I just bought a new Toyota Rav 4 this weekend. Well, it’s not new technically. It has 28,000 miles on it. But, it’s new to me. I had a rather expensive repair in February and one last year on my old Camry, and I started thinking that it was time to retire my 120K mile vehicle. I don’t like buying cars. It’s not really a woman’s sport. Both of my ex-husbands loved the car-buying process. I think they liked the chase and the challenge of getting that girl at their own price and then bragging about the deal they made. I hate the process. The last few cars I bought were easy-as-pie purchases. They were bought with insurance money or family members helped secure the deal.
So, I approached the process with a little trepidation. Luckily, a bunch of my friends recommended a mutual acquaintance as a “broker”. I’d never really shopped this way for a car, and, apparently, it’s not that common. But, this guy (Fred Blose 901.848.5851) buys wholesale, takes and negotiates your trade and can handle your financing. I literally spent about an hour of my time buying this car. It’s definitely the way to go.
Now that the hard part is done, I have to find a name for my new girl! I don’t know if men name their cars, but girls do. I’ve actually never named a car, but I think it’s time. I mean…guys name their….. their……well, never mind...let’s not go there. Several Facebook friends gave me some suggestions. Michael suggested Vegas because what happens in Vegas….stays in Vegas. I like where he’s going with this. It will be my adventure-mobile. Susan suggested Bonnie Blue because she’s a beautiful blue. I love that name because I remember Rhett naming he and Scarlett’s little girl Bonnie Blue Butler. Bonnie Blue has a great ring to it. So, I looked up Bonnie Blue on the internet. Apparently, the Bonnie Blue flag was the original renegade confederate flag. (My friend Tom has corrected me that the flag was actually the flag of the Republic of West Florida which was located on my commute to college and, indeed, served as the original confederate flag.) I like the idea of the Rebels because I’m a bit rebellious myself, but the confederacy is not exactly the role model for my new baby girl. My ex-sister-in-law Jenny suggested Maggie Mae, and I LOVE that one. I love the sound of it, and I like the name Maggie. It’s casual, rugged and sounds a bit footloose. I looked up Maggie Mae (May), and it’s an old folk song about a hooker that rips off a sailor. Well, she’s footloose, but she has some bad karma. I don’t think I’m up for that.
So, I tried to think of what character, plant, animal, or word describes the spirit of my new girl and who I dream she’ll be. I landed on the female character in A Love Song for Bobby Long, my favorite movie. It’s a story set in New Orleans with all its misfit glory, alcoholism, romance and debauchery. The main character is a young girl who is searching to find her place in the world after her neglectful mother dies. She’s played by a young Scarlett Johannson, and she is thrown together with two washed up alcoholics played by John Travolta and an unknown Gabriel Macht. I saw this movie on DVD the first time with my second ex. We loved it so much that we replayed it immediately and watched it again. We bought the DVD from a post-Katrina Walmart for $5 in Bay St. Louis. On that trip to Katrina-land we stayed a day or so with each of my relatives and watched it at every house. I love the characters, the New Orleans setting and the feel-good story. In many ways, Scarlett’s character reminds me of me as a teenager.
Johannson’s character is young, and she’s trying to figure out who she is. She’s a dropout from high school and ends up with these romantic losers in New Orleans. She loves cooking shows and medical documentaries and is often seen flipping back and forth on the TV between a chef cooking a fabulous dish and a doctor performing bloody surgery on a beating heart. She eats “like shit.” She has bad taste in men. She has an attitude that doesn’t stop in the face of alcoholism, abuse or misfortune. She is the catalyst for the revitalization of the lives of all of the misfit characters in the movie. They all fall madly in love with this young girl, and she brings out the best in each of them. At one point in the story, she tells Lawson, (Macht), “I mean…I want to be normal. That’s just not my life.”
So, friends, meet my new partner-in-crime, Purslane, Pursy for short. I can’t wait to experience all of the adventures ahead of us. I know that we will be up and down the highways to Louisiana and Arkansas and other places unknown, packed to the brim with camping supplies, kayaks, mountain bikes and running shoes. In a few weeks, her floorboard will be littered with dog hair, starbucks receipts and recovery books. Her odometer with look like a slot machine as it moves forever upward in miles. You’ll recognize her. She’s a beautiful sparkly blue and has a phenomenal rack…….not an after-market rack either. It’s all natural. I just love the way the name Purslaaaane rolls off my heavily accented country tongue. Purslane has a great ring to it, the meaning that I wanted, feel-good karma and is full of wonderful down-to-earth hopes and dreams. I can’t wait to see what we can get into. Get outta my way….see you on the highways and byways.