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A Love Letter to My Subaru

Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash

It was, and still is, the nicest car I’ve ever owned.

It was already 10 years old when I bought it, but it had low mileage and only one owner, and I paid cash for it, outright. It’s the perfect “mom car”, my Subaru Forester, a glorified station wagon with AWD that, as so many of my neighbors swore, would “handle well in the snow”. I was upgrading, from the little loud tin can I’d been driving to something more “safe”. Today, I’m driving a 16 year old “safe” car, and I tell it every day how much I love it.

Oops.

I live in a town full of Subarus — there are so many, especially from the early 2000s, that I once came out of the natural foods store, tossed my purse into the open passenger seat window (yeah, used to be that safe around here too), and then went to put my daughter in her car seat. Her car door wouldn’t open, and um… where the hell is your car seat?

Oh my god. This isn’t my Subaru. It’s someone else’s.

Mine was the one next to it, and so with a little bit of trepidation I reached through the open window of someone else’s 2000-era silver Subaru Forester S, and I pulled my purse back out.

What ARE you doing? I heard someone say. I was burning hot and embarrassed as I stood there holding my big saggy mombag, and I explained to her exactly what happened. As we stood there and laughed, we looked around the parking lot together. In a lot that holds maybe 30 cars, six of them were silver Subaru Foresters.

Statistics

Ask anyone here in town who drives a Subaru and they’ll give you all the same reasons, most of them being that they can “haul stuff” and “handle well” — skis, dogs, kids — and without a lot of the fear of driving a 2wd minivan.

Married to a woman and fond of flannel shirts, I apparently also fit another statistic: lesbians (and lovers of lesbians) apparently love these cars too.

A Long-term Relationship

Subi, I sure do love you, despite the fact that you’re not so economical on gas. You’ve started to creak and wobble, and I’ve replaced rotors, tires, brakes, and soon, a windshield (another common thing around here); I change your oil regularly, but apparently you need a new catalytic converter now and apparently those are expensive for cars like you. Statistically, you also tend to blow your head gasket right around now and while you haven’t yet, I’m on eggshells.

The dealership where I bought you, they just called recently. Apparently when you buy a car from a dealership they keep track of it. They called to ask if I wanted to “trade that thing in yet.” You might have a bunch of dings and scratches at this point; you might be on the verge of blowing a gasket; your cloth interior (seriously, who made that decision in a “sport model”?) might stink because I pack you full of dogs, kids, groceries, and dirt from our long, gravel driveway, but no, no, I’m not ready to trade you in just yet. Despite all your clunkiness, you still only have 132,000 miles on you. For a Subaru, that means you’re just getting started.

Dori Mondon-Freeman currently lives in Mt. Shasta, California, with her wife, daughter, two old rescue dogs and a Maine Coon cat. She writes for a living. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Medium.