It puzzled me for some time why boats throughout history were given names. Roads are named. Businesses have names. I taught a private student who named her oboe. I have often been asked if I named my instrument. I don’t name my oboe because without me it has no life of it’s own. I give the instrument life through my breath. We are not separate. My oboe and I exist as one. We are ME.
Then there are cars. The first car I ever named was a 1984 Chrysler Laser. The name was “Alfred” (Alf). A computer system inside the vehicle commented about his condition and informed me “Your headlamps are on”, “Your door is ajar”, and other sayings that resembled a British butler. Alfred was given to, and subsequently wrecked by “your mother-in-law.” (See older post… No Grasp of Grief)
My next vehicle was a 1986 cherry red 2.2-liter, turbo, T-top, hatchback, 2 door, Shelby Z Daytona. I didn’t name her. My art students from my public school teaching position did. They named her “Lauren.” I drove “Lauren” from 1992 – 2005. She was stored in a garage till she needed to be brought back to life Summer 2011. Lauren needed new tires. Her passenger side window didn’t open/close properly. The cruise control was broken. The trunk wouldn’t stay up without a prop. Rubber seals were brittle. A new battery was required. Sometimes the smell of fuel required me to hang my head out the window to breath while driving.
But “Lauren” was mine. I earned the money from teaching and two part-time jobs. I paid for her. She was purchased before an abusive spouse slowly conned his way into my life, surreptitiously robbed me of my earnings then destroyed my 30-year self-made career. I had emotional attachments to Lauren, but she had to go for some of the same reasons – mental reminders. One of the last mental pictures was a cynical sneer from the abuser as I drove past in the broken down car (he in a 2004 Crossfire – not YET paid off!)
I wanted a small hatchback that was “fun.” There it was – a Mini Cooper S in my price range and in my preferred color for my “new” car. Soon after I acquired my Mini, people asked if I named it. A personality must have been emitting from my mechanical, electronic machine so I started brainstorming names. I have Spanish language CDs queued each time I start the engine so I new she was learning Spanish along with me. But instead of “Maria”, I wanted a name that resembled an Oreo cookie with a vanilla wafer, cookies ‘n cream or something relating to a musician in concert attire. I finally settled on a simple, descriptive name. “’Nilla” is my 2004 Mini Cooper’s name.
Send a note and let me know if you have a car, instrument, boat, chair, hairbrush, coat – or any non-living thing that you named.
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