today i sold my dear 1990 4wd corolla wagon.
i loved that car. i had wanted one since i was a teenager, when i noticed the one my friend’s mom owned. i thought it looked like a space ship. i finally found this one 5 years ago, bought it sight unseen, and have adored it since. but i recently reached a point where i needed something slightly bigger and found a suitable replacement, so i had to say goodbye to the corolla.
i received many emails from prospective buyers so i decided to give it to the person who sounded the nicest, the person who i thought would give it the best new home and not beat the shit out of it. that person wound up being a french canadian surfer who lives half of the year out here on the coast. i imagined them carrying surfboards around on it, sleeping in the back, using the car gently and lovingly until it finally rusted away.
then i met the buyer and realized my vision of them was fairly far from the mark. yes, they were a french canadian surfer who used the terms “chill” and “sick,” but they themselves were not as chill and sick as i had pictured them. they were a little nervous and anxious, totally unfamiliar with cars, uninterested in the mountain of spare parts i had amassed that came with the car, and very disorganized. don’t get me wrong, they were very nice and i liked this person just fine, but i found myself wondering what kind of life i was selling my beloved corolla into: will this person change the oil diligently? will they shift gears gently, especially when the transmission is cold? will they drive slowly on rough roads?
the likely answer to those questions is “probably not.” it’s likely that wonderful old car will be reduced to scrap within two years. that bothers me, and i know it shouldn’t.
i shouldn’t care about what happens to a car after it’s no longer mine, and more importantly, i shouldn’t have such unrealistic expectations of total strangers. currently, i basically only want to sell cars to my clones, people who are maniacs about keeping old cars on the road forever and in good working order. that’s absurd and i know it so i don’t know why i keep feeling that way.
it would be easier if i never had to meet or interact with the buyers. if the car was just gone one day and i had the money for it, that would be lovely. but that also wouldn’t address the underlying problem, and that’s what i want to do because this is just one small example of expecting too much from people, and i know it do it a lot. it sucks being disappointed by people but i think it’s worse when you know you’re actually the problem and not them. it’s something about myself i have been aware of for a long time but have only had marginal success correcting.
how to get better at this?
sell a lot more cars until i get used to the idea that not everyone is like me, i suppose. i don’t know.
au revoir, corolla. you were awesome, and still are. shine on.