Car-ing, Not Caring

Open Week and I don’t have a guest, no stories or articles published recently,(want to see my newest rejection slip? It’s a badge of honor; I’m ‘out there’.)
And I don’t want to talk about a work in progress. I am taking on a topic which I know very little about: cars.

The one thing in this world I will readily admit to being ignorant about is cars; actually all motor vehicles…OK, all things ‘motor’. I switched schools in mid-eighth grade and was knocking the socks off my science teacher until he tried to teach us about internal combustion engines, transmission, differentials, the whole deal. After we got into it, the boys were all excited to learn about their dream machines but after getting one wrong answer after another from girls, Mr. Mason said, “Tonette, are you getting any of this at all?”. I said, “No, sir, not really”. He sighed, put his book down and said, “We’ll finish the year with what I have the other class studying”, which was met with more sighs… of relief from the girls but more like groans from the boys. We had just run through basic rocket engines and I had aced it. The teacher figured if I couldn’t get it the other girls had no hope.

That may sound sexist and although maybe it was unfair, I didn’t with him. Let me say that my sister is a whiz with cars; she knows them inside and out. I’d go to her, not my brother, nor even my father when he was alive; any auto q’s went to her, and still do. Even my husband will ask her advice, but she can’t cook. My mother once said, “Don’t let Nickie in the kitchen or Tonette under the hood”… ’nuff said. (Although years ago an uncle taught me how carburetors work; you can imagine how much good that does me these days.)

And I don’t pay much attention to auto styles. My sister can tell you any make and model from just taillights, yet I just had to put a multi-colored ball on the antennae of my ‘new’ car so I can find it in a parking lot… yep, my own car. My son has parked that thing in my driveway more often than I can tell you and shoot, it just occurred to me that it sat there for at least six weeks two summers ago when he was recovering from leg surgery, but I would still have to hunt for it, possibly endlessly, without the ball.
I never notice when people I know pass me in their cars, either, which makes them upset.
(I ask them, “Were we in danger of hitting each other? No? Sorry, I only pay attention to the car behind me, the cars beside me and what’s going on ahead”.) I have parked right next to family members and not realized it until we all go to leave. You think I’d notice EMT stickers or Firefighter license plates, wouldn’t you? Nope, they are on the cars and unless I specifically look for them, I walk right past.

It’s just as well, too, because of my husband’s sentimentality, we have some real clunkers and I have not been able to emotionally afford to worry about the style, (or lack thereof), of my modes of transportation. We’ve had brand-new and some otherwise cute cars, like the darling little old ragtop that was mine, all mine, which I killed in the only real accident I ever had. My car was the only casualty, but I digress. (I’d tell you the make and model if they had made enough of an impression on me to remember.) However, two vehicles that we have now are just plain eyesores…and my husband loves them. One was his mother’s, one he bought from #1 Son. At least one has to go now, but it won’t be an easy battle to win. He says they are ‘back-ups’; if he didn’t drive one that is so old it breaks down, he wouldn’t need a ‘back-up’, but he ignores that logic. I want him to keep the one he drives now as a back-up if he feels he needs one and take over the car I used to drive. Man of habit, he hasn’t switched yet, and I’m not sure when he will. But I can tell you that one of the old ones is a Blazer and one is a …um, a Caprice, yeah, a Caprice.

Once in a while a car will catch my eye and it nearly always turns out to be a Jaguar. Well, I’m realistic enough to know that one of those is not ever going to be in my driveway. Seven years ago I was driving with my then-three year-old grandson and another car with us at a stoplight was very attractive. I said out loud, “I wonder what kind of a car that is?” The boy looked and said, “Red”. I said, “Oh, no. I mean what kind of red car is it?” He said, “Dark red.”

So, here I am with a newer car than my old one. #2 Son gave it to me when he bought his girlfriend’s car that he took a liking to. It has all the newest safety features that he and his brother want in a car that I drive their kids around in and now they are happy.
It is taking some getting used to, it’s smaller than the car I have had for a few years, so I am trying to figure out how much of my ‘have to have’ supplies I can actually do without, (you know: sunglasses, tissues, kids’ jackets, library bag, books and notebooks for me, extra glasses, books for grandkids, pens, markers, hand wipes, first aid kit, flashlight, umbrella, mints, gum, extra lip balm, hair brush, etc., just the ‘essentials’.)
It’s a sporty little thing and I don’t think it’s exactly ‘me’; I may look like the Little Old Lady from Pasadena-moved-east. A few days before I took possession of it I was messaging, catching up with an old friend and she asked what was new. I told her that Jon was giving me his car. “Cool!” she typed, “What kind is it? I messaged back:


How about you? Are you a car buff? What’s your ride?


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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12 Responses to Car-ing, Not Caring

  1. Iris B says:

    I hear ya loud and clear, Tonette. I’ve been made of the same “non-car-material”. What kind of car do I have? Silver AND i know it’s a Holden. The only car I really really know is the Jeep Wranger, of which we found out there are heaps in the US. DH’s car? Ute! White! Eek, I think a Holden as well. When DH saw this really really ugly car in LA and wanted to take a photo of it, I asked him what kind of car it is … a such-and-such (see I’ve forgotten it already). A what? A such-and-such. A million bucks right here in front of you, Iris. Well, it was ugly (honestly!) and I had never even heard of it (AND i watch TopGear!). I’m always hoping I never break down with the car, I wouldn’t have a clue how to change tyres, I don’t even think I know how to open the bonnet of the car ….. *sigh*
    Loved the post, Tonette. So glad I’m not the only one “not car-ing” 🙂


    • Goodness, Iris,I never even heard of a Holden or a Ute. Well you are ahead of me! I guess I better find out how open the bonnet of the new car, (we call it the ‘hood’ here) but I don’t know a whole lot else.I spend the money on road service; believe me,I have seen many tires changes,(note the spelling in the U.S.), but I doubt that I could do it.
      Hey,. at least we can drive!


      • Iris B says:

        OH YES I CAN DRIVE !!!!! LOL … and I consider myself as a very good driver 😉
        Sorry about the Aussie lingo again …. Holden is the Australian General Motors, I think Ute is kinda like your pick up truck ?


      • Good! I am a good driver, too.(The accident happened when I had to leave my job,I was ill, my mother had just died and my teenage son and his on-again-off-again girlfriend was having his child.I was a bit distracted, LOL.)
        A Ute is probably a pick-up truck; it is the name of an Indian tribe and so many are named for them…don’t ask me why!


      • Iris B says:

        Pick up truck is a name of an Indian tribe ??? Ute is the short version of Utility Vehicle. Australians kind shorten every second word.
        Only had one accident 20 years ago and someone took my right of way, but, pst, I do tend to have the German need for speed in me 😉


      • LOL, Iris…shows you how little I know! They name pick up trucks after Indian tribes.”Ute” is an Indian tribe and we have “Cherokees”, Cheyennes”, etc. Still LOL!


  2. jeff7salter says:

    Love the characterization: “Don’t let Nickie in the kitchen or Tonette under the hood.”
    I’m not a car nut and can barely tell one make from another these days … since they all look alike.
    I used to know a bit about vehicles, when they were distinctive. And, long ago, I used to work on our cars. Not only the superficial things like oil change, spark plugs, and air filters … I’ve even done brake shoes, brake disks, wheel cylinders, master cylinders, exhaust systems, timing, points, set valves, valve cover gasket, oil pan gasket, etc. In fact, in my sr. H.S. yr., I bought a junker for $15 and replaced the rings, connecting rod inserts, valves, valve keepers, head gasket, and other stuff I can’t recall now.
    But that was before computers made it impossible for shade-tree mechanics to do anything but wash and wax — which I do NOT do anyhow.


    • You lost me at “rings”, but good for you! My husband is no mechanic but he has done the breaks,(sometimes), usually the plugs and changes oil the air and oil filters.#1 Son knows more but won’t mess with his off-the-showroom new car. #2 Son just decided that he can do oil changes. He and his brother wax their cars.If he thinks I’m going to do it with the one he gave me, he is in for a disappointment!


  3. mjanevalquist says:

    I’m sure your husband and kids prefer that you can cook over change the oil. Great blog!


    • Me, too! And I hope they aren’t the only ones.I made a fair living cooking and baking.Trust me,I made a better restaurateur than I ever would have running a mechanic. I had my sister’ daughter, a fine cook ,(and she makes biscotti to-die-for), as a partner in the business, not my sister…we used olive and walnut oils…not 10W-30 and transmission oils…not that we’d necessarily know how!
      Thanks for coming back by and taking the time to comment! See ya!


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