I recently went three weeks without my beloved mom-mobile. My 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe. Complete with tow package, grill guard, running boards, removable third row and suped-up stereo system. Aww yeah. Top. Of. The. Line. Top of the line for 2002 that is.
This is the vehicle I have been driving through three company changes, a first house, first baby, second baby… It’s helped my friends move, it’s helped us move, gone on countless family vacations with my younger siblings crammed in the back, sandwiched in-between the car seats and all the crap a family with babies takes with them on vacation… It’s fast, it can be intimidating on the road, and after all these years the sound system still kicks ass (although I’ve had to replace a speaker here and there). I love driving it. And I’m fairly certain it likes having me be it’s primary driver.
It’s name is The Beast. He’s a boy.
Weird fact about me, I’ve only driven two types of cars in my lifetime. Toyotas and Chevys. My dad is a devotee of both so it stands to reason that my vehicle choice would reflect that. My two Toyotas, a 1994 Corolla (it was a nerd-mobile, but it was cool) and a 2001 Celica (that little car could go so fucking fast), were both girls. My other Chevy was a 1994 Cheyenne pickup truck. It was a full-size, single-cab, and on the outside it looked pimp but on the inside it had no frills at all. Like NONE. But I didn’t care. I loved him from the minute I saw him. I cried when I traded him in. Like a baby. My dad loved that truck too; he still says he wishes he had just bought it from me. I always agree with him. Then at least I’d have gotten visitation rights.
People ask me why I would rather re-build a transmission than get a new car. I give all sorts of excuses about how it’s cheaper than a new car payment (which, hello, it is). But the truth is, I know that The Beast has a few good years left in him yet. He’s worked too hard to be put out to pasture before he gets to see kiddo #2 enter kinder, the family it’s loved and schlepped all over the damn place move into a newer, nicer home… The Beast has seen us, me, through so much. If I could save him, I would. In this case. I could.
I am aware that me driving an ’02 Tahoe is the equivalent of those soccer moms driving a raggedy-ass minivan in the early millennia… I know that my trendier friends look down at me a little for still driving a vehicle that boats a body (gasp) almost 12 years old and two body styles ago. Yes, he’s a little long in the tooth. But as one of my friends told me, “It still looks nice.” And as I mentioned earlier – the sound system still rocks. Yeah, I think there are some pretty sweet SUVs and trucks out there… But me and the Beast are going to be sticking together for a little while longer.
PS – promise in Part Two I’ll explain the title. It is catchy, isn’t it?