Bringing Back the Truck

There’s a critical scene missing in one of the movie versions of Pride & Prejudice. In that scene, Elizabeth visits Darcy’s estate at Pemberley and, from what she sees there and from the housekeeper’s glowing admiration of her master, realizes that she’s misjudged him. Like Elizabeth falling for Darcy because of his house, my husband occasionally jokes that I fell for him because of his truck. But I was well on my way to a good crush on him before I found out he drove a nice truck—a bright orange Dodge Dakota Sport.

I don’t remember the first time I saw his truck, but I remember the first time I rode in it. We were heading to a movie (there was supposed to be a group of us, but at the last minute the others back ed out on excuses of having to study for exams and write papers, so we went anyway) and he opened the door for me. I was impressed; only my dad had done that for me before. However, with a skirt and a full backpack of books, I managed to rather ungracefully clamber in.

At the time, I was driving any vehicle I could borrow from my parents or brothers or a little white truck we’d bought from my grandpa. It was a good little truck, but it wasn’t my dream vehicle. I wanted a vehicle with character, a vehicle that everyone would know was mine. Like my husband’s truck.

When we got married, we decided that we didn’t need two trucks and we parked his truck at his parents’ farm. We were living in the city and could ride our bikes to work in the summer and take transit in the winter. Discovering that we were pregnant meant that the truck stayed parked, because neither of our trucks would fit a car seat. We sent my truck to Car Heaven (it ran fine for us, but there were too many little things wrong with it to sell it) and got a car.

When we moved up north, we remained a one-vehicle family. Living in a small town made that easier, as we lived only a few blocks from downtown and could walk everywhere. We traded our car in for the Jeep, the dream vehicle I’d always wanted. And now, while we’re still living in a small town here, having both of us working has meant that we both need transportation. So, after much deliberation, we put the truck back on the road.

One night at work, one of the other baristas dropped in for a coffee and asked me, “Where’s your Jeep?” I smiled and said I had my truck—it was the orange one parked down at the end. She looked at me and said, “You don’t like bright vehicles at all, do you? I saw that on the way in and thought, wow, that’s orange.”

The other night, as I followed my husband home from his parents’ place, I had to smile. Following his truck brought back memories of the many times I did that while we were dating or engaged. That truck saw so many of our dates, road trips, surprises, and other memories. Maybe it’s just because I haven’t seen it since the wedding, but it reminds me of those days of falling in love and getting to know each other.

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