Friday, May 23, 2014

Goodbye Roberto the Turtle

Have you ever lost something sentimental?

Recently, I took my car to get the interiors cleaned for the first time. I was so excited! Except when I got back in the car and started driving, I realized the little Mexican turtle I lovingly named “Roberto” was gone! My mind could only imagine the way he was removed from his home. A clean sweep of a dirty washcloth catapulted him out the window…. Or perhaps he was sucked up by the scary and powerful vacuum?! Either way, I am forced to part ways with my little friend who was always the main compliment of any person I drove around.

When I was around 13, I went with my family on a vacation to Mexico. We went into town, and I still remember to this day where I was and what it all looked like. I bought this little turtle, among about 5 others for some friends. His little head bobbed up and down and thought he was very cute! You could tell he was hand-made and hand-painted, but I immediately fell in love. Silly right?

When I got my first car at 17, a dark purple dodge shadow, my dad used a small piece of duct tape and put this little guy on the dash. Now, I had long forgotten about him but my dad came across him and thought it would be a funny thing to do. When I moved into my next car at around 19/20, a green Pontiac Sunfire, the turtle appeared again on the dash. In full bobble-head fashion, he would never fail to make me smile. It was clearly my dad who put him there again, but it seemed as if he just came on his own. Silly… I know. Last year, at age 25, I finally bought my beautiful white Mazda 3 and of course, it didn’t feel at home until there was a few touches of pink and little Roberto the turtle. My dad, again, ensured he moved over before we scrapped the Pontiac.

This was my first time taking my car to the auto spa. I saved up for it, a way of bringing in the summer! Now I regret such a decision. Without Roberto bobbing away on my dashboard, I feel I have to close a chapter that I wasn’t ready to close! I promptly looked only – eBay only sells a family of 10 or 20 and the shipping alone is $10. Not worth it. I then quickly called my mom who was at the cottage. Mom: “Hello?” Me: “We need to go to Mexico!!!!” Mom: “….Why?” When I told her how Roberto was gone, she felt as sad as I did. It means a lot that something that can seem so stupid from the outside resonated with her as much as it did with me.
Whenever I would pick up or drive my friends, they never failed to tap the little turtle’s head to make him bobble more OR would make note of how he seemed to bobble to the music. He was an object that you wouldn’t think twice of, but he had value.

Sentimental value. The turtle itself probably cost no more than $3, but the sentimental value alone was priceless. The item in and of itself is nothing. Im pretty sure it was made of scrap material! But the memories attached to him are what I value. The family vacation, my dad trying to make me smile by putting him in there in the first place, and my friends smiling because of him. Objects and products and stuff isn’t the thing that gives our lives value – but instead the memory and emotion associated with it.