Friday, April 13, 2007

My First Car

Eleven years ago—right around this time—my grandpa called my mom to let her know that he’d found a car for me. When Mom hung up the phone with him, she told me the news and told me that it was a Bug (that’s what Grandpa had said). “Woo Hoo!” thought I. I’ve always loved Volkswagen Beetles, so I was ecstatic at the thought of getting one of my own. He told Mom that he’d be home in a couple of hours & we could come take a look at it.

However, when I got there, I found this*:

Which is not this:

“What IS this thing?” I fumed to the adults.

“Well, I guess it’s a Chevy Chevette,” replied my mom.

This did not a happy Glamorous Redneck make. Not only was it NOT a Bug, but it had 4 doors! Like a family sedan! Gack! I will so NOT be cool when all my friends see this. Plus, I’m a Ford Girl (make fun if you must but YOU WILL NOT CHANGE ME), so the fact that it was a CHEVY was enough to make me hurl. And on top of all of it *I* had to pay my grandpa $500 for this POS.

“Whatever,” I finally answered. I mean it WAS a vehicle. It did give me freedom to not rely on my parents for transportation anymore, so I was game.

I came to learn that this was a car with character. When I was finally able to get my license (in July, not January because of when I had to take driver’s ed), I wasn’t allowed to take the stupid thing out of town. It would randomly do things like flood when I stopped and just quit running as I was driving down the street. Worst of all, only one of the speakers—which happened to be in the back on the passenger’s side) worked. I basically told everyone that I was NOT paying for this car anymore unless they fixed it for me (seriously I have NO IDEA where Diva gets her flair for the dramatic). My dad thought he could fix the stereo problem, so one Saturday afternoon he took it all apart, only to find that he couldn’t fix it, and had instead killed the entire system. I was livid to say the least. So, I stole his little radio from the garage and planted it in between the driver’s seat & the passenger’s seat.

I don’t remember why, but my mom finally decided to let me drive the car out of town. When I was about 10 miles out, the speedometer quit working. Like would not move from 0. And I drove it like this for almost a year without being pulled over! Then the horn stopped working. THEN I was in a hurry one day and didn’t realize I’d already turned my blinker on & ended up breaking the blinker thing-y off, so I had to jam my thumb up inside the steering column to use my signals. It sucked.

When winter came around (yes, this was all in the first 6 months of having this car), I gave up on the thing and told the parental units that I was not driving it anymore, and they would either have to let me take their car or they would have to play chauffer. I figured this would get me a new one because I worked at a bakery & had to be to work by 4:00 on Saturday mornings. My plan was foiled and instead of getting a new car, they just paid to get all the things wrong on the ‘Vette fixed. So I was stuck with it.

I drove the car (which my friends and I had dubbed “The Stylin’ Black Bug” or “Bessie” depending on how she was behaving) until the June after I graduated. Then my parents upgraded their car & I got their old one.

But that was an awesome first car, not without it’s good memories (like going into a ditch backwards and having two drunk guys have to pull me out) (or locking my keys in the car and having The Ex come and break into it for me). And it has made me fully appreciate the cars that I’ve had afterwards. Now, I almost wish we would have held onto it because it got awesome gas mileage and would have made an awesome beater car for CB to drive to and from work.

So, what was your first car? Did you love it? Do you still have it?

*(also, let us discuss for a minute the hideousness of this fashion choice. I call it "2 grunge 4 U" my entire wardrobe from 1994-1996 consisted of various colors of this outfit. Oh, and one skirt, which was totally hot. Also, do you see the skinniness? I want to strangle 16 year old me and say "You WERE skinny, you FREAK! Now wear some damn girl clothes! I should also discuss the hair, which I had dyed a month before this picture and had been green for awhile before it faded. And I do believe I had just gotten off work & so my hair was matted down from all the donut grease.)


the superstar said...

my first car was an 88 oldsmobile, and i laughed through this entire entry because so much of that same stuff happened to me. the blinker stick thing broke off. the electric windows quit working AND the air conditioner never worked, and during the summer that was the WORST thing in the world. only half of the speakers worked at a time and it was really up to you to play around with the stereo to see which speakers would be working today...

my parents never fixed anything in that car if it was still running. when i finally got a new car april of my senior year (more highway worth for college) it didn't have ELECTRIC ANYTHING and i totally didn't even care. i was so excited to have a car with speakers and AC! and hey, if there are no electric locks or windows? That means they can't quit working! woo!

but yeah. i loved that olds. in the spring. :)

jenn said...

My first car, if you can call it that was an 84 jeep wagoneer. The thing was huge!
It was as old as I was. I loved it though. I had to plug it in from about september through april, or it wouldn't start in the morning.
The family I nannied for allowed me to have an extension cord run from their garage in the winter. good thing, I wouldn't have made it home.

I was upset when my dad sold it though because it was a pretty reliable vehicle and it could go ANYWHERE. 4 wheel drive baby! I used to drive it over curbs, snow banks, logs, you name it. It also could fit a ton of people, not very safely, but it sure was fun.
It was great for drive in movies, our air mattress fit perfectly in the back. *sigh* I miss that thing.

My snotty sister refused to drive it and I could never understand why. By the time she got it dad had really fixed it up!

Battlerocker said...

Long live the Volkswagen Beatle, and not the New Bug crap either. I'm talking an honest to goodness Bug; preferably a 60's era, or as close as can be managed. :)

Monique said...

The first car I bought myself was a 1996 Nissan Sentra. But that's not very exciting.

The first car I ever had to drive was my mom's 1990 Honda Accord. My parents bought it right before I turned 16 ... and it was a fucking stick shift! Of course, learning to drive the stick was a disaster and I refused to drive it anymore after my dad disastrously made me drive on a Friday night with him. So, I ended up having to wait until I was 16 1/2 to get my license, 'cause my dad was being a dick, but I drove that car until I graduated from college. And I haven't driven a stick shift since!