The March masthead came about when I realized that 1) I haven’t taken any pictures in the last month, and 2) a year ago this month we purchased a new car, a 2008 Toyota Prius. I have never had a brand new, driven-less-than-ten-miles-when-we-drove-it-off-the-lot vehicle, so owning it has felt like living in luxury, even when I’m driving while wearing my $9.99 pajama bottoms and a spaghetti-stained race t-shirt.
When we bought the car every inch of it was so shiny and flawless, a state that I knew we’d never see again, so I drove it to a municipal park near our house for a little photo shoot. Thank goodness there were no baseball or soccer games going on at the time, because I didn’t need dirty, toothless children staring and pointing at me to clue me in to my quirkiness. I recognized on my own that I looked strange snapping photos with such extreme detail. But hey, at least I wasn’t shouting, “Work it! Work it! Look right at the camera! Now give me pouty lips!”
Here are just a couple shots of the car as the photo shoot waned in to the sunset and post sunset hours. Note the sunset sky reflecting on the car in the first photo and the full moon in the second. Ooooooooo.
I originally thought that I would use this photo as the masthead for this month…
…because when is there any other time that your car’s engine is so abnormally clean that you want to lick it or cut fresh fruit on it? There is no other time. Further, how often do you see a lickable car engine as the masthead to a blog? Probably not too often. While I was excited about this rarity, Brian vetoed it in favor of the dashboard view masthead. In the name of love, I let his first choice prevail.
(After I added the dashboard view to the website, I tried to think of something profound that I could say about the photo, but all that came to mind was Meatloaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light, and the harder I tried to think the louder the lyrics “DO YOU LOVE ME? WILL YOU LOVE ME FOREVER?…” resonated in my head. Ah well, instead of thought-provoking I got memories of junior high dances.)
So I was enamored with the pristine newness of the car, but as I celebrate the first anniversary as its owner, please realize that the anniversary excitement is less about the car and more about the opportunity to count something. I can’t help it; I was born in to a family who has a strange affinity for numbers. My father teaches math, and my grandfather, mother, and brother are accountants. Am I forgetting anyone? Well, most of the rest of us without a bean-counting job title still enjoy numbers in our spare time. We monitor baseball and football stats, count stairs, find patterns in phone numbers, take heed to random dates (e.g. insignificant anniversaries), and oogle over the odometer in the car, to name only a few examples. Heck, even before one of my nephews started kindergarten he was counting by 11’s and playing games with people’s ages. Just like The Count on Sesame Street, we cry if we do not get to count things and we will sometimes send letters to ourselves just so we can count the incoming mail. Okay, maybe we don’t do the latter, but cry if we run out of things to count? Yes, yes we cry.
Does anyone else think of their odometer as a little dial of magic? When my brother was in high school trying to decide what topic he should choose for a paper, my grandfather told him that he should seriously consider writing his paper on how my grandfather’s car hit 66,666 miles that week. Similarly, my mom and I will often call each other to excitedly announce that our odometer struck a number like 80,000 or a fun palindrome like 105,501. In every car ride, a surprise awaits.
Anyway, as The Count would say about the Prius today, “One! One anniversary! A a a a a!”