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Earlier this month, my wife and I celebrated our 10 th anniversary. Because of this considerable milestone, we've spent a fair amount of time recently reminiscing about our relationship and our adventures together. This is also the time of year that we both gear up for back-to-school routines, and our three-and-half-year-old son will be joining the fray with his first trip to preschool. Themes of education and adventure have always been central to our marriage, and my wife reminded me of this when she suggested that I share this story. Therefore, this post is about a unicorn.

In the beginning of our relationship, Melanie's interests were so very different from mine. I am an incorrigible nerd when it comes to cars, history, and entertainment media, while Melanie loves economics, math, and crafting. I like science fiction, horror, and anime films, while at the time, she was almost exclusively hooked on romance and comedy.

It was in those early days that she subjected me to repeated viewings of one of her all-time favorite films, The Last Unicorn. It is the animated story of the titular mythical creature, voiced by Mia Farrow who, as the title suggests, believes she is the last of her kind. It was produced by Rankin/Bass and animated by Topcraft, the folks behind those stop-motion Rudolph and Frosty animated holiday favorites of the 1960s and '70s, as well as the original animated The Hobbit and The Return of the King films (Ralph Bakshi's animated The Lord of the Rings was not made by Rankin/Bass or Topcraft, though their The Return of the King is considered the spiritual sequel to that film and was created when Bakshi was unable to film his own version).

Now I did use the word “subjected” because, so often, that is unfortunately how we share our interests with our partners. And to be fair, I subjected her to far more of my interests than she did to me. I was especially prone to repeated mansplaining about cars, to the point that she actually began to loathe anything having to do with engines and motorsports. What I couldn't seem to articulate was just what made certain cars so special, and I was sure that it was the one area of my life that she would never understand.

In spite of my initial aversion to the film, The Last Unicorn was the common ground that we needed. I even started using the term “unicorn” to describe the things I was interested in which I felt I had no hope of seeing in real life. One of those particular things was from the only poster I had in my room as a kid - the Bugatti EB110.

Before the Veyron, Bugattis were incredibly rare. The Bugatti brand has changed hands a number of times over the decades since its foundation, and only a few vehicles have ever been produced by any one owner. There have been several attempts to revive the brand; one of the most notable incarnations was through Romano Artioli in the '90s who also purchased Lotus from General Motors at the time. He brought famed designers Paolo Stanzani and Marcello Gandini from Lamborghini on board to build his Bugatti supercar, the EB110, exactly 110 years after the birth of Ettore Bugatti (hence the moniker). Only 139 were produced between 1991 and 1995, one of which was a yellow EB110 SS (Super Sport) owned by Formula One legend Michael Schumacher.

In 2008 during our first year of marriage, Melanie was in London working on her master's degree in economics so I took time off of work and we spent a week touring the city. After a morning walk through Hyde Park, we were crossing the street and I heard a distinct, high-pitched buzz, like an enormous insect was flying through traffic.

My wife grabbed me by the arm and said, “Hey, isn't that-”

“Unicorn!” I shouted, before she could finish her sentence.

There is no way of knowing whether it was actually Schumacher's EB110, but seeing that yellow streak flash past us and stop just a few feet ahead was a once-in-a-lifetime moment. It was also the moment that I knew that she had been paying attention to my ramblings all along. From that day forward, I have strived to maintain an open mind and an open ear to her interests and concerns because she was surely listening to mine.

-Trey Fennel

Coco #52 Black & Yellow

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