Thursday, June 26, 2008

How To Ruin Your Daughter's Social Life in One Easy Lesson

When I was in elementary school, my brother turned sixteen and my dad bought him this:

A pristinely restored 1964 Chevrolet Impala. It was gorgeous. New paint. New interior. Pale yellow with black cloth interior. It was sweet.

I guess I was maybe 9 or 10 when my brother got this car, so I had a few years to think about what I might get. My dream car was a convertible Mustang, preferably vintage, but really any year would do. My dad borrowed a newer one for me to ride on in our local Christmas parade when I was in 8th grade and I think he inquired as to the price, but found it too high and my dreams were temporarily put on hold.

I would be lying if I said I didn't expect to get a car for my 16th birthday too. I mean, it's only fair, right? What's good for the goose and all that.

So imagine my surprise when I got my car for my 15th birthday! I'm not quite sure why my dad chose to give me mine early, but but boy was I excited. Until I saw this:

Yes, my friends, that is a 1980 (I believe) Mercury Bobcat. But that photo? Is not representative of my car at all. AT ALL. No. My car was special. How special was it? My car was tri-colored!! My first car was black on the roof and hood. It had a long, swooping red stripe similar to the one above and the area below was silver. And it it had the words "bobcat" down the side in red letters about a foot high. I searched the internet high and low for an image of my car, but I'm beginning to believe it was one of a kind. And trust me, there are NO pictures of my car. I made sure of that.

Oh, and another awesome thing about my car? It had no seat belts. The man who refused to allow me to take karate, have a motorcycle or a go-cart all because they were too dangerous, bought me a car whose gas tank was known to explode in collisions and whose seat belts had been cut out. Yeeeaaah.

I tried to act excited, but inside I was crushed. I know I sound like a spoiled brat, whining over a free car, but y'all? A bobcat? Seriously? That's the best he could do?

I've mentioned before that I wasn't really a part of the in-crowd. I mean, I was popular enough, but nobody's popularity is strong enough to withstand the 'cat. Did I catch hell about that car from my classmates? You bet I did. My arch-nemesis, Jennifer, took to calling me bobcat. She would say it as I walked past her in the hall. Kind of low and under her breath. But I heard her. Every time. Or I would come to class and find "bobcat" written on my desk. Some friends of a friend of mine had a field day making fun of the wood "accents" in the interior.

But I drove it. Every day. For almost two years. Until the day that my brother moved to Thailand and we got to keep his car. His new car. That my dad bought him. This one:

A Nissan 200sx. Black. With a sun roof.

So that's what I drove my senior year. Occasionally I felt bad about driving my brother's car. But hey, he wasn't using it. And they owed me. Big time. Right?


AndreAnna said...

Bobcat.. heh!

It's actually not that bad NOW. I mean, other than the safety issues, restored it might be pretty sweet.
I'm sure you didn't see it that way though. ;) said...

You didn't share when you were in high school. That makes a difference, too. I had a 1990 Ford Escort hatchback I dubbed the hoopty for my first car. I hated that damn thing.

secrethandshake said... actually had 'bobcat' written out on it?! That's pretty awesome- at my school that car probably would have made you MORE popular.

When my sister turned sixteen my dad gave her my mom's old 80's minivan. Not surprisingly she was underwhelmed. She was my ride to school, and we had to get there half an hour early and she would RUN into the school so no one could witness her shame. Any embarrassment I might have had from the van was outweighed by my pleasure at watching my sister squirm.

BTW- My dad bought ME a new car when I was 16. Guess who he likes best.

Colleen said...

I had an '82 beige Malibu Classic. I was 5 when that car was made; the car was 11 yrs old when I first started driving it. It wasn't pretty. Often when it wouldn't start, I'd have to pop the hood and use a pen/pencil/stick to prop open the choke so that it could start. And I'd have to pray on Mother of Acceleration in order to get through some intersections.
But, I could shove a good 6 or 7 people in it!

My older brother had an '86 Ford Escort. It was a stick...and for the first YEAR he had it, he would adjust his driving route so that he didn't have to turn left. hee hee!

Karen said...

I think he was probably trying to prevent you from taking boys for a ride. My guess is, it worked.

Sass E-mum said...

School can make these things seem bad. I wouldn't have given a damn though. I'd have loved to have had a car when I was a teenager.

ImpostorMom said...

1986 Powder Blue Ford Tarus

Every 16-year old's dream car, and I had to pay for that damn thing myself!

Jonny's Mommy said...

The first car I had was one I borrowed from my parents until my dad sold it to me. it was a chrysler lebaron.

Thank God I didn't start driving when my parents had the Fiesta. Yikes.

calicobebop said...

I have never seen a Bobcat before! My sister had a puke-green Pinto which was pretty bad. I got nothing until college - and then it was a '74 Oldsmobile Delta 88. Classy.

1blueshi1 said...

Your brother went to THAILAND?????

My first car (and I use that term loosely) was a Chevette (hangs head in humiliation).

Laurel said...

I knew I was going to like that post just from reading the title! What's with your brother getting all the cool cars, anyway? :0)

I had a nemisis, too. Jack Leonhardt in the eighth grade, but he'd mutter "Bitch" under his breath every time I walked by. Yeah. He was a class act, that one. I think I would have preferred "Bobcat." But only a little.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Free car sure but parents really should make things fair.