Jellie Bean: A Eulogy For My Car

I loved Jellie Bean for a grand total of five weeks. We had a brief courtship. I met her online in the very beginning of January 2011, and it was love at first sight.

Sort of.

Welcome home, Jellie Bean

Welcome home, Jellie Bean

Dawn, my ’98 Pontiac Sunfire, died suddenly on New Year’s Day, after our 5-year relationship, and I was in need of a new car. Jellie Bean was cute and sweet, though hard to compare to Dawn, the car that was named based on the frequency with which she saw the first light of the morning while on her way home from the bar (or a cute boy’s house).

Jellie Bean was a fresh start. An adult car. She wasn’t sexy or a bold hue of teal; she was reliable and an unobtrusive shade of Pacific blue.  She wasn’t going to draw the unwanted attention of police officers looking to ticket a little speed racer. Because I wasn’t a speed racer anymore. She wasn’t going to get into accidents. Only two years old, with 30,000 miles on her, she was the newest car I had ever owned. I loved her.

I test drove Jellie Bean and purchased her on January 3, 2011, wiping a tear away as I said goodbye to Dawn in the Toyota parking lot for the last time. And Jellie Bean and I began our life together.

This is what it looks like to say goodbye to your beloved car from the driver's seat of your new car.

This is what it looks like to say goodbye to your beloved car from the driver’s seat of your new car.

We started out hot and heavy, driving to work, shopping, meeting boys for dates, heading to the bars. We did everything together. And then, it snowed. Poor Jellie Bean was covered from head to toe in white powdery shit after Snowmageddon 2011. For two days, she was abandoned under several feet of snow. I believe it was at this point she decided to ruin everything. Yes, I’m going to go ahead and blame my vengeful car, and not my poor driving skills, for the bad luck that came with owning Jellie Bean.

Those little strips of Pacific blue? That's Jellie Bean.

Those little strips of Pacific blue? That’s Jellie Bean.

Her first accident was a few days after I rescued her from the snow. I was heading from work to a date around sundown. Driving west on a street with a 40 mph speed limit with the sun in your eyes, snow-covered roads and mountainous piles of snow doesn’t exactly make for the best driving conditions, and I was far from speeding. But the guy in front of me? Came to a HARD STOP slightly over a hill to make a right turn. Jellie Bean didn’t stand a chance.

After a few weeks courting a rental car, Jellie Bean was returned to me, good as new. We had a beautiful couple of months together as we got to know Brian, tried on a couple of jobs, and traveled the suburbs together.

As fall set in, and deer season rapidly approached, I never once considered my daily commute passing a deer-heavy forest. At least not until one came at me like a race horse. Poor Jellie Bean took the brunt of that mishap, as well. I had never regretted a purchase so much in my life as I did with Bad Luck Jellie Bean. She was out of control.

I took that opportunity to become intimately acquainted with Brian’s car, which he so graciously offered up to me.

And so it was that Jellie Bean, upon return to me, and never as good as new after the deer kicked her ass (when I opted for the insurance-recommended body shop instead of a quality place), became our secondary car. When we moved in together, I would drive Brian’s car as often as possible for fear of more unnecessary bad luck.

But nothing lasts forever. Due to a few unfortunate circumstances (namely some douchebag with bad car insurance rear ending him), Brian’s car became less available to us. Since moving into our new house, Jellie Bean has been our primary car.

Well.

Was.

When your car is parked in an unmarked flood zone, you may come home to this unfortunate sight.A few weeks ago, Chicago had a bit of a rain shit show. You may have seen pictures of my car. Poor Jellie Bean was drowned in a rain-sewer-made lake on June 15, 2015.

I cried a little for her then. And I’ve cried several times about it. Because I’m an emotional wreck most of the time. And while she was full of bad luck, I had just paid her off in February. We had years left before she was supposed to leave me. I was also really fucking pissed. I was pissed at the village I live it. I was pissed at the rain. I was even pissed at that stupid fucking car for letting it happen.

I was especially pissed at whoever thought to wrap caution tape around my driver’s side mirror, because couldn’t someone come in and tow all that shit before the water rose to the point of destroying my fucking car?

What a car looks like the morning after a flood

What a car looks like the morning after a flood. I swear the sun was laughing at me. And that caution tape? Was definitely there before the water receded. Someone could have saved Jellie Bean.

I said goodbye to Jellie Bean a few days after they declared her a total loss. My lovely little Yaris. I had to wear a mask and gloves just to open the door because she was so toxic and poisoned inside. I cried again, hoping it was for the last time, but her I am now, with tears on my keyboard, pining for a car I must have loved the whole time, regardless of how unlucky she was. She was mine. And she was paid for. A year early.

It's always hard to say goodbye to a car, but it's even harder when that car was flooded suddenly.

It felt fitting that I said goodbye in that same Toyota lot I met her in. And strangely coincidental that a few weeks after meeting Jellie Bean, she was covered in several feet of snow and a few weeks before our final goodbye, she was covered in several feet of water.

Goodbye Ms. Jellie Bean. You will be missed. You were loved. And I hope it was one hell of a ride while it lasted.

After my car flooded during torrential rain storms, I said goodbye to her...and started dreaming of a pink carDo you name your cars? How do you feel when you have to say goodbye to a car? Have you ever experienced horrific flooding?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Riding in Cars with Boys

I FINALLY. Had. A date. With. The Grown Up.

On Thursday, we scheduled our date for Tuesday, as The Grown Up’s weekend was already booked, and let’s be honest here…I had a date that Saturday night already anyways. But I couldn’t help but swoon about The Grown Up. I went into work the next afternoon, bragging to my bartender girlfriend. “I have a date with The Grown Up!”

Riding in Cars with Boys

“Which one was that?”

“Tall, handsome guy I met when I used to do trivia?”

“The ginger?”

“No, not that one. The really smart guy who I e-mailed back and forth with.”

“The muscle-y, weird guy?”

“No. That was McDreamy.”

“Maybe. Was he here with Jack?”

“No, that was the ginger.”

“Oh. Okay, I have no idea, then.”

This was a common exchange between my friends and I, which is why the nickname system was relatively important if I were going on a date with someone.

I went through a complete rundown of interactions with The Grown Up, from the day we met to the personality test pick up line that got me a date. (There was a lot of stalking and waiting and  desperate chatting in the three months from start to go time. You can catch up by starting with the day we met and work your way back here. I’m nothing if not linear [and I’m totally lying…except for the part where you can read the whole story. That part is true.]).

We didn’t set a plan until the following Monday, when The Grown Up messaged me asking if I preferred Italian or Indian food. Wow! He was picking a nice restaurant! I’ve never been a huge fan of restaurant Italian food, and I’d never had Indian food so either way, it could be the best/worst night. I told him I was adventurous and let’s try something new so he made reservations at an Indian restaurant.

Then he asked if I wanted to meet him there or if he could pick me up in his “pimpin’ ride.”

I almost died right there.

I had dated a car guy in the past, and I was torn. In addition to my stellar dating advice, I had all these dating rules for myself. Not unlike my bar rules.

Chrissy’s Rules of Dating

1. First dates should always be short – coffee, drinks, mini-golf…they should have an easy-out end time.
2. Always ride in your own vehicle so you can escape quickly if you need to. A getaway car is necessary.
3. Let’s not even get into the no date unless he’s actually called me first rule, because we TOTALLY botched this one up. As evident by 3 months of whatever the fuck that was.
4. Don’t date boys who love their car more than you.

And then my curiosity won, as it usually does, and I decided let him pick me up for our first date.

Over the 4 days, I managed to brag to anyone who would listen that I had a date with a grown up. My older cousin told me it sounded like I was going out with my first man.

My dear friend CC swooned with me, when I told her he was picking me up in his pimpin’ ride.

Katie mostly grazed over another date with another boy (she had been dealing with my bullshit for years. It was allowed).

Jonathan commented on how boys just fell into my lap and it just wasn’t that easy for dudes.

But mostly people were excited for me. Worst case scenario was that I would have an awesome story to tell. And since I’m telling you this story…you know SOMETHING happened.

So on the night of our date, I chose the perfect, casual-but-cute outfit. Jeans, a dressy top, and high heels. This was as strategic as it was aesthetic. I was young and thought I’d wear high heels forever. I needed to know he was taller than me in pumps. And let’s be honest, they made me look skinnier. I was ready to go around 6 pm, shortly before he was scheduled to pick me up. I was terribly nervous, and half tempted to pour myself a couple of shots to make it easier.

I refrained from boozing up early for fear of scaring off The Grown Up, so I paced back and forth in my bedroom. When he pulled up, I saw him right away (my bedroom was in the front of the house). Holy shit.

His pimpin’ ride was a tiny. Green. Mini Cooper. A car I absolutely hated. And made fun of. All. The. Time.

My judging game was strong.

I almost didn’t walk outside. But I had given him my real address. And my mom was home. And the LAST thing I wanted was for him to come to the door. And so I stepped outside. And laughed at the ridiculousness of it all. And realized it was probably a good thing it wasn’t a muscle car. At least I wouldn’t need to compete with a large hunk of metal on wheels. As I made my way to the car, he opened the door for me and our date began.

What dating rules have you broken for someone? What’s your least favorite car? What are your dating deal-breakers?

Find out about the date in the next post…

THE BEST DATE EVER

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!