Every time I think about actually replacing the car, though, I get sad. I've had it since I was 19 years old. It's been driven up and down the California coast, it's been to horse shows, it's carried kayaks, it's gone off-road it's lasted longer and been more reliable than any boy, save Ryan. It's been my companion for 11 years! It's a part of my identity: when I see another one like it, I say to myself (and anyone else who happens to be in the car) "There I go." because that's what I have looked like for 11 years, whenever I've driven anywhere in my car.
I've been reading about hoarders recently. They attach significance to things that other people cannot understand or see. I am not a sentimental person. I don't keep birthday cards. Three times a year, I go through the house and freecycle everything I do not use, no matter who gave it to me or what the circumstances were under which it came into my possession. But this car....
I asked Ryan if we should replace the car, seeing as we spend a huge chunk of money every year keeping it running. I realised I was dreading that he thought we should and that I am still harboring the idea that we will drive it back across the country (I have no idea how, considering that not only will we have an extra dog this time, but an extra human, and last time the car was about as packed as it gets with just the three of us). I can't bear the thought of just leaving the car in Ithaca. I sort of hope that it actually, completely dies before I have to agree to just get rid of it. Much easier that way. I know what's going to happen and I'm a little ashamed. I'm going to cry.
Ryan said (to my relief), no, we shouldn't replace it, because cars are just expensive to run. And yes, we wouldn't be spending a bunch of money fixing a new one, but we also would be spending a much larger amount buying it.