I have a tendency to develop emotional attachments to inanimate objects. No, not like the guy on Taboo who has sex with appliances. What I mean is, if they are particularly useful to me or I own them for an unusually long time, I feel a little sad to let them go. I'm not a hoarder, I promise. I throw things out. But I do, on occasion, say thank you while I'm doing it. If that makes me crazy, so be it.
Last week I sold the first and only car I ever owned, a 2000 Nissan Sentra. According to the paperwork I unearthed during the process of transferring the title, I bought it new in Madison, WI on July 30, 2000 for $14,072. It had 39 miles on the odometer. I sold it just short of 12 years later for $1,300 with 168,787 miles on it. It took me from age 21 to 33 and it never let me down. It was the definition of trouble-free and reliable through 12 years living in four different states (IL, WI, IN, and GA) and a dozen different apartments.
The first girl I was in love with drove me to the dealership to buy it. A decade later I drove it to my wedding. I drove it to my first real job post-college. I drove it across the country and back several times. It regularly took me from Indiana to central Illinois to see my sister's kids. It took me to dozens of band and comedy gigs. You get the picture.
I've replaced it with a far nicer vehicle, as it is pretty run down at this point in its life. Nonetheless, it was sad to part with it, to watch it drive away and see it for what is likely the last time. I said thanks, not so much to the machine itself but to the people who made it. I thought about the people in some factory in Japan who paid enough attention to what must be a not-very-stimulating series of tasks that I could buy one of the cheapest cars on the market and get 12 hassle free years from it. I appreciate their effort and I wonder if they realize how much benefit I derived from their relatively simple labors.
No, I don't go through this thought process every time I discard something (note: disposing of old underwear is an equally difficult process, albeit for entirely different reasons). But I felt like I owed this hunk of metal and plastic a few moments of reflection for all the major life events it saw me through and all the places it took me. And yes, if you're interested, I recommend a Nissan without hesitation.