I love my car. I don't LOVE my car - I don't suffer from mechaphilia and you can't find me humping the hood a la Tawny Kitaen in a Whitesnake video (or at least you can't prove it.) But I love my car.
I also secretly think this makes me an asshole.
It's been no secret that times have been tough. Even before the Detective Agency, gigs were getting harder to find and magic green envelopes (containing Lizzie McGuire and Romeo! residuals) were arriving in my mailbox less frequently. Thankfully I was able to secure a few animated projects to get the bills paid, but the downside of that is that a lot of animation isn't covered by the Writers' Guild (although they want to - companies just aren't willing to pay Guild residuals and pension and health benefits. See the most recent result here.) About 18 months ago, everything came to a screeching halt and I started picking up any sort of non-writing gigs I could in order to pay the bills.
Alas, I discovered that I wasn't the only person dealing with the fickle hand of economic fate, as temp agencies were packed to the gills and those part-time jobs that Los Angeles seems to manufacture also had a waiting list. An ex-boyfriend once called me lazy. (He also told me I was fat, but that's another post altogether.) I don't think he truly understood that my lack of results meant that I lacked effort. I've managed to scrape together an odd amalgamation of jobs while keeping my finger in the TV-writing pie and trying to launch a new blog (so, so lax on this one) or two (much, much better at this.)
Falling a few notches down the food chain has been an interesting experience, and not as terrible as you'd think. That's not to say that I hate money. Or success. Or that I'm not busting my hump every day trying to further my - and our - lot in life (as every friend and family member who gets the weekly one-line email I love you and I'm thinking of your but I am busy as hell and not ignoring you je promis!) But it's also taught me that there's plenty of stuff I can live without.
Except for my car.
In my darkest times, I've considered selling it. It's a conversation piece. Total strangers take pictures of it. The gym isn't far and maybe biking to work at 5:00am isn't as scary as I think it'll be. It's just a thing, a possession. It doesn't define me or who I am.
Except that it does, a little bit. One could consider it part of the Slackmistress Brand. The car is an anti-depressant, like the prozac of the automobile industry. Strangers wave to me on the street. Little kids stand open-mouthed as I drive by. It would make Angelyne jealous. Not to mention that it'll be paid off in a few months, gets good gas mileage, and isn't an arm and a leg to insure.
So I love my car. I'm pretty sure that makes me an asshole. I'll live.
Related topics: The 5! Workin' Blue.