While sitting at the car dealership waiting to get my oil changed and tires rotated, I was suddenly struck with a memory from my high school days. Back then, I didn’t get to drive the cool mini-van I drive now. 😉 When I turned 16, the first car I was driving was my parents’ 1975 Buick Station Wagon. Yeah, I was cool. It was brown and larger than life itself. I really didn’t care that I was driving a brown Wally-Wagon, because I just wanted to drive! It came complete with a big dent on the front right drivers side. Enough of a dent to make everyone assume that I was the one who put it there! The radio on it was fine, but it didn’t get the stations I wanted. So, I opted to buckle in my little radio boombox on the seat next to me. I will never forget that feeling of freedom! I loved driving with the wind in my hair and listening to Peter Gabriel singing “In Your Eyes” from the Soundtrack to ‘Say Anything‘, one of my all time favorites! The wagon was in very good shape and I was so grateful that my parents trusted me enough to drive it, as it was their only car at the time! Eventually we added a second car to our fleet of vehicles: a ’63 Buick Electra (or maybe it was a ’73 Buick Electra…I can’t remember!). Oh yeah. It was stylin’ with the cloth rooftop that was torn a little bit and would flap in the wind. My Mom named her Black Beauty! Ha ha ha! My parents told me all of the good points about driving these older cars. One was that I didn’t have to worry about getting hurt in a car accident because the car was so massive I would survive any wreck: plenty of protection. Okay, since I mentioned the song, I have to play a small clip so bear with me:
The down side to driving an older car is all the jokes and ribbing you get for it. You learn very quickly to grow a thick skin about it because you eventually realize that all the people making fun of your car, don’t have a car to drive themselves. So they really have no room to talk. I had comments like: “Alicia can drive, we’ll sail over in her boat.” Or there was “Here comes the Alicia-Wagon.” The jokes were endless. I will have to say that the best tease ever was when some anonymous person left an article on my station wagon in the high school’s Senior Parking Lot. For those of you who know me well, you will not be at all surprised when I tell you this next part: I still have the article. It was titled “The Joy of a Junker.” Ha ha ha! I am assuming it was meant to make me feel embarrassed since the giver didn’t give it to me in person. Who ever it was would be disappointed to find out that it only made me chuckle. The humor in it is that these cars were far from “junkers.” My parents took fabulous care of them and they were in great condition; they were just older modeled cars. Here is that article: Joy of a Junker Article 1993 .
I’m glad I started off in older cars that weren’t necessarily hip. It helped build my character and make me appreciate the fact that I could even drive at all, and not to worry about WHAT I was driving. Since then, I’ve been through numerous vehicles. Thanks to my Mom Status, I now drive a mini-van. I’ve always joked around about how “cool” I am in my wagon, and Scott and I laugh at ourselves when we are jamming to music in it. I about died when Toyota came out with this commercial for their Sienna wagon a few years ago:
I would say that is one of the funniest commercials I’ve seen in a while poking fun at parents like me and Scott who are so “cool” in their vans. If you can’t drive a convertible and feel cool, you have to make the most of what you have, right? I guess that all those years of driving the older cars helped prepare me for the mini-van days. I have no problem opening my sunroof, rolling down the windows and jamming to my favorite song in the van. It’s MY Swagger Wagon. 😉