Black Cat Espresso

Cup Holders Before It’s Too Late

Is it wrong to want cup holders before I die? Hold your tears; my demise is not imminent -- as far as I know -- but I could wear out before my 1990 Honda Civic with 65,000 miles ever meets her foundry. Thus, if I continue to drive Sweetie Pie, I will never know the joy of cup holders. Instead, I’ll forever wedge my travelling mug betwixt gear shift and driver's seat.

Need I mention airbags? A CD player? Windows that slither down with a tap of the finger? A steering wheel unaccompanied by grunting? Doors that open without placing a key in a lock? An iPod plug in? Daytime running lights? I've never known these.

Now, you may ask, why have I held onto Sweetie Pie so long? A valid question if you are the sort who does not believe automobiles have feelings. (You may even be the type that doesn’t kiss her iPhone before tucking her into the charger each night. Or, doesn’t wish her home office good morning with the On light switch.)

Despite my attempt to convince you I am an Anthropomorphicer with a capital A, you may still wonder at my allegiance to this vehicle. Cue the violins. Sweetie Pie was purchased one month after separating from my first husband.

That marital relationship lasted 30 years, so I was naturally in a vulnerable state. The purchase of the Civic, with my name on the title, felt like a mark of independence. I had my own wheels. The two of us could travel together to the ends of the earth. More likely to Trader Joe’s. (Actually, Trader Joe’s didn’t enter the Chicago market until 2000, but I think it works better than Jewel, don't you?)

And during my singlehood, when I was ready to date again, and a personal ad in The Chicago Reader brought me interested swains from the suburbs, it was Sweetie Pie who drove me to meet them -- a Chicagoland map unfolded in the passenger seat. Oh, there’s lots of tales I could tell in our long automotive relationship, but I’m skidding off topic, so I’ll leave them to your imagination.

This is what finally convinced me I should sell the Civic: I conceded there could come a time when arthritis, dimmed vision, or sluggish reaction time might rob me of ever experiencing the features listed in graph #2. And, for a self-described techie like me, I was embarrassed by my lack of experience with the latest motor car thingamajigs.


So, I sold the Civic to a good family and bought a 2011 Honda Fit. While I’m head over heels for Gorgeous (quickly named to speed bonding), I weep for Sweetie Pie. I know she’s happy being driven by younger people who energize her chassis. I know she prefers being outdoors, rather than sealed in a cold, dark garage. But, I worry: is she angry with me? Jealous of my new acqusition?

In time, I know I will grow as attached to Gorgeous as I was to Sweetie Pie. Wait, is that a horn I imagine I hear? Yes, it’s Gorgeous coaxing me to grab my key fob to unlatch her doors. Come, she croons, to the power windows that await my digit. To the CD and iPod players eager to share my jazz collection. And yes, to the cup holders (four!) that promise to cuddle my mug of Black Cat Espresso.

I can feel the pain easing.