Isn’t it funny how we can get so attached to our cars? They have no emotions or feelings, yet we treat them like family. Who knew a twisted mess of metal could bring out so many feelings and experiences. I am no exception and I am still driving my car 12 years after buying it! I still remember vividly going into the lot to investigate cars. I was in Alaska, of all places, and I had just arrived there had nothing to my name except two suitcases, filled with clothing mementos and a few kitchen supplies. to start my career as a news anchor. I literally rebuilt my life from scratch.
My dad had come with me to make the adjustment easier. I could tell he was nervous for leaving his little girl alone in the vastness that is Alaska and we went over to the lot to buy my very first car. I had saved the money to put down a substantial amount but I needed to find the right fit for me. We looked at a lot of cars and none of them really felt like the right fit. I was getting nervous because time was of the essence. I had to start my new job within a matter of days and I was driving a rental car as my means of transportation. It was a Toyota RAV 4 that caught my eye that day. It was white and looked like a zippy little SUV for me. I liked all the room it provided and I was pretty sure I had found my ride! I remember clearly the whole negotiation process and writing the biggest check that I had ever written in my life!
I remember driving off the lot feeling so grown up and like a real adult! I had bought my first car with my own money! I wanted to scream it from the rooftops and I felt a special connection to my automobile. As I drove off the lot I thought of a name for my car! He would be “Jinah” after the founder of the country of Pakistan. Sure it was cheesy but it represented my culture and lineage and it seemed to be a perfect fit.
The next day my dad had a little surprise for me. He got some stick on letters and taped them on my car with the name of my car. They were lopsided and crooked but I didn’t care because it was from my dad and it was special; now my car had an identity all its own.
Fast forward a few years and I was a news anchor in Oregon. One night I was leaving a friend’s house and I backed into a pole. It was one of those silly moments that you have where you are just not paying attention. The “Jinah” sign was still there but now I had a dent in my back bumper that was unsightly. I decided to not even bother getting it fixed and decided to just live with it instead. Oh well!
Fast forward a few more years and I was engaged to my fiancé! He has always been so great about fixing things for me and making my life easier and he decided I needed to get that back bumper fixed no matter what. He took matters into his own hands and bought a whole new door for my car. In no time my car looked brand new again but the “Jinah” sign was gone with the old back door.
I was so sad about it that I made the kind repair man show me the back door so I could at least get a picture of my beloved sign that had truly been a labor of love from my dad and it meant so much to me. My car just wasn’t the same without it.
My fiancé was acting suspicious about a week ago and kept making me go check my mailbox. He was insistent that I not throw away ANYTHING even if it looked like junk mail. I wondered what on earth he was up to! Well the answer soon came…
He had found a site and sticker company that made specially designed images. He wanted to surprise me so he sent them a picture of the “Jinah” sign my dad had put on my car and made it into a sticker for my vehicle! I could not believe his thoughtfulness and I almost started to cry. I now have a perfect replica of the sign my dad had put on my car more than a decade ago!
My car may not have the dent in the back anymore but it’s still beautifully “flawed” with a crooked sticker that means more to me than most people would ever know.