This post was part of my Blogapalooza First Blogiversary series. I celebrated my blog being around a whole year by giving away presents and sharing stories of my “firsts” in life. The prizes may be gone, but you can still enjoy the stories. (And I’ll give away more prizes soon, I promise.)
My first car, a pale yellow Datson B210 (with orange and brown stripes running down the sides), was a deathtrap on wheels. It was basically a drivable garbage can. The car had been my father’s pride and joy when he got it in the 70s (probably because it was “the most economical Datsun”), but by the time it got to me—six drivers and 15+ years later—it was a
little lot worse for the wear.
That worn-down, ugly, piece-of-shit car had more things wrong with it than right. In addition to garbage left from my 5 older siblings, its list of faults included:
- The driver’s seat back was permanently stuck in a semi-reclined position. I had to drive with a pillow behind me so I wasn’t laying down while driving.
- You could see the actual road while driving because the rubber around the stick shift was missing and left a hole in the bottom of the car. (I just snickered at “rubber around the stick.”)
- There was a hole in the driver’s side door where the speaker used to be. Which I guess didn’t matter because…
- The radio was broken so I had a “boombox” in the passenger seat with me. (I played mix-tapes from my boyfriend.)
- Also, I used that hole in the door to close the door because the interior door handle was missing. (I totally snickered again at “used that hole.”)
- There were so many tears in the vinyl seats (front and back) that I had to put blankets down so as not to scratch and/or cut my legs and ass.
- The entire car shook rather violently anytime it went 55 mph or above. (I wasn’t actually allowed to drive on the freeway my first year of driving so I couldn’t tell my parents about that problem.)
But perhaps my favorite “quirk” about that car:
- Anytime it got above 90 degrees outside, the rearview mirror would fall off because the glue on the tape that was holding it up would melt.
This was the curse of being the youngest child, I suppose. Begging for leftovers and scraps. Still, I drove that car around with (fake) pride. Mostly because it was better than taking the bus. I held my head high as I drove into the parking lot of my Catholic, all-girls, high school and parked beside the Mercedes, the BMWs, the pristine vintage mustang, and the VW convertibles. Some of them even had personalized license plates. (My personal favorite was “MFB.” Think about that one for a moment. Poor Martha…)
But dammit if that car didn’t get me from point A to point B. Mostly safely. And it taught me a lesson or two. I’m still trying to figure out what those are, but I’m sure it did. Some possibilities: You need to develop a thick skin to survive in this day and age? It’s okay to drive a shitty car as long as you get where you need to go? A shitty car makes a good story later in life?
I’m still not sure, but I think I’ll impart that last one to my children when I give them their own shitty car to drive. Do you think they’ll buy it?