Boy do they grow up fast. This week, my little red car, TJ, turned one (in LA years). If you’re unfamiliar with my transportation past, I moved to this city in 2010 without a car, surviving (and thriving) on two wheels for five years. It wasn’t until I accepted a new job that I made the call to TJ’s temporary caregivers: my parents. They actually drove TJ from North Carolina all the way to Hermosa Beach so that my commute to Beverly Hills would be, well, possible.
Since coming into my life last March, TJ and I have fully embraced mixing business with pleasure. A drive up to Vegas and a drive down to San Diego. A successful check-up with the mechanic and two oil changes. A lot of laughs and plenty of free car washes. Remember that time I opened up a packet of Justin’s peanut butter, only to set free hot, nutty lava all over the steering wheel? Good times. Oh, and only one parking violation to date.
Now would be the time to tell you that I actually threw TJ a car shower—you know, to celebrate his ‘coming into the world’ a.k.a. ‘my world’. I sent invitations to all my friends and reserved a spot at a nearby park. For me, it was a chance to celebrate a milestone in my life that didn’t involve a man, or a new home, or some other societal norm that justifies praise and a gift registry. We all support our loved ones by attending birthdays, weddings, job promotion dinners, baby showers, etc., but this was my chance to flip the script. To be creative. And confuse the hell outta people. I even selected my version of a baby book for guests to sign: Cars Galore by Peter Stein.
Needless to say, my friends were awesome and supportive. There were homemade stoplight brownies, lawn games, extra-large tires to use as seats, and of course, plenty of presents. This year, however, I decided to do something a little more intimate…cupcakes at the park. Just TJ and I, imagining all the places we could go, the neighborhoods we could get lost in, and the lyrics we could butcher when nobody’s listening.
I can’t say that I’ve ever read TJ a bedtime story, but I’ll leave you with some of my favorite comments left by my friends in his baby book:
Let’s hit the open road with TJ! Excited for all the fun possibilities in store! -Jordan
I’m proud of you and happy I could be there for you in such a monumental, life-changing moment…let me know if you need parental advice or TJ-sitting! -Michelle
“Take time to park evenly. Don’t be ‘that guy’. -Aurora
You’ll get more mileage if you fuel up in the morning (colder) hours and keep tires at 35 psi. -Ricky
Wishing you many happy miles and smooth roads ahead. -Deborah
You can trade him in! Take care of him. -Anonymous