I have been driving since before I was allowed to be driving. I have fond memories of sitting on my dad’s lap and steering the Lincoln up Hazel St, turning into our driveway. There is a picture somewhere around here of me at 2 years old with my legs stuck through the steering wheel of my grandpa’s Impala. And my mom was letting me back in and out of our driveway(which was the size of a small parking lot) by the age of 10. I couldn’t wait to drive because driving meant freedom. Biking everywhere was fine, except when it rained or in the winter. And alot of the places I liked to go were too far to bike. I have an independent spirit. Having a car is the ultimate in independence in my opinion.
My independent spirit does get me into trouble. Please don’t confuse my independent spirit with a “can-do” spirit. I don’t have a “can-do” spirit. I have a “if I have to I will” spirit but I would rather not.
My first car was a Chevy Citation. It was my mom’s. She got a talking town car, something she had wanted for years and gave me the Citation. As soon as I got the Citation, my friends and I were taking road trips. We went to NYC to see the closing night of A Chorus Line. We went to Rhode Island to bet on Jai-Alai and the Greyhounds, although, not one of us was old enough to be gambling…I moved to Texas.
That citation died and my boyfriend at the time bought me a new Citation. Ofcourse, it was a falling apart Citation, but luckily he was a wanna be mechanic. The floor was rusted out completely. I could Flintstone if I wanted to and everyone in the back seat got wet every time it rained. So, my boyfriend got steel bed rails and welded them to the bottom of the car to hold the frame together and told me to drive carefully cause if I got into an accident the rails would impale the other car. Oh and we never did get the dead body smell out of the car.
I went to university in Philadelphia and I didn’t take my car. I was irritated every day that I had to walk the 8 blocks to the grocery or had to wait for the subway. When I came home, I got yet another Citation. This one didn’t have heat. So, I had to hang my head out of the window in the winter to see where I was going. That was really cold. It also didn’t have 3rd or 4th gear and it was an automatic. So, I was stylin with my windshield frozen on the inside doing top speeds of 30 mph. Look out world, here I come!!!! Again, this is my “if I have to I will” spirit.
I don’t remember all the other crap cars I had…there was the car that my drunk uncle sold me and my friends (we all chipped in on the 75 dollars). It was some huge boat like car from the 1970’s and we didn’t know it didn’t have brakes until we were up on S.U. campus and headed down hill…lucky for us that beautiful stone building was in the right spot!! Then, there was the Subaru with a backdoor that didn’t close and a rear tire that was falling off. That just meant that we all had to sit on one side of the car and hold the rope that was tied to the door to keep it shut. We got mugged while IN that car….pathetic. I had a car that didn’t have reverse, that took alot of “think ahead” when parking. I had a car that the two front tires were held together with chain. Driving that car was alot like yachting, there were no sharp turns happening in that car, more like drifting from one direction to another. I had a car that didn’t have power steering or brakes. That took two of us to drive. I could go straight, but if I had to turn, I had to stop and ask someone off the street to help me with the steering wheel. I met alot of nice people when I drove that car.
I had cars that had gas leaks, oil leaks and transmission leaks. I had tires fall off (as I was doing 50 mph on 690), I had windows that never closed and doors that never opened. I had a cars that the speedometer didn’t work (FYI: if you sing NIN “Head Like A Hole” on the highway to the speed that the yellow dashes are going by that is about 55 mph…) and I had one car that the gas gauge didn’t work. I was always running out of gas at the most inopportune moments. My first “real” car, a car I bought from a dealer and had a car payment for, was an adorable Subaru 5 speed stick. Now I was really hot stuff!! Until it accelerated unexpectedly as I was driving up James St during rush hour. That was scary!! Then it came down with a mice infestation….that stunk…literally. Everytime I turned the heat on I was cooking mice. Sad and smelly.
Then I had a beautiful Chrysler Town and Country mini van. It had all the bells and whistles. Seat warmers, 6 disc CD, climate control, leather interior, remote control doors, all sorts of holders for all sorts of things. It was beautiful. The transmission fell out 3 times and then the radio died. Just because something is pretty doesn’t mean it is nice.
I am now driving a Honda CRV. I love it. But when I got it, it only seated 5. I have 3 kids who generally always have a friend along. So, I went on the net and bought a thrid row seat. Brilliant!!! Now I could seat 8!!! With seatbelts and all!! And Honda’s last forever, right?! Right?! Apparently I have the only Honda that has an internal engine issue. I’m at 147,000 miles on a 2005, bought new, off the lot and its eating oil like an American made….
I love my cars. I’ve cried every time I have ever had to have one towed. I love to drive, although I am looking forward to my oldest driving next year so I can be the passenger. I love to take road trips (as long as they don’t involve bridges over water). We used to just take a drive on a Sunday afternoon and wind up in the most beautiful places Upstate has to offer. I have never been too concerned about getting lost, every road leads somewhere and somewhere there is a person who can point me in the right direction. And it is true that where ever I go, there I am!!!