Today, I went through a rite of passage. I did something that most people my age have done already, and some have done more than once.
I bought a car.
I got rid of the only car I've ever owned, the one that I've had since I was 16 years old (that's 14+ years if you're counting) and the one that drove me back and forth to high school, college, grad school, and my jobs at summer camp, Breakthrough, the Girl Scouts, and three schools. It went back and forth from New Hampshire to Connecticut when I was in a long-distance relationship.
It was registered in 3 different states, had parking permits for two different institutions of higher learning, and a non-resident student sticker from my time in Massachusetts. The Mount Holyoke sticker on the back window had been there since the day I got accepted early decision in December 1995.
I sang, laughed, cried in that car. It held dear friends and family members. The gas that I put in the car when I was in high school cost less than $1 a gallon and this summer cost over $4 a gallon. Bill Clinton was in his first term as President when I got that car and it had campaign stickers from Howard Dean and Barack Obama on it. The car had a tape deck (replaced due to premature death in summer 1999), roll-down windows, no air bags, no anti-lock brakes. I got a flat tire once in all of those years and never got into an accident apart from one minor fender-bender. 2 speeding tickets in all of those years -- seriously, I think that cops couldn't believe that the thing was going as fast as it actually was.
234,296 miles. 20+ years old. Goodbye to my trusty 1988 Volvo 240.