Growing up, my parent's motto was to never have a car that looked too good, for fear it would create "egotistical, vain and um...well...proud children." Once, while shopping for a car, the dealer showed them a sporty looking Geo Metro. Did you catch that? A 1989 Geo Metro. Apple red, no doubt. And my mom turned to him and said, "Oh no, that will never do. Our kids must drive something a little more humble." So we ended up with a 1983 Powder blue Chevy Sprint, which we were thrilled with, as we'd driven a 1978 frog-green Dodge Colt, lovingly nicknamed "The Green Machine," into the ground before that.
Soon after we bought the Sprint I had a brother get married and for a wedding gift my parents bought them a car we nicknamed "The Peach Blossom." I had just read, "The Good Earth" by Pearl Buck and Peach Blossom, as you'll recall was one of Wang Lungs Concubines. It was my first attempt at satire. It was probably a Datsun of some sort that I had never seen before, nor since. A lovely salmony-peach thing that smelled of smoke, moldy cheese, and spilt milk.
Sorry Eric and Jana, but that thing was a beast. The front seat was broken, so when you drove you were actually looking out the back seat window, causing people passing by to pull a double take, wondering who was driving that peach contraption, anyway. While I still had an ounce of pride I sat upright and away from the seat, which could account for the bad back I suffer from now. I've driven some ugly cars, but that one took the cake. I bought a car tree freshener, but that did little to mask the sour,moldy,stinky smell. I had no desire to cruise, pick up boys or do anything other than travel from point a to point b incognito if at all humanly possible. Hey, I'm finally catching on that that was probably my parent's point.
You may wonder what I was doing driving a car that was supposed to be a wedding gift. Well, my parents drove it around themselves before the wedding. Much like using the toaster before you give it away as a gift, maybe. Hey, don't judge. Everybody needs a little toast now and then. Oh, gift giving. I could share some fun stories about some of the gifts both given and received at our house, but I'll save that for a later post. One closer to Christmas. But first I have to tell you how this story ends. The car eventually was left for dead, I mean, put up for sale. Eric and Jana, deciding that their wedding gift was no longer a viable mode of transportation, or were just totally P.O.'d when they found out I'd been doing doughnuts in their wedding gift, parked the Peach Blossom at my parent's store with a sign in the window: "For sale, cheap. Real cheap. Please take." I was probably sixteen or seventeen at the time, and as it is when you are that age, I was in a hurry one day and forgot about looking over my shoulder when I backed out and smacked right into the side of it. It was an inevitable ending to a doomed relationship. One that I have never regretted ending.
So why am I telling this story? My son is turning 15 next month, and has informed me that if he takes and passes a test he can get his learner's permit. I started reading the classifieds for a used car. Perhaps one at least fifteen years old, with a hundred thousand miles, and preferably the color peach, or salmon.
Anyone know where I can find something like that?