Crazy B*tch (Memoirs of a Lemon Lover in Recovery)
Chapter 22—Hail the Golden Newbie!
I didn’t quite buy the car sight unseen, but I was practically sold before I set eyes on it. My dad had his reservations—he didn’t like the whole automatic transmission bit. However, I knew my dad: it would be love at first sight.
My dad was so much more than on board. When he saw the car, he started to haggle. Whenever my dad haggled, the price rose proportionately to his excitement, and haggling was hardcore excitement for my dad. Fortunately, the fellow I bought my car from understood my dad. He knew the many pitfalls that would befall me should my dad start haggling. Therefore, he and I had already agreed to a deal prior to our meeting in person. Like I said before, we ‘got’ each other.
The car was showroom new. There wasn’t a spec of rust on it, the interior was spotless and it still smelled vaguely of “new car”. Under the hood shone as if someone polished it with…WD 40…? To this day I am still not sure exactly how my dad managed not to propose to the guy. This guy washed this car every Sunday and polished the stuff under the hood with WD 40—as per his dad’s instruction. Moreover, he also knew about this tinted car wax/polish that my dad was so jazzed about. Apparently he applied that stuff monthly during the winter, and once every second month throughout the months with no “r”. My dad put his hand over his heart and swore to this man that he would vigilantly ensure I maintain this routine.
There is something a little intoxicating about the colour gold. It just had a way of making you believe in yourself and the plausibility of just about anything. I bought into the golden dream. In that dream, I was frolicking, injury free, and deliriously washing and waxing this beautiful golden chariot. Everything seemed so possible. My dad had his own dream, and in it I was frolicking injury free and deliriously washing and waxing both his car and my own. In his dream, there were also vats of WD-40 and he was using it to clean and lubricate the whole wide world.
Like any self-respecting, crazed car enthusiast, I came prepared to drive the car home that day. It was my first time driving since the collision with the dump truck. I don’t know if it was the excitement of driving a beautiful golden car, or the post-accident trauma setting in, but it was a pretty shaky drive home. My mom was both incensed and floored. What were we thinking, letting me drive so soon after the accident? What were we thinking, jumping into another used car so soon after the accident? What were we thinking?! She honestly thought we were just going out to have a preliminary look. Clearly, she was far more hopeful that I take after her than anyone realized. It would be years before I was anywhere near so rational and tempered.
It was, perhaps, the longest drive home I had experienced to date. There were all kinds of traffic, and I was pretty punchy about every single intersection I entered. My dad honestly believed that the sooner I started driving, post-accident, the quicker my recovery would be. He was one of those “get back up on the saddle” kind of guys. My mom, on the other hand, was feeling a little more protective over me. If she knew that I was planning on getting, and driving home, a ‘new’ car, she would have double wrapped me in bubble wrap. She is a good mom.
When I finally got home, I was shaking so badly that I had trouble getting out of my car and walking to the house. My knees were literally knocking together. My dad stepped up very quickly. He dragged my mom outside to “take the tour” of the ‘new’ car. He was ebullient beyond measure: downright giddy in fact. “I think an ice cream cone is in order! Spoil our supper? What, are we three years old? Look at this car—it is beautiful, and it is hers—we are going out for ice cream! Get your purse and let’s go!”
I was still a little too shaky to drive, but I didn’t have to ask my dad twice if he wanted to drive. In fact, he scooped the keys out of my hand before I even finished asking. My dad didn’t just spring for ice cream, he also sprung for a meal befitting champions: onion rings, hotdogs and milkshakes.