe I had been rude and there was only room for a much smaller ocean liner to pass by me.

“What can I getcha, my Subaru Sister?” he asked brightly. I wasn’t being scolded! We were bonding! I must have looked a little bit dazed, but said “Fill with Premium, please.”

“What year is this?” he asked. Had I made the wrong choice?

“It’s a 2008; I got it in 2011.”

“Oh, the first year they made this body. It’s narrower than the later ones. I have a 2015, the one year they didn’t make a hatchback. See? It’s right back there. Check it out! So what was that you wanted?”

“Premium? Filled, please.”

“Yeah, that’s what I put in mine.”

We chatted a few more minutes about how much we love our cars and how much fun they are to drive. I feel a little like an imposter because I don’t know anything about stats, I have not suped mine up, and I don’t even drive particularly aggressively. (Says me. My husband used to call me Emerson (Fittipaldi) because of my penchant for, um, efficient driving.) I have started to own that I should just expect comments of comradeship from the young men with whom I come into contact who enjoy cars. I don’t have to worry about the fact that they are my daughters’ ages. We are just sharing the simple appreciation of a well made car that we can afford that offers a driving experience pleasure. As well as handling well in the snow. In my book, the ideal marriage of form and function. Now if only I could put the top down……

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