One of the first things that Michael and I did when I started my new job at Big Law was to trade in our VW Jetta TDI, a great car: fuel efficient, comfortable, zippy, for a ridiculously fast sports car with a phenomenal sound system (yes, Bang and Olufsen) and terrible gas mileage.
I’ve always been a car person. For some reason, driving soothes me. Being a passenger tends to trigger my nausea for all things moving (cars, boats, trains, planes, irritating mouth diarrhea), but driving calms me. And it always has. My parents had to drag me away from the race course at Disney World, my go-to doodle is a car, and has been since I was four, and I would wait for the mail when I knew the Consumer Reports car issue was on its way.
My first car was a 1966 cherry red Mustang, purchased before I even had my license, and I never looked back. By the time I was 21, I had owned six cars. My 25th birthday present to myself was my first foray into German Engineering, I haven’t owned a car that’s not in the Audi family since, and I have only one recommendation when asked for my opinion (although Ford is beginning to impress me again). I’ve been taking racing lessons in my Charlotte, aka Charlie, for my newest hobby. (BTW, if you ever name your car, make sure you give her a lady’s name.) There is nothing quite like learning how to control a 2000 pound hulk of metal in a 100mph skid to shore up confidence on the interstate system.
On Thursday, after an, um, ah, hmmmm, shall we say upsetting? appointment with my oncologist, I had to pick up my cat from the vet. Jake is our sweet one and a half year old with more problems than most people in their 70s. His issues help distract me from mine, and because he’s incapable of self-pity, this works out well for both of us.
I blasted onto the Ontario street on-ramp at 60mph, hitting the interstate at about 90. I raced a fellow Audi lover until Diversey, and then 80s on 8 completed the moment for me. I had been flipping radio statins looking for fun. or Mumford & Sons or Lady Gaga when Def Leppard popped up. Did I mention that my first cd ever was Def Leppard’s “Hysteria”? And that my parents were incredibly kind about my blasting it on repeat until I knew every word to every song?
I opened all windows and sunroof (not caring, for the moment, that it was 35 degrees outside), turned the volume up until the car started to shake, slowed down to about 70, and sang “Pour Some Sugar On Me” at the top of my lungs. By the time I got to the vet, I was calm enough to be calm for my frightened, drugged-out kitten. We nose bumped and headed home.