Monday, June 10, 2013

that's the new car we don't drive.

i was eating dinner with my family about half an hour ago (casserole with fake meat) and i posed this question to my father.

"what should i blog about today?"

i ask him this just about every single day. maybe because i know that he reads my blog.

hi, daddy.

while we wondered this and i ate soy product (god that makes it sound so much more horrible than it really is) i thought about all the things i did today.

things emily did today.

1. got up. went to work. work was cancelled. went back home. went back to bed.
2. worked out for almost an hour at the Y.
3. ate a really delicious cheese bagel.
4. went to the pet store and mooned over bearded dragons.
5. watched lions for lambs in "emily's attempt to watch andrew garfield's entire filmography".
6. fretted in the shower about why people don't understand feminism.
7. listened to angry white girl music.
8. ate soy product casserole and pondered what to blog about.

while i listed these things in my head and realised that none of them were really blog worthy (trust me, you don't want to know about how angsty i got watching lion for lambs) my dad took a huge bite of salad and said, "you could blog about our new car. you know, the one that we never drive."


until i was sixteen, we lived in a house in blackhawk. it was two stories, four bedrooms, no basement. i loved that house. we had a nice two car garage and two cars.

we had the crimson avenger, which is my dad's now fifteen year old minivan. that van has hauled me to at least thirty of the forty-two states that i have been to.

that van is my childhood.

it has become considerably more ghetto over the years.

one time, after we moved, when i was trying to park it in the garage, i might've run it into... the house. twice.

my brother used it at school during the summer back when he was researching horny spiders. one time, when he was coming back from alma for the weekend, the tire exploded and one of the rims went flying across the highway.

it's missing two wheel plates, and it's the first vehicle we have allowed to rust.

in essence, we've just kind of stopped caring about what happens to it. which is really sad, because it's a boss van.

it's so old it only has a sliding door on one side.

(it also now beeps incessantly when you open the driver's side door like you left your lights on. which is annoying as hell.)

the other car we had right before i moved was the car that i currently drive. it's a 2003 gold ford focus.

it's had its little share of accidents. this one time, when i was twenty, i got backed into in the library parking lot by some kid on a permit. but insurance paid to fix it, so it was fly and we fixed the paint and the dent in the door. (and i rented a car like a big kid!)

i've also popped the back tires driving over aaron's fraternity front lawn. i encountered some broken beer bottles.

i have a perfectly valid excuse for driving my car across the fraternity lawn, by the way. totally legitimate.

but my car (it's not even mine, it's my mom's) doesn't even look ten. or run like it's ten. we've kept it in really good shape.

we're good at keeping cars for long periods of time.

the summer that we moved to our new house with our three car garage, i was upset.

1. i didn't want to move.
2. i didn't want to move.
3. i didn't want to move.

but i was really curious, because we built our house, and we had a choice between a loft and a three car garage. i was all for the loft, but my dad insisted that we get a three car garage.

halfway through the summer, when we were finally moving in, i was like, we have three garages and two cars, what the hell is up with this? i don't get it.

then one day my parents came home and my dad was like, come outside we have surprise!

so i go outside and there's a new car sitting there and i'm like, AEHGDJSHG!

here's where my warped mind went.

i just got my license last week! we have a new car! it's so little! and red! and adorable! MY PARENTS GOT ME A CAR!

ha. haha. hahaha. hahahahahaha. ha.

my parents bought a stick shift. to ensure that my brother and i could not drive it.

i learned how to drive a stick shift when i was twenty. i am now twenty-two. my father still will not let me drive his car.

so then our ancient van, the crimson avenger, got pushed into the third bay of our garage, the smallest bay, which is how i ran into the house trying to park it. it sat. and waited. and only got driven when we packed up all my shit and went to college. and in high school i drove it to marching band competitions.

that was about it.

so now we had the van, my mom's 2003 focus that i essentially claimed as my own, and my dad's new little red 2007 ford focus stick shift hatchback two door... thing.

three cars for three garages. perfect.

my parents had been talking about getting an SUV for retirement. my parents are in their lower fifties. retirement is bit of a ways off, but you know, as my grandfather says, it's always time to start planning for retirement.

so my parents are always talking about how they're going to get a camper and just like, traipse across the country. (ten blog points to me for using the word traipse.)

then they'd change their minds, they're going to get an SUV and retire out in phoenix.

then they'd change their minds again, they're going to get an SUV and retire out in california.

my mom is still hoping i'll write a best selling novel and set them up for life. with neighbouring houses in hawaii.

i'll work on that for you, mom.

but the SUV was always needed to pull a potential camper and of course, to haul my parents' bikes. my parents are cyclists. lance armstrong style, but without the dope. at least, i think without the dope.

my parents are going to bike until they're ninety-two, and then they'll decide to do something cooler, like extreme rock climbing.

the day that i got back from england was a friday. i had spent most of the day unpacking, doing laundry, and cleaning my room. my parents got home from work and i was in the kitchen, contemplating birthday cakes, and my mom comes in through the garage and says, "can you check something outside for me? it's about the landscaping."

my mother lied to me. it was not about the landscaping.

i go outside and there's a brand new shiny and glittery ford explorer sitting on the driveway.

it took a lot of conscious effort not to spew a list of shocked expletives. such as holy shit mother of god.

you know, it's a new car, and i was excited. i crawled all over the inside of it, sniffed in that new car smell. revelled in the moon roof, the rearview camera that allows you to back out without killing small children with your incompetence, and the sirius satellite radio.

it's a cool SUV.

but here was my big question, why did we need this now? why did we drop this money on a new SUV?

my parents are always reminding me that they're paying for my college. and they are. i go to an expensive school. my father pays for it. he's been saving money to pay for it since i was like, two. he paid for my brother and for me both. he's also set me up with some pretty good mutual funds to pay off my loans and buy a decent new car when i graduate.

yes, i've checked my privilege.

but while i was staring at this new SUV, i kept thinking that same big question. why do we need this now? why can't we wait until i'm out of school and aaron and i are out of the house and we're not spending forty thousand bucks a year on college tuition?

my parents are not close to retiring.

and here's the kicker; we don't drive it.

because it's all shiny and new, we've put it in the third bay where the crimson avenger normally sits. so it doesn't get wet. or dirty. or driven.

and now our ugly-ass van sits on the driveway.

so six years ago i had this incredulity that went like this, why do we have a three car garage and two cars?

and now it's like, we have three garages and four cars and there are four of us and nobody's driving this new car so i don't even know what it's for?

i asked my dad and he was very vague. he just kind of inclined his head and said, "blog about how we don't drive it."


i leave you with a picture of the crimson avenger.

i also want you to know that to take this picture, i got up in the middle of writing this post, went outside in a light drizzle, took a picture with my phone, uploaded it to twitter, logged into twitter on my computer, took the image URL to put in here, and then deleted the tweet before someone could ask, why the hell is emily tweeting a picture of an ugly van?

the things i do for this blog, i swear.