Dream car?I have been to hell. And I'm probably going there again. And quite possibly a third time. But I will be damned if I go there a fourth time. And where, you might ask, is my personal hell? Oh, that would be car shopping with a nearly 16-year old boy.
I told you it was hell.
Look, it's a universal truth that nearly all 16-year old boys are filled with hormones and a dream. That dream has them driving a cool car into the school parking lot on their 16 th birthday. And they are so cool in their cool car that every single hot girl in the school flocks to their car and asks that oh-so-awesome boy to go to the movies. Or McDonald's, which in our small town in the local teen hangout.
Sadly, that is a dream that will not come true for my kid.
You see, Junior has to buy his own car. Yes, I know. We are the meanest parents on earth. I know this because for the past year, Junior has been telling me that. Anyway, since Junior has to buy his own car, he's been saving for it since he was ten years old. And by his standards, the money he saved (several thousand dollars) is nothing to sneeze at.
Unfortunately, by cool car standards, he hasn't quite saved enough. And Junior learned this incredibly valuable lesson at the very first car lot. Because at that lot, sitting where everyone could see her, on a raised platform, was the coolest car on the planet.
She was silver. Not a cheap silver, but that expensive, wonderful silver that looks like mercury. She had tinted windows and a big shiny sticker that said '09, and another one that said Z4. The sun reflected off of her sparkling paint and clean windows. Her top was down, which I personally thought was a bit risqué for a family car dealership. Music was playing from her sound system; a system that Junior was positive would play his music loud and clear in the McDonald's parking lot where all the hot girls would flock to Junior and his hot car. And on the hot car were the three initials known to cause heart palpitations in every 16-year old boy on the planet:
B. M. W.
Junior ran to her, much like those cheesy movies where the hero runs on the beach to the heroine and they meet and embrace and then everything fades to black because you know the two of them have found everlasting love. His arms were out. He was smiling. And Harry and I stood back and watched as our only child ran into the waiting arms of the new love of his life.
And then we patiently stood there when he screamed out, "OMG, is this the real price?"
And as gently as we could, we explained the first rule of car buying to our son. Only old guys with no hair, good jobs and excellent credit could afford cars that were only named with a letter and a number. In fact, despite the fact that hubby and I are clearly old, we cannot afford a BMW Z4. And then we explained the second rule of car buying: his entire life savings would only purchase something from the very back of the lot, where the cars are still shiny, mainly because the sun is glinting off the duct tape holding the car together.
And after Junior got over his shock, we went to the back of the lot where I found the car of my dreams for Junior. It was a Toyota Corolla. It still had shiny paint. There was no duct tape anywhere. It even had a spoiler and those stupid tiny tires teenage boys love. Best of all, it had so many airbags that when Junior got into his first accident, the car would turn into a travelling marshmallow, cushioning my only child.
And it was in his price range.
Sadly, it was deemed not cool, despite the idiotic tires. And so we moved on to another car lot. And another. And another. And we came home carless, which means I get to spend another weekend doing the same darned thing. Going to hell with a nearly 16-year-old boy.
Manic Motherhood is a humor blog written by newspaper columnist Laurie Sontag. You can find her on Facebook when she's trying to avoid housework and sometimes on Twitter when she remembers she has a Twitter account.