His Heart Broke, but a Focus Fixed It
Sometimes you have to make hard decisions for love. Sometimes you have to cherish your love as a memory rather than an everyday occurrence. And sometimes you find the ability to love again, despite the sputtering flame in your heart. Nobody knows this better than Charlie, who carries fond memories of a Chevrolet Chevette, drives a motorcycle when weather permits, and recently mourned the passing of his 2001 Impala. He drives a new Ford Focus now — and in doing so, he has rediscovered his ability to love.
Part 1: Memories of First Love
Charlie loves his motorcycle. He loves the feeling of the wind in his face and his beard flapping maniacally around his neck like an anxious banshee. He loves the freedom that comes with experiencing high speeds in the open air. But he also knows that Illinois winters can be brutal, and they can make riding a motorcycle in December a bit uncomfortable — but he still does it because it makes him feel alive.
He had a 2001 Chevrolet Impala for a time, which also kindled a smoldering flame in his heart. Even when driving the Impala, though, his thoughts would often drift to his long lost love: a blue Chevrolet Chevette. The way its angular edges caught the light. The way he had to throw all of his weight into gearshifts. The way that nobody taller than 5’11” could fit inside, and the way he could almost lift the car on his own — he once had to put that to the test by pushing it over a small snowbank after it had gotten stuck, in fact.
Asked about his old Chevette, Charlie’s eyes moisten and he stares into the distance wistfully. “The Chevette needs to come back,” he said, wiping a single tear from his cheek. “I had so much fun in that zippy little manual. If the Chevette was made today, it might actually put up a fight.”
Part 2: Coping With the Hole in His Heart
Even Charlie admits that his old Chevette was bigger on charm than on practicality, but love isn’t always rational. It was his baby, and he thought of it every time he started another car.
As much as he loved it, there were times when his eyes turned cold as he turned the Impala’s ignition, and his gaze was stoic when his hands were on the wheel. The flutter of fresh love was fleeting in his heart, ejected much like a tall person who got stuck in his Chevette: manually, and with great effort. He cared for his Impala deeply, but his thoughts continued to drift toward his first.
But love, as ever, finds a way.
Part 3: Can Love Bloom on the Battlefield?
The Impala was a well-loved hand-me-down that had been owned by all five members of his family, and it too eventually succumbed to the hard miles Charlie put on it. It was a faithful steed — but with winter coming, and the practical realities of transporting an upright bass looming, he knew he needed to find a new car. Through tragedy, a revelation: an openness to the possibility of finding love again.
But like any bachelor looking for companionship, he needed to put himself out there.
Charlie’s honest about why he went to River View Ford: his boss recommended them. Word of mouth is a big deal, though. “I was worried about my first experience in a dealership,” he said. “I’ve heard about it taking really long, or maybe I’d get a terrible deal.” But his low expectations and the extent to which they were exceeded softened his heart of stone.
Fortunately, he found a kindred spirit in the form of Sales Manager Tom Julian. “We talked about tattoos, music, and motorcycles, and Tom worked with Ford Credit to get me approved.” Charlie’s had some not-so-great experience with finances in the past, and while he’s been on the right track for a while now, he had concerns that the rough times might impair his ability to get financing. Fortunately, Tom helped him smooth everything out and get behind the wheel of his new car.
Asked for a to-the-point review of his experience, Charlie simply said, “Tom’s fantastic!”
Charlie’s now enjoying a fruitful relationship with his new Focus. They enjoy going for long drives and taking selfies together. He’s even introduced his new Focus to his mom: “I set up the SYNC with my phone,” Charlie noted with triumph, “and I’m able to call my Mom on long drives without her worrying whether I’m texting and driving.”
And he drives a lot — in the four months since Charlie bought his new Focus, he’s put over 10,000 miles on it, which recently included a trip to North Carolina and back. In fact, it was Charlie’s love of travel that led him to buy rather than lease — not only personal travel, but also as a musician. Charlie’s played bass at local venues such as Two Brothers Brewing and as far as Boulder, CO in a 360° Virtual Reality video filmed on Pearl Street.
Charlie did have some criticisms about his new Focus, though. In a savage takedown, he admits that he’s not overly fond of the new-car smell. “I immediately went with my partner to go on a hunt for an air freshener,” he said. “I don’t know why people like it. I was blasting the AC with the windows down just to make it stop.” All couples have their quarrels, though.
Asked what he’d wish for in his new-Focus scent, Charlie said he wished “that it smelled like baked goods rather than manufactured goods.”
So listen up, Ford: in the future, drivers like Charlie would prefer their new cars to smell like “cinnamon, pumpkin pie, or apple-spiced something-or-other.” There’s clearly a big opportunity to draw in the pumpkin-spice crowd, too.
Realistically, though, the smell issue is a lesson: every relationship requires some amount of compromise, and part of love is learning to accept your partner’s flaws. On the other hand, perhaps this could be an option in the 2019 Focus — or maybe it’ll just require a bit of customization on Charlie’s part.
Get baking, dude.