Sunday, April 14

out the rear view mirror

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Providence, April 19, 2012

Yes, I am totally cheating by reaching back in the archives for photos since I have not carried my camera in weeks.   Well, that's not entirely true as I have carried it from the living room (where it sat patiently-- hopefully?-- for weeks) back to the studio to shelve it when I finally stopped torturing myself with its baleful glances.

What did I whisper in its ear as I set it back between the box of ephemera and pile of unused sketchbooks?  Hang tight, old friend, another couple of weeks and you will be in Paris.  Whole days to capture the city of lights in Spring!

There was no response, but I'm pretty sure she heard me.

It was a good reminder for me, too-- as damn!  I am going to Paris?  For a week?  With one of my oldest friends?  How did I lose sight of that?  

Not sure-- but I think it's because it got planned back in December and then I totally forgot about it. You know how I am-- out of sight, out of mind.  But it is on the horizon and I think by the time I am walking those familiar streets and getting my first whiff of diesel exhaust-- I'll be feeling excited. 

Right now I am in a much, much quieter state.  It feels so good.  

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Providence, April 19, 2012
Yesterday, I bought a car.

It was the end of an era and I'm still reflecting on how it all went down.  

At one point on Tuesday night I was texting with Dave* as I sat in the icky chair that they have at car dealerships.  

me:  looking at numbers now.  so weird.  definitely triggers my nerves. but it's time.

dave:  awww.  Sylvia was a good girl . . .

me:  The BEST.  It hurts.  End of an era.

dave:  I think it's time

me:  I'm very attached to her emotionally but she's at 148,000 and things are just not sounding great.  I could begin the fixes.  But something about buying a 2013 feels in alignment but oh talk about sad.  I must be the weirdest to be so sentimental about a car.

dave:  No don't start fixing it'll never end.  This is the time.  A new car. a new warranty. security.  Not weird at all dear.  Like you said, end of an era.  That just means there's a NEW era beginning.  Embrace it.

me:  oh WHAT a fabulous approach dude you are wise my friend hang out a shingle and help folks already

dave:  oh you're sweet feel free to call if you need more bolstering.  You go girl!

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at the beach,  April 17, 2012 

So, yeah.  The car that I bought in 2004 specifically because we were building our dream house at the end of a class 6 road and I needed an SUV.  Sylvia (yes, I name my cars--- blame it on Allison) carried me through the journey of building Soliden, experiencing ArtFest, leaving my corporate job, taking art classes, selling paintings, starting Squam, ending a marriage, living on an 1800 acre farm, moving to a new city.

She was there for all of it with the dogs in the back making sure she always smelled like dog.

She was a great car who had been through SO much with me-- oh my god, the 168 inches of snow we survived together (not an exaggeration, 168 inches in winter 2009 it was insane) -- and I felt like I was abandoning her (that's a freebie for all you psychoanalysts out there).  But Dave's perspective was just the fresh attitude I needed and boom.

Here I am with a 2013 rig.  She is the most gorgeous shade of red so I named her Georgia-- and it does feel like my exterior now reflects my interior.  It's a whole new world.

*And for those of you who have a tough time understanding my relationship with Dave, my ex-husband, I think this gives you a glimpse of how we continue to support each other.  (Yes, sometimes I am the one helping him re-frame a situation that is stressful).  What can I say?

If there is one thing that I am most proud of in this world, it is my relationship with Dave.  I am inordinately proud of both of us.  People have said to each of us at different times, "the hell?"  and then launch into the most vitriolic stream of experiences with the person they were once married to.

Somehow, that was more normal.  You loved someone, married them, divorced them and then hated their guts.  I don't know-- that just doesn't make sense to me.

I love Dave.  I will always love Dave.  It was our marriage that ended.  How can you go from loving someone to hating them?  I don't think I will ever understand that.  I will always care that he is well, that he is happy.  I will always be a friend to him should he need a friend.  I honestly cannot imagine it any other way.  And the fact that he knows me better than anyone walking this planet and loves me to my core keeps me standing on days when I am being hit by relationship storms that are not grounded in the same kind of honesty and unconditional love.

We left the marriage but carried out the friendship-- it's a beautiful thing.  I have thought to write our story for the Modern Love column that The New York Times runs.  (I'm not saying they would take it, I'm just saying I've thought to write it).

The first line would be "three months after our divorce my husband registered for Match.com and I created a vision board . ." or something like that.

Man.  How the hell did I get here?  Relationships.  Cars.  Is this just an American thing-- the role our cars play in our lives?  Or is this just me?  Did you ever get sentimental about a vehicle?

bisous, e

P.S.  right now it smells SOooooo good.  I am taking bets on how long that's gonna last.


29 comments:

  1. I sold Colin, my 2001 Silver Beetle, in October. I'll admit to being teary eyed when I posted my instagram shot of the car just after the deal was made. The buyer was a woman in her 20s that wanted to learn how to drive a manual transmission so she searched for a fun used car to jump in feet first and learn on her own. I did that too! (Twenty years ago, ..eh herm...). AND, _she_ played the violin, *I* play the violin. When I heard that I knew I could let Colin go, that he'd be happy with the new driver.

    Colin was a rocket ship, so fast. I keep hoping to catch a glimpse of them driving around the city, easily i.d'ed by the dent in the driver's door.

    Even if the ideal buyer didn't come along the roller coaster that Colin and I had been through from 2001 - 2012 allowed me to let it go more easily since it represented all those memories. I had some rough times, some good times... All of it I'd like to pack up and leave behind me.

    So I felt I needed to shed my round silver metal skin and try on something new, to see who I'd be with a boxy dark blue "maxi cooper".

    We don't know his name yet.

    Btw, I don't remember being so sentimental over donating Barry, my green'93 Saturn, to charity, too excited about Colin perhaps.

    thanks for giving me the opportunity to yap about my car. ;-)

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    1. oh HEATHER!! wow-- I LOVE this story and love that you could share it here-- it makes me think perhaps we are not alone? Perhaps a website for car love stories needs to be launched? Mostly? Thank you for sharing Colin! xoxox, e

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  2. I don't drive.

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    1. xoxoxoox! thank you Amiee! THANK GOD for 2013!

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  4. Paris! In Spring. Perfect.
    I'm just 'down the road' in Antwerp, if you guys find yourself over here and need a guide to best places for coffee, food, or ancient buildings but somehow, I can't imagine you tearing yourself away from Paris.

    I come read you and find myself refreshed by whatever I find here. Thanks for that. And congratulations on the new car.

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    1. oh Di-- you always leave the sweetest notes--- Antwerp is where my dad grew up -- I've been there once and remember "les gauffres" with chantilly! oh my--- I doubt we'll get out of Paris since we are only there for a week and there's so much to see-- we might hop a train to see Chartres since my friend has never been to Paris-- but other than that-- I think we'll just be rolling up and down the avenues and tucking into the side streets .. . I'll do my best to share it here. xoox, e

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  5. Oh...PARIS! City of my heart! I lived in the 18th arrondissement for 7 months in 1995. I can't believe that it's been 18 years since I've been there. Paris, tu me manques encore. I will definitely be wandering the streets with you in spirit!

    And a new red car! Yay! I feel sad every time I replace a car, but I drive them until I can't put up with the thought of repairs and then I sell them for a good price to a niece or nephew who is in need of a car, so I know the car has a good home. The next niece will learn to drive in about 6 years and that should fall right around replacement time, mileage-wise. This is the first car that I've named; she's Guinevere. Your car will smell good until the first time you put wet dogs in it. :-)

    I think it's wonderful that you have maintained such a loving friendship with Dave. It's definitely not the norm in the country and I think you should so write the column for Modern Love.

    AmitiƩ~~T.

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    1. oh la la la LA!!! Guinevere!! that is the loveliest choice-- I might have to steal that next time ... and I would so write the column if I didn't have hungry alligators climbing my legs . .. I will take some photos of Montmartre especially for YOU. xoox, e

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  6. e, just about every time i visit your space, i find a smile cross my face...

    growing up, we had an old vw van named betsy. i always loved that she had a name. (why have i not named current car? can't really say). but...georgia! oh, how i love the sound of her...reading that she is red, and that her name is georgia was the second smile to cross my face this morning (paris was the first).
    and the next smile...the way you write about you and dave. i am always a bit in awe of people who maintain beautiful friendships like you and dave do following a divorce. because it's not the norm, really...sadly. but i suppose i should not expect anything less from someone as magical as you ;) (and he, i'm going to assume that dave is a bit magical too)

    thank you for sharing yourself and for bringing smiles to my face this morning.
    xo

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    1. Betsy!! what color was she? I always think of Little Miss Sunshine . .. love. and yes, we are lucky. it's not the norm, but it's what the two of us bring to it for sure. xooxxo, e

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    2. she was white.
      i still remember the checked curtains my mom made for the windows in the back...gold and brown...very seventies ;)

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  7. i love the way you write, elizabeth. you have such a beautiful way with words, keeps me coming back to this space you've created. also brought back memories of 'monty', our brown monte carlo back in the 80's. it was a boat of a car, but boy could we pack everyone in for our trips to the cottage. brought back such a beautiful memory.

    enjoy paris, lucky lady. ox

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  8. (A) "Paris is always a good idea." ~ Audrey Hepburn; (B) Congrats on Georgia! May she carry you to all sorts of new fabulous adventures and (C) You and Dave's relationship now...so sweet...I think that means you are both "grown up" in the best way possible! <3 xo

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    1. yes yes-- I like to think I am grown up-- it's a process, isn't it?! and THANK you for the props! Georgia is rocking my world for sure-- xoxox, e

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  9. Oh man, I cannot IMAGINE the day when I must part with my Georgia (yes! My car is a Georgia as well! Okay, she started out George Scotland ... named by my daughter for Curious George ... she is goldish tan CRV ... and the Scotland sticker on the back wind screen.) Yikes - Georgia is a 2004 but I am hoping it was all that snow that did your 2004 in! Sheesh. And in every car I've owned I carry my squeaking pig and rubber lizard ... piggy has been with me since Gigi, 1984 Honda Civic (Granola Grinder; a play on the name my boyfriend/now husband had for his honda, the Rice Grinder)

    Wow ... there is a whole phenomenon to be explored here ... my first bike was "Sparky" ... I think I really wanted a horse ...

    Happy travels! If Spring is to be found, I would hope it would be in Paris ... it isn't here ...

    xo

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    1. YES! I will find Spring in Paris-- and I LOVE the history of names for your vehicles and the fact that we both travel in a Georgia!! yet another thing we have in common-- xooxox, e

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  10. I used to name my cars, too, but for some reason the name of my current ride has eluded me. It's not even "cozycar" which a couple of mine were. Also, how much do I love you and Dave?? You have NO idea.

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  11. get this -- i own a car but i don't have a license to drive it. I am 40 years and i still haven't passed my test. The car is waiting for me at my mother's house and he already has a name -- Dougie, inherited from his previous owner (a family friend). One day me and Dougie will be together... but for now, i get around London by foot, taxi and tube :)

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    1. oh girl-- I MISS you!! you have gone so underground (<--ha! London joke) can't wait to see you tooling around in Dougie! xoox, e

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  12. Congrats on your new car~ I get attached to mine as well, and Sylvia was a good companion to you during your own metamorphosis. I know that Georgia won't let you down. It was lovely to read your words today, as always. And Dave? He rocks.

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    1. thx darling Megsie!! she was and Georgia is rocking my world for sure! hope end of the semester goes well for you! xoox, e

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  13. Your new car sounds great! I have a 2001 Honda Civic that has over 116k miles, but still runs great. Someday I'd love to get a new mid-size SUV, but for now Silvio is still going strong! Enjoy the 2013.

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    1. Silvio sounds fantastic!! Hondas are SO robust. My sister had a civcc (maybe accord?) that she put 250,000 miles on it ran like a champ!

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  14. I hope I get to ride in Georgia someday, but I must ask, are you turning into one of those crazy Rhody drivers? I thought Massachusetts was craziest but after experiencing RI (and CT), I'm not so sure. And as for the ex-, I love the term a friend coined, wasband (rhymes with husband). I feel blessed that he and his family are still a part of me and my family. We are fortunate that that's how it worked out for us. And lastly, safe travels and enjoy Paris, E.!

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    1. oh YES! let's do some road tripping to the beach! Wasband-- that is pretty damn cool. and no, I am the octogenarian driver who is slow, cautious, careful--- that's what too many car accidents in your youth will do to you . . xoxo, e

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  15. You are a generous writer. I suspected that you were single but that you were not always that way. Just a vibe...I entered the new car realm last month. It feels good to drive a solid car with automatic everything after 10 yrs. My Silver Cloud is just fine. (Toyota Venza). P.S. my studio is named the magic carpet in a white cloud. (for the vintage rug and white walls).

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  16. Love your blog, but especially this post. It feels like - you have turned a corner or something. Wish you wonderful new adventures with your new car (does she have a name yet?), and a wonderful trip to Paris!
    Meri xo

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thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me-- I love that you stopped by and hope something I shared was what you needed today. xo, e