Vanna Diana is in for Repairs

Two weeks before Christmas and I’m almost done with my shopping. Everything would be wrapped up except my days have been full of ferrying children or myself place to place, and this week I am ferrying my husband. Why? At the end of October, someone backed into my van. Last Tuesday, my middle child gave the inside a good coating of vomit. Factor in my first child’s vomit phobia, and it really was time to get Vanna Diana taken care of. 

I’ve previously referred to Vanna Diana as “The Black Beauty” in an ironic capacity. When we bought her, she smelled of wet dogs and had an impressive layer of clay staining in the carpets. But her mileage was low and so was her cost.

We loved her as a replacement for a poorly thought-out new SUV purchase. The vehicle was defective. We returned it and scouted mommy vans. My husband found Vanna and so she is now our trusted road host.  

She has served us well, but we have been hard on her. Shortly after her purchase we scraped her along a pillar. The kids have sawed on and under her handles with keys and scratched her up by covering her with chalk. She has been run into many curbs resulting in not the loss of one, but two sets of hubcaps. And then she was rear ended. I had her bumper replaced only to have her backed into a couple weeks later. 

We are six months from paying Vanna off. Six months to payment free. I’ve decided it’s time to honor her as we are committed to keeping her another hundred thousand miles. So I’ve sent her in to have her sides repaired. She will be buffed all over. And her insides will be shampooed and made fresh (until the next stomach virus). Perhaps even the mouse that lives in one of the seats will relocate. We’ve tried for months to get rid of this Remi, but he just sets off the traps and has a nice snack. 

Friends, I’m even replacing her wheels. My middle sweetie, upon hearing this, said, “She won’t be scary anymore!” That wheel replacement is what we might have used for a week of car rentals, but who cares? Not me. I’m not going to be that mom at pickup anymore. In fact, I’ve just had her rotors, brakes and calipers replaced to stop the grating screech that caused everyone in the two block radius to involuntarily cringe when I slowed down. 

Indeed. Vanna Diana may live up to her name with zero hipster attitude. I look forward to my Black Beauty’s return. In the meantime, please enjoy the images from her “before” photo shoot. Her insides are not included because the ickiness would embarrass her. 


Shawna Ayoub

Shawna Ayoub is an essayist, fiction writer, poet and instructor with an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Some of her work has been published in The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, [wherever], The Huffington Post, The Oxford Review and Exit 7. Her writing explores the intersections of race, place and survivorship. She writes with honesty about her own experience in order to transform pain.

3 Discussion to this post

  1. Charli Mills says:

    Aw, Vanna Diana, return home soon to your family! What a great name! Growing up, we once had a mouse in the car. It nibbled into the padded ceiling and fell out en route somewhere right onto my lap. I still recall the terror! Try putting peppermint soaked cotton balls in the seat. That supposedly keeps the critters out of vehicles and campers. At least it will smell like candy canes!

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  2. Charli Mills says:

    I still remember it! Ha, ha! And I have a great aversion to the critters!

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  3. […] got Vanna Diana back. She’s still struggling a bit. It appears the new door installed has a faulty motor, and […]

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