In the 2000 Toyota Avalon, the year is 2002, not because the Chamber of Secrets came out, Avril Lavigne entered the music scene or the camera phone became mainstream, but because the car’s calendar stops at 2018, forcing owners to either find a year with matching weekdays or be annoyed by their dashboard display for the rest of eternity—an eternity the Avalon obviously didn’t plan for.

During our first Sunday lunch of the year last month, my father-in-law walked up to my husband and I, eager to tell a story—a rare occurrence, since the men in my husband’s family, including my husband, don’t talk much. When he got into his 2000 Avalon on New Year’s Day earlier that week, he said, it wasn’t Jan. 1, 2019, or even the 21st century.

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That 2000 Avalon You Bought As Your Last Car, Doesn't Know What Year It Is

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