She said form. He said function.

Fiat 500 2011 Fiat 500. Photo via blog.al.com

I drive a Toyota RAV4, which is not something I’m very proud of in a design sense. But Will made me do it.

It’s functional, but boring. Toyota isn’t exactly know for cutting edge design. For 12 years of single parenthood, I drove a 1994 two-door Suzuki Swift. Drove that cheap, blue, rice burner into the ground only because I simply – unfortunately – couldn’t afford not to. When I met Will ten years ago next Wednesday, he drove a 1996 Honda Accord with tan leather interior and tires worn by a single man looking for love up and down the eastern seaboard. Then across the country ’til he found me, alright. A couple miles north of the Space Needle, all full of piss, vinegar, and Colorado sunshine.

It was stolen one day from under the Alaskan Way Viaduct while he was in a job interview. Recovered a few weeks later with the most valuable object still in the trunk: Will’s expensive, broken-in mountaineering boots. That was all he really cared about.

I wanted a Volkswagen Passat in the worst way. That was the right-brained, aesthetic, MFA in me talking. But the analytic, practical, left-brained MBA in Will prevailed. We bought a snoring, aesthetically-anorexic-yet-highly-functional Toyota. A 2005 model, manufactured before Toyota’s spectacular decline. What this means is that this bland vehicle will probably last forever. And since I’d rather spend my money on experiences rather than things (or, if things, than cooler things like bikes and espresso machines), I won’t be getting a new one for a very long while.

But… if I were in the market for a new car, I think I’d buy a Fiat 500. Did you know they’re back on the American market after 25 years? Here, look. This is what the vintage ones were like:

Vintage FiatVintage Fiat 500. Photo via seriouswheels.com

I saw a new one on the street the other day here in Baltimore, and there was instant chemistry. My pupils dilated, my palms got all sweaty, my cheeks flushed. A kindred spirit in form and function.

I have a crush on a car.

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