My Car: A Metaphor

I drive a 2013 Hyundai Elantra.  When my husband decided it was time for me to have a new car, he asked me what specifics I required.

“A steering wheel and four tires, and it can’t be red.”

The reasons why I do not like red will have to be the basis of another post.  Today, we are going to talk about my car.

When he found one he thought might be right, we went down to the dealership so I could give it a test drive.

It drove.

And it wasn’t red.

So I  bought it.

But I know this man so well, I made him SOLEMNLY VOW that he would NOT complain about the car like he had about the last vehicle I had driven.

It was a van that drove and wasn’t red.  I loved it.

But HE has more refined tastes, or is never satisfied, depending on which side of the table you sit on.

I had suffered through his litany of complaints about the van for three years.  I can’t remember any now, except the gas mileage wasn’t great at a time when prices were near $4.

He has a new list for the car.

It’s a manual transmission, the upholstery is the wrong color, the seats are uncomfortable, it has no pick up, you can’t see out the windshield, it’s not sophisticated-enough. We paid too much, we should have never bought new, it already has 75,000 miles on it, it needs new tires, there is a hesitation in the idle, the rims are ugly.

I gently remind him of his SOLEMN VOW, and he admits that he made the vow, but he cannot SHUT UP about the car.

Recently, I was driving the car with the ENTIRE FAMILY.  This is a big deal because

1.  The entire family rarely does anything together nowadays.

2.The entire family in my car is a borderline insane scenario.

3.  The entire family in my car is a metaphor for our lives.

Fitting five adult-sized people into a Hyundai Elantra comfortably is impossible.  This is “my fault,”  because it is “my car,” which fits 1, 2 3 or 4 people just fine.  UNHAPPILY, that fifth fool is sitting in the back in the middle, on the “hump.”

Logically, the smallest person would sit on the “hump,” but in my car, as in my life, logic often takes a back seat to survival.

In reality, the “hump”  goes to the person who can put up with the most discomfort, the least personal space, and who is least likely to assault his neighbors, since he has four.  The “hump man” has access to everyone in the car, because its interior is so small.  The “hump man” deserves an extra scoop of ice cream.

Every person except one has “taken one for the team.”  As one of only two drivers, Ryan and I have a 50/50 chance of avoiding the back seat altogether.  Depending on the dynamics at the moment, we strategically place each player in the least horrible place and set out on THE ADVENTURE.

About 1 minute down the road, both of us are thinking “Why did we ever get rid of the van?”

And of course the answer is:  GAS MILEAGE, the most common reason why otherwise sane people are admitted to mental hospitals.



Joy Hayes

About Joy Hayes

I am a married full-time mother of three children, 12-18 years old. Each of my kids has a learning/developmental disability or autism. I have a "side-ways" sense of humor, which comes from a lifetime of caring for special people. I love to learn and live to read and write, therefore I am the best student I have had the pleasure to work with.