Bug-Free Zone

Someone asked me recently if I missed my yellow bug. I had to stop and think for a second. Did I? That car had been part of my identity for 18 years. Up until then, I had driven coupes and sedans and even a station wagon. It was, in fact, my Subaru station wagon that I traded in for the Volkswagen Beetle (or New Beetle as it was called at that time).

I knew what I wanted when I bought it. I had it narrowed down to two colors: red and yellow. I considered a convertible, but decided I wouldn’t be able to see above the top when it was down. I decided on yellow because, well, YELLOW. When I drove it into my office parking lot the first time, one of my fellow employees said, “I don’t think I have ever seen a car that fits a person more perfectly.” I loved that, and wore it as my car mantle for the entire 18 years that I owned my car. I WAS my yellow bug.

But after giving it thought, I realized I really don’t miss the bug. I had loved it for 18 years, but I was ready to move on. I hung on to the car a little longer than I should have. Though it had only been driven just over 98,000 miles, there were things starting to go wrong. Things that made me reluctant to drive it on the interstate. Things that were expensive to fix.

I hung on to it because in the back of my mind, the bug would go to one of my grandkids. I would sell it at a bargain. When Addie turned 16, I wasn’t ready to get rid of the car. She bought a car from her Aunt Julie instead. Then I thought about Alastair, but I don’t know how comfortable a man would have to be to drive a yellow bug. Especially a yellow bug that needs a timing belt and has air bags that may or may not work. The others are too young to consider car buying. So I used it as a trade in for our beautiful new Honda CR-V. I haven’t given the yellow bug much thought since.

I didn’t get much as a trade-in, because one never does. But I didn’t want to try selling it myself. After I signed the trade-in form, another one of the salesmen stopped in and asked if that was my Volkswagen bug outside in the parking lot. I said that it was.

“Have you signed the papers yet?” he asked. “I want to buy that car for my daughter. It looks like it’s in perfect shape.”

Too late, man. You can buy it, but not from me. I did give him a warning that despite the car’s pristine appearance both in and out, there were several large-ticket items that needed fixing. That didn’t dissuade him, and he began taking pictures.

To this day, I wonder if his daughter is driving my yellow bug….

As for me, I’m perfectly content driving my Honda….

I will say, however, that a neighbor recently told me, “We miss seeing the bug buzzing around our neighborhood.

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