Writing prompts

On ex-cars & ex-husbands

Note: At the start of our weekly writing group meetings, we do a five-minute warm-up    exercise based on a prompt. The prompt for this one was “I hated it because it was new.”

Pink convertible car“I hated it because it was new” is a particularly uninspiring prompt for me this morning, mostly because I don’t recall ever hating anything new.

Ah. No. That’s a lie. Now that I think of it, there’s at least one thing: new car smell.

I hate the smell of new cars: that new car smell is so, well, new-car-ish! I can’t even think of words to describe it. Perhaps because I’ve only owned one brand-spanking-new car in my entire life and that was in Dubai. A Nissan Tiida (called a Versa in other parts of the world). It didn’t look anything like the car pictured above; it wasn’t even #PINK, but I wish it had been. This one is pink, but virtually impossible to find.)

I bought it new because I didn’t have a husband anymore. Husbands can be useful for some things like taking care of second hand vehicles because all their wives know, or at least this wife anyway, is it should start when you turn the key, and it should drive you from A to B, and if it doesn’t do either one of those things then there’s something wrong that needs to be fixed. I don’t know how to fix broken cars just like I didn’t know how to fix my broken marriage.

ANYWAY, I bought the Tiida new from the dealership, and it ran like a charm for the four-or-so years I had it and I didn’t need a husband to fix it because it didn’t break and if it had, it would have been under warranty.

I don’t remember its new car smell, which I’m sure I would have hated at the time, but I do remember how well it ran, and how much I loved it when I had it, and what a great little car it was to run around in. (These ones are great to park, but may also be tough to find.) Funny how you often remember the good things and forget about the bad. It’s like that with many things I guess, like cars and ex-husbands.


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