Nancy E. Anderson: Life’s transitions and our big, black car

“Why do I feel sad?” I said to my husband a few days ago as we walked in the front door of our house.

We had just driven our black 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis to our neighborhood mechanic, sold it and walked home. The mechanic had worked on the car and knew it well, so the transaction was simple: We signed over the title and he gave us an envelope full of cash.

“That car is one of the last vestiges of your dad,” my husband said. “Of course you’re sad.”

My parents had given us the Mercury in 2014 because they had gotten a new car. I thought it was generous, but one of my sisters chuckled and said, “I’m glad they didn’t offer it to me!”

At the time, we had recently traded in our minivan for a new Ford Fusion. But we wanted a used car for our kids. The kids’ car then was an aging station wagon plastered with Evanston Township High School parking lot stickers. It was on life support. The Mercury would be a good replacement.

I knew that accepting a boat-like sedan associated with the Greatest Generation would not go over well, but my husband and I agreed that a free car was too good to pass up. Besides, my dad was meticulous with his vehicles, so it was in good shape. (I always thought of my parents’ cars as belonging to my dad since my mother didn’t care about what she drove.)

As expected, our five kids, particularly Matthew and Maggie, who, as the tail end of our crew, would use the Mercury the most, rolled their eyes when we brought it home. They groaned and said it looked like a limo. But they drove it.

One of our neighbors told us she would laugh when she watched Maggie, in a hurry to get to her summer job, jump into the Mercury, her slender frame and perky ponytail dwarfed by the mass of black metal. She would then peel out driving a complete demographic mismatch.

Leave a Comment

Businesswebsiteindex