Happy birthday, Augie!

Once upon a time, I had many obsessions. I was obsessed with money, success, work, clothes, my house and lawn—you name it, and I obsessed over it. But about four years ago, I began to consciously try to rid those obsessions from my life. With the exception of one—my beloved Acura TL. Augie (yes, he has a name) is six years old today. Happy birthday, Augie!

I like the styling on my TL much better than the newer models.

People still ask when they open Augie’s passenger doors, “Is this a new car?” For the longest time, I had a rule that no one could eat or drink anything in the car. I’ve since relaxed on that one—a bit. I’m also less fussy about hand-washing and polishing Augie all the time, although I still hate to see him dirty. And while the interior of my car is spotless, please do not look in the trunk!

In the early years, I paid a touch-up guy to remove any new scratch on Augie’s surface. I am a terrible parallel-parker, and so I am always scratching Augie’s wheel rims. A few years ago, I just had to take Augie to a body shop to have those scratches removed.

But since joining the ranks of the self-employed, I’ve had to cut back on these “excesses.” About two months ago, I elected for the first time not to get something fixed. The Bluetooth voice command system stopped working, something that I rarely used anyway. But it was really, really hard to tell the dealer that I wasn’t going to get it fixed. It was the first time I had ever denied Augie anything!

Augie seems to be taking it in stride, though. He is aging gracefully and is extremely tolerant of my now-less-than-fervent attitude towards his appearance. His exterior may be worn in a few places, but inside he’s still looking good! And he runs just as well as the day I bought him.

While I think I’ve made a great deal of progress in eliminating the many “obsessions” in my life, I allow Augie to remain a small exception. I suppose it is okay to be a tad obsessed with a few things, as long as it doesn’t get out of hand.

Augie was an exception from the beginning—a splurge for me when I hit 50. Up until then, I drove utilitarian vehicles, often purchased used and driven long past their prime. A brand-new TL was definitely an uncharacteristic move on my part. I guess that’s why I am so willing to baby him.

This week, to celebrate his birthday, I will take Augie in for a new set of Michelin tires. (Gosh, I’m a good dad.) I’m happy to say that I was able to get 60,000 miles from the originals. Let’s hope Augie will be around for the next 60,000!

Happy birthday, big guy!

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