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?