December 2006, Dave bought an electric blue Nissan 350 Z, maybe a mid-life crisis car, maybe the car he had wanted after years of driving the family minivan. After we moved in together in the 1980s, he sold his orange Mazda RX7 sports car and bought a station wagon, a practical car for a ready-made family with three children. The Z is not practical. The Z is fun.
The negotiations on the car took too long, and Dave told me to go home while he finished the paperwork. He would drive home in the Z. While I was sitting at the computer returning emails before I went to bed, Dave walked in and stood in the doorway. Grinning, maybe swaggering, he invited, “Want to come for a spin in my new car?”
Was he kidding? It was already late. Couldn’t this wait until tomorrow? I looked at him. With eyes lit up, he playfully beckoned me. I wanted to say no, knew I should say no, knew I would be tired the next day. Without enthusiasm, I said, “OK.”
Dave happily escorted me to the Z and took me for this spin. It wasn’t until we were driving that I realized that this experience only existed that night. By tomorrow, it would still be a cool car, still a fun ride, but the magic of this moment only existed this one time. I will always be grateful that the curmudgeon in me didn’t have a voice that night and that I went on that once in a lifetime ride.
Last night, on the ride home from seeing “The Way Way Back,” Dave uncharacteristically rolled both windows down. “Let’s pretend it’s a convertible,” he suggested. The wind blowing my hair, we raised our voices to hear each other. The ride home rekindled my feeling of that first ride in the Z, and my love for Dave. We talked about the various scenes in the movie while I complained, “Why did it only get 3 1/2 stars? That’s like an A minus. What could they have done better?”
By the way, make a point to see, “The Way Way Back.” A low-budget, coming-of-age movie, it has an original story filled with well developed, compelling characters. A must see.