So for those of y'all not aware...I am extremely attached to a special boy in my life.
He has sandy/tan skin. He has bright eyes. He is big. He is patient. He is a fighter.
No...it's not Alex. (though I do love you.)
His name is Neil...my 1994 Toyota 4Runner. I LOVE him.
Some of you reading this might not get attached to your cars and will probably think this post is a tad ridiculous.
Those of you who do get attached to your cars, then you will totally sympathize with me.
I am forever going to be attached to my boy, Neil.
I can still remember the day Neil came into my life.
My Daddy came in town to buy me a car.
My grandparents had bought both of my sisters cars in high school and I never got one, so they decided to give me a check and I had to find a car.
He was at the first dealership we stopped at: Brent Brown Toyota (which I hate, btw. They're terrible people.)
I saw him and immediately fell in love!
Then I test drove him and was falling even harder!
I told my Daddy that was what I wanted, but he said we should keep on looking.
The other cars I drove that day were just not cutting it.
Daddy could tell and was like, "Alright...let's go back and get the 4Runner."
He was going to ask $500 less than what the price was and told me to be prepared to walk out if they don't give it to us.
I was SO nervous because I wanted him so badly!
The guy at first said no so we started to stand up from the table and the guy quickly was like, "Ok, let me go check with my manager."
He came back and they said yes! PHEW!
A bunch of signatures later and Neil was mine!
I was beside myself with excitement! I wanted to show him to everyone I knew!
(the night I got Neil!)
I had to name him. Well, I was obsessed with that previous season of So You Think You Can Dance and right before I had watched the rerun marathon of it on MTV. I watched the whole season for 2 days straight! (maybe I skipped church to watch it? I read the Ensign on commercial breaks to make myself feel better about skipping.)
Anywho, my favorite dancer on that season was Neil. LOVED him!
So I figure why not keep Neil alive in my life and I named my 4Runner: Neil.
I saw that season on tour a month later and met all of the dancers and you better believe I told Neil I named my car after him. He was flattered of course. HA!
And from then on...Neil and I were inseparable for the next 3 years and 4 months.
(this happened the very first week I had him! I think it was a mistake because none of my friends had seen him yet. So...someone's joke got played on the wrong car.)
Then tragically right after Christmas, Neil got hit in the rear end...BAD. A fresh of the mish RM rammed into him during a snow storm and I think my favorite part of the situation (can there be a favorite part?) is when the guy who hit me said, "Yeah...I don't think this will be more than $1,000 in damage."
Even with getting used parts, it would have cost over $6,000 to repair him...and even though to me Neil is priceless, State Farm thought otherwise and pronounced him to be worth $3,750, but bumped it up for new tires and the inside of the truck being in good condition so rounding it up to $4,160...ish...
So...they called Neil a total loss. :(
So then I had a choice: do I cough up the extra cash to get him fixed? Do I keep him and try to sell him for parts? Or do I just let State Farm write me a check to put a down payment on a new car and let them take him?
Well...I chose the last as depressing as that is.
I had to start thinking rational.
I cannot lock Neil's doors. I cannot roll up the trunk window which means I can never roll it down which means I can never get into my trunk. Neil has no AC. Neil's transmission has been acting really funny. Neil's windshield wiper fluid squirters will not work even though I have fixed it twice now (which gets scary in the snow sometimes.) Plus...I'm spending SO much money in gas every week driving this 13 mile/gal boy around.
(just cruisin with Neil)
So I started my search with my sweet sister, Krista. Car shopping is terrible!
You have to deal with car salesmen, you have to find what fits you, you have to find the right mileage, you have to find the right price, and on and on and on...I hated it!
However, I found a killer deal up at a dealership in Bountiful that Krista and her roommate suggested because the dealership has built its reputation upon being honest with people. Plus, they only take cars that have low mileage and are in pristine condition. So I headed up there. I was reluctant in getting a car because I'm so used to driving an SUV.
But...I test drove a 2008 Honda Civic and loved it!
So I slept on it for a night and decided that was what I wanted to do.
So I put the majority of my settlement in a down payment (some I am sending to Daddio as a thank you for putting so much money into Neil) and have low monthly payments! It's great!
I picked up my new car on Friday night with Alex & Krista.
That night while I was driving back I decided my car had to be a girl. It's just TOO soon to think of having another boy in my life. I'm too loyal to Neil...that's just the way it is.
She is way cute!
She's black with grey interior. She has a great dash and stereo system. No stains on the seats or carpet. She gets GREAT gas mileage. And she will be very dependable.
And I decided last night her name is going to be: Milly!
Yes...dear Milly. It suits her just dandy!
And as much as I love her...I still get super sad that the Neil era is over.
(What happened to my car the day of the MLB season opener: Braves vs. Phillies. Braves won, thank you very much! I STILL have yet to find out who did this!)
State Farm is supposed to pick up my Neil today.
So this morning I gathered everything out of him. Having a big car makes you put a LOT of stuff in there! Then I cleaned out any trash or anything that I was not keeping.
I drove him around for the last time.
Did I cry and tell him I'm sorry?
It's a good possibility.
Am I pathetic?
Yes...but I could care less.
I love him SO much.
I did not realize you could love something that is not a human being this much.
I know I can't take Neil to heaven with me since he is a material possession, but still...Neil and I have deep feelings for each other.
Can I tell you a little secret?
Neil helped me through the hardest time of my life.
When I broke off my engagement I was distraught. I was depressed and could not explain how I was feeling to people very well.
There were so many nights when I wanted to be by myself (which is hard in a college town) that I could climb into Neil and off we would go to a secluded spot so I could cry my eyes out and pray. I would pray for strength. I would pray for help. I would pray to be happy. I would pray to stay faithful and true. I would pray that I would find someone who had the same goals as I did.
And you know what Neil did?
He was patient. He has heard some of my most heartfelt prayers and some of my most anguished cries.
And now I know that sounds silly, BUT...I feel an emotional tie to this boy of mine.
Not only did he let me cry to him, but he has gotten me where I needed to be.
He has taken me to Vegas. He has taken me to Rexberg. And he has taken me to Salt Lake many a time.
He also let us use his trunk the first night Alex and I ever kissed. :)
(Thanks for that, Neil!)
I have endless memories in Neil and so it is very hard for me to say goodbye.
I think another reason I am having a hard time saying goodbye is because me getting a new car is just another step in me becoming a real grown up. Even though graduating from college is a huge accomplishment and very exciting...I am also scared silly. Neil was my college car. He was a beater and I did not care. I always thought he was handsome. I don't do well with change. I like where I am when I am happy.
But something I DO know is...even though change is scary...it is usually a good step forward.
I can't stay at BYU forever and I can't have Neil as my car forever.
We all grow and change and that is why we are here.
To my parents:
Thank you for letting me have Neil, even with how much he costed in repairs.
He provided me so much happiness and y'all could see that.
Y'all are the best!
And to my sweet Neil:
Thank you for always being there and for providing some awesome times!
Don't forget me because I will never forget you.
I sure do love you.