January 25, 2012
A Name is not to be Taken Lightly
It was my sister’s 16th birthday and I looked out my window. I saw this beautiful silver Honda CR-V in my driveway with her headlights looking straight into my eyes. I fell in love. She glistened in the sunrise. I had to have her, but reality set in and I realized it was my sister’s soon-to-be car. A tear rolled down my cheek and my heart broke into two pieces. I admired from a far when my sister ran outside to see what my dad bought her. I was deeply saddened. I watched her sail away into that perfect sunrise with a smile on her face that I wanted to rip off. I wanted that car!
For six whole months I sat in the passenger seat as my sister dangled her keys in my face before we drove to school every weekday. It took everything out of me to tell her the car like me more. After six long months, I received my driving permit and she was mine! Technically she was still my sister’s, but I was sitting in the car’s throne with two hands on the wheel at ten and two. Even though I was still accompanied by a parent while driving her, but it still felt as if she was officially mine.
Only one more year of my sister driving to school in the morning and then I receive my license and I would take over the route! My 16th birthday came and my silver beauty turned flawlessly, as I had to back around a corner. I smiled for my picture, grabbed the keys out of my mom’s hand and ran straight for the parking lot. I told my car that she was officially mine! Now, she deserved a name! I cannot explain how long I thought about a name for her, but nothing suited her well enough. She needed a name that captured her radiant silver pigment and at the same time apprehended her dominance on the road.
I was cruising to school at 7:45 in the morning and to keep my mind off of being late, I switched on the radio. My sister must have changed to radio stations because an ‘oldies’ station started blaring. “Help me Rhonda, help, help me Rhonda.” I thought to myself, “Ew! What kind of music is this?” (At the time I did not know the Beach Boys sang this tune.) However, it was a big coincidence that I was racing to school and a song saying, “help me” turned on. Then it hit me! Help me Rhonda! Rhonda! That was it. Rhonda is helping me get to school on time. Even more coincidently Rhonda had the word Honda in it. The stars aligned that day for Rhonda the Honda and I. However, I did receive a tardy slip for being late.
I have stayed close with Rhonda and have never abandoned her on purpose. I could not take her to college for my first two years because my brother needed a car to learn how to drive. I found out the summer I went back to her that my brother crashed her! To say I was mad is an understatement. I thought, “How could he do that to her!” I knew I didn’t trust him with my baby! Thankfully she is fine and there was only slight damage to the front bumper. I sat my brother down and told him how special Rhonda was and that a car is a serious responsibility. He laughed. After that I convinced my parents to let me take Rhonda for the summer at Dayton and they surprisingly agreed. Those 5-hour trips from Dayton to Chicago and visa-versa were great bonding times. I had to leave her the next school year with my dangerous driving brother, but Rhonda survived.
Once I return home, I was faced with a decision that most kids are not even asked. Do I want my dad’s five-year-old Lexis with navigation and Bluetooth or let my 16-year-old brother have the prize car? The decision was easy! Rhonda was mine. My brother could ride in style with the Lexis, while I ride with pride in Rhonda. We were attached at the hip. Every time I double push lock on her keys she beeps at me and it is her way of saying, “Until next time.”
Rhonda has been through a lot over the years especially with teaching all three of us kids how to drive. However, she has stayed loyal to the people I care about most and kept us all safe and sound on the road. She will forever be my car and we still have miles of empty roads to travel together in the future.