When I first laid eyes on L'il Mazdie back in October of 2003, I was dubious. I had never wanted a blue car, much less a blue car with black leather seats, much less a blue car with black leather seats and an automatic transmission. Automatic? Only soccer moms drive those. Black leather seats? What do I look like, a Wall Street tycoon? Blue? Only accountants and insurance agents drive blue cars.
I knew what I wanted. I wanted a convertible hybrid El Camino in cherry red with camel-colored leather seats. Sadly, I am still awaiting the moment a visionary automobile designer over at GM gets a whiff of inspiration and decides to market this highly sexy idea for a car. Until that time, I decided, I would look for the next best thing. I wanted the perfect combination of sporty, sexy, utility, eco-friendly, and fun. Oh, and cheap. Did I mention I was looking for cheap? As you might imagine, that last factor limited my search considerably.
Nonetheless, I sallied forth with pizzaz, determined to find the greatest car out there for the money. I looked high and low, and after being patronized at the Honda dealership and condescended to at the Toyota place, I ended up in the Mazda showroom, determined to slice the throat of the next salesman who asked me "where'd that pretty smile go?" when I sat down to discuss numbers, or looked around after shaking my hand and wondered, "are you here with... your husband? your father?" Grrrr.
Thankfully for the car industry (and for me and L'il Mazdie), I encountered no such road bumps, and very quickly was sold on a bright red Mazda Protegé 5 with tan leather interior and a manual transmission. Only... it was a little more than I could afford. Enter: L'il Mazdie, showroom floor model. See, it was the end of the model year, and what's more, Mazda was discontinuing the Protegé line. Mazdie had a few miles on her. Not too many, but still. You can always get a good deal on an aging floor model.
I smelled a good deal. So with a pang of regret I said farewell to my lovely red sporty sexy car, and said hello to L'il Mazdie at an unbelievable discount. My black and blue automatic un-dream car. It was a bitter pill to swallow, and for a while I resented her. I told her that her nose was too pointy, and her butt was too big. I mocked her behind her back to my friends. I even tried to name her Quincy. (I can hear you gasping out loud.)
But slowly, ever so slowly, L'il Mazdie started to grow on me. Her steadfast perseverance in the face of my animosity impressed me. Her capacious trunk, fold-down-able seats, great sound system, and sunroof started chalking up bonus points. By the time I packed her completely to the gills with everything I owned and moved to New Mexico with her, I was hooked. I quit pretending her name was Quincy. I bought her some beautiful red floral seat covers, hung some mementos from her rear view mirror, and put a University of North Carolina sticker on her rear window. We were in love.
And in love we have remained, through several cross-country moves, long road trips, grocery store runs, trips to the airport, and joyrides with friends. She eventually switched out her threadbare red seat covers for some hot pink ones, and let her flag fly. "What a fun little car I am!" she proclaimed to the world. For six long years, we were so happy together.
I should've been forewarned last month when she took off the pink duds and dressed herself up in.. (oh, I can barely stand to say it...) black and white zebra stripes. Zebra stripes? Really? What's next, L'il Mazdie, tattoos? She started throwing little screaming fits. Just in the mornings, only when I started her up, but still. And then she didn't like the battery she'd been perfectly happy with for the past several years, she wanted a new battery. I suppose all the other cars are getting them, hmmm? So I took her to the car doctor and he changed her belts and her oil, I gave her that new battery she'd been wanting, and I thought that would be the end of it.
But no. I'm afraid that L'il Mazdie, just two months shy of our 7th anniversary together, has gotten a good case of the Seven Year Itch. Two days ago, right before a rainstorm, OF COURSE, I rolled down her driver's side window and heard a loud SNAP! And then her window wouldn't go up any more. Permanently stuck in the down position, and at 102 degrees outside. Thanks, Mazdie. Thanks a lot. It started raining, so I drove over to the car doctor, and left her there with him. $250 later, she is in good working order, but my faith in her is rattled. This is the first time in all our years together that she ever broke anything on purpose, and I'm worried about what it might mean for our relationship.
L'il Mazdie, please settle down. I love you, and I was so looking forward to growing old with you. I hope you can work whatever it is that is bothering you out of your system soon. Can we snuggle?