Say hello to Robin Hood, my 2011 Hyundai Sonata. My first new car since 1996.
My first car ever was a 1995 Acura Integra coupe. Dark green. Leather interior. 6 CD changer. All decked out.
My brother Onk who was living in Oklahoma at the time bought it for me per my dad’s order and had it shipped over to me. Since he got to drive that car for a while before shipping over, he decided to get *me* a flashy, sporty car.
Obviously, he ignored my plea to please buy something sensible since I was living in the dorm at USC at the time. NOT a good place for a sporty, flashy car.
Surprisingly, Tequila, as I came to call the car, wasn’t stolen from campus outright. His wheels, however, were. 2 nights parked in the on-campus structure, and campus security found my car propped up on 2 jacks and some large rocks.
Then, sometime late 1999, at 3 a.m., I buzz-drove home and took the parking space a few buildings down from my front door instead of parking at well-lit, lightly monitored parking lot a block away which I paid for monthly. Four hours later, slightly hungover, I returned to the parking spot to find a Chevrolet parked where my car was supposed to be. I walked up and down the block and even went back to the parking lot a block away in case I was much too buzzed and misremembered where I had parked. Tequila was nowhere to be found.
According to LAPD, my car was the third 1995 Japanese cars stolen from the neighborhood in 3 weeks. Well, that was just great.
Not long after that, in early 2000, the then-boyfriend and I broke up while I was still car-less. As I hid away at my then-best friend’s house to lick my wounds, her dad helped me pick out and purchased a new car, a used 1996 blue Toyota Corolla. Reliable and a CD player, all I really needed at the time.
Soon after that, this boy at work named Brandon started to hang out with me, like a knight in the shining armor, rescuing me from my misery. In that train of thought, an image of Merlin the Wizard in bright blue robe popped into my head. Thus, the old reliable was called Merlin.
Fast forward to somewhere in 2010, Brandon and I were discussing getting me a new car. Merlin was still purring like a kitten although his “bald spots” were getting progressively worse. Brandon’s brother-in-law is a Toyota chief mechanic and he ensured us what we already knew: the Corolla would rust through before the engine dies. We could plunk money into fixing up the paint job, or I could just buy something nice for myself.
I was still debating buying a new car now that I had been taking the bus for my commute. Deep down though, I think I don’t really want to give up Merlin just yet.
We did some looking around and a bit of soul searching for me. While my sight was set on a Hyundai Genesis Coupe originally, Brandon wasn’t going to let me behind the wheel of another sports car. We took a Hyundai Sonata 2011 for a test drive, and I was smitten.
Still, I hung on to Merlin.
But then the stars all aligned. I was pre-qualified for a great auto loan and Brandon’s sister was in need of a car. So…the Sonata it is!
This morning, we went to pick up a silver Sonata from the dealership.Â I usually let the car (or a piano, a guitar, or a Kitchenaid mixer…) tells me what it wants to be named. Our sales guy left to go get the car, then came back because it wasn’t up front like he thought it was supposed to be. We did some more paperwork, and he left again to find the car in the next lot, and still couldn’t find it.
“Robin Hood,” I muttered. Brandon looked at me.
“The elusive car that doesn’t want to get caught.”
He crinkled his nose.
“Would you rather me calling him Thomas Crowne? Pink Panther? Banksy?”
“You’re so weird.”
“Robin Hood it is.”
And here we are on a Saturday afternoon, with Robin in my parking spot, waiting for Brandon’s sister to pick up Merlin.
Letting go. And moving on.
Gosh. I’m tearing up a little over here…