When I was a kid, we drove around in HUGE, old cars. The first one I can remember was an emerald green, two-door Mercury Cougar with curb feelers. The car emblem reminded me of “Thundercats” ….. total awesomeness. The interior was green as well.
When that car died we “upgraded” to an old Chevy Monte Carlo. Not necessarily a “New” car (I guess it was the same year as the Mercury) … It kinda looked a lot like the ol’ cougar except instead of the shimmery green, it was a dull, dusty blue; still with two doors.
When I reached Jr. High, my folks came home one day (My brother says they told us they were going “grocery shopping”) with a BRAAAAAND NEEEEEW CAAAAAR! (Insert “Price is Right” theme song here)
It was beautiful. It was sand colored with a touch of glitter. It had four doors, (which in my mind was better than two doors) and was smaller and more compact than our previous “boats.” Finally! Something I wouldn’t be embarrassed driving around in! – our very own, BRAND NEW Hyundai Excel! I was elated. My bro and I must’ve been bouncing off of the walls when my folks showed up with our new ride.
That week at school, I told EVERYONE about our new car. Someone was ALWAYS talking about the new car their parents bought that week. It was ‘normal’ conversation and I got to be a part of it. My friends were genuinely happy for my news; not because they thought anything bad about our old car but because a new car is exciting no matter what you drove before.
Well, one very unsavory morning, my dad dropped me off at school and ‘Rye Camelot’, a richy-rich kid I’d had been crushing on for a loooong time asked, “Is THAT the new car you were talking about?” I responded that it was and he said, “You shouldn’t be bragging about getting a Hyundai. Hyundais are junk cars. You should be embarrassed.” So…like all Jr. highers who are told how to “feel” by their “friends” I did exactly as instructed. I was embarrassed (both at the car and the conversation) and never spoke of it again. This memory is pretty shameful for me. OH how I wish I’d had the fortitude (or the vocabulary for that matter) to shove his snobbery in his face and to choose to be proud of what my parents had accomplished for our family.
When my hubby was a teen, his folks bought a black Nissan Sentra (used) for he and his brothers to share. Since Josh was the oldest, it was pretty much his car and, well, ain’t gonna lie; I have some fun memories in that car (wink!)
We still laugh hard about how, after we were rear-ended, the trunk never closed properly and always filled with water in the rain, subsequently sending loads of water to the front of the car every time he had to break at a light…and imagine the smell of stale water flooding through the floorboards. That car was broken into twice, one window didn’t roll properly, the list went on and on. I was sad when the Nissan died and we had to get a new car. Suddenly, a sweet jalopy was hard to part with.
Of course, like everything, cars and their “significance” mess with the psyche of the poor, little, rich, white Mexican. . . The month before we married, Josh and I bought (well, leased) a brand new 1997 silver Honda civic coupe, with a little financial assistance on the down payment.
What a mess. I’d finally gotten my own beautiful car and after a mere $30,000.00 and 10 years, that car was officially ours. Grr…… just in time to be the only mom of an elementary school-aged kid without an SUV. (Sigh) Does everyone have this problem with cars? A discontentment with whatever you have at the moment? Always longing for something “better” to make you feel “normal?”
Now I drive a fully owned 2005 Chevy Trailblazer and for all intents and purposes, I feel normal driving it (though, boy do I hate how much gas it takes!) and my husband is driving our new 2011 Toyota Camry. Guess which car my kids would rather ride in? PSH!