The apple of my eye doesn’t fall far from the tree, except that sometimes it does. I have a kid – a couple of them, actually. Kid1 was chomping at the bit to get a driver license. Kid1 wanted an Aston for the longest time, because of some mormon vampire chastity book. [Ed.: Twilight]
Kid1 refuses to ride the bus or train
because the bitch mom said it’s just for hobos and white trash. College is 3 miles away. “way too far to bike.” Also kid 1 won’t ride a bike because of that one time 4 years ago when I insisted.
So, as soon as possible, kid1 got a car. Like me, it was a beat up German 4 door. Mine:
Seemed like a good idea at the time
In my defense, I wanted something cooler.
Dad: No. That 65 Cadillac convertible is too thirsty! That V8 Cutlass is too powerful!
Me: OK, what about a barely running shitbox that cannot get out of its own way, and is so butt ugly I am guaranteed to never date! Even hookers will be repulsed!
Dad: Sounds perfect!
Luckily for kid1, the dad did not refuse to sign off on a V8. (since kid1 did not ask him)
Unlike my first car, it came with a V8 and a killer stereo and a trip computer. Also, unlike every car i ever had when married, it came with a sunroof. (Which kid1 never wanted to use. WTF?)
Also unlike me, kid1 did not explore every single feature of the car. Did not explore the limits of acceleration or adhesion. Kid1 did not wash and wax it within an inch of its life either. It was not “a fucking V8 BMW!!! Woo-hoo!!!”; it was just some old shitbox.
No, kid1 wants a new car. Brand new. I had an inkling a week ago when i learned that the 540 would go straight to auction if it were traded in.
Dad: Aha! Someone has been doing some research. I need to have some more discussions with the kid so avoidable mistakes do not ensue.
Then Mon. night happens.
Kid1: I am getting a car.
Dad: Wow! That’s a big step. When can we sit down and talk about this desire.
Kid 1: I am at the dealer right now.
Mom drove me because it’s easier than telling me it’s not the wisest course.Dad: What are you wanting to buy? (Hopes: Fiesta, Focus, Corolla, Scion. Hopes against hope: Mustang, FR-S.)
Lurlene: WTF?! #!$@%#%&$%*%$$@$^^%*(^&#@#!%$!
Kid1: Kia Soul. Leasing, not buying. $297 a month.
Mom: I don’t understand true cost of ownership! Or resale! Or fixed residual value vs. open! Or the dart board they use to see how much to ask you to pay! Or that the goal is to rip you off blind! But I totally get howmuchamonth! So do it, baby!
Dad: WTF, kid? Did mom not tell you the cautionary tale of the Caravan? Her Jeep Liberty? $450 or 350 a month for overpriced, underequipped shit boxes? Do you not understand that you could buy a car for the $14 grand you’re paying to avoid riding the free shuttle bus. You could buy a used Camry for 14, drive it for 3 years and sell it for 10. It would cost you a net $4k for the car. Plus, Kent rented one and said it was assembled by hamsters.
Kid1: I can drive this for my three remaining years of college and trade it in. Plus, I looked on-line for “Best cars for college kids.”
Dad: WTF? Don’t do it!
Lurlene: WTF?! #!$@%#%&$%*%$$@$^^%*(^&#@#!%$!Kid1:
But mom will be so proud and it would be awkward if I walked away and I want to show you how adult i am and why can’t you just be happy for me?
Dad: So did you do it?
Lurlene: WTF?! #!$@%#%&$%*%$ifyouhelped/cosigned$@$^^%*(^&#@#!%$!Karma: Kindness. Forgiveness. Peace.
Dad: Congrats baby. Welcome to adult land.
So, my kid is driving a brand new car in college instead of a paid-for one. Wow. I had a 8-10 year old Fury, a Schwinn, and some Pumas for my first few years of college. I had a car i bought new when i went back, but I was working full time first and added school to the mix, rather than going to school and working in order to have a car to do it. Kid1 now has to keep working for the next three years. Kid1 has to come up with another car right after university is done. Then 3 months later the student loan people will want to start getting paid.
There are no pictures of it yet. Kid1 doesn’t see first new car as a milestone, any more than the BMW was a milestone. Kid1 “doesn’t do” pictures of stupid cars. Thirty years later, I am still posting pics of mine.
Kid1 hasn’t shown it to me. I did not see the BMW until I asked to. My dad renegotiated the 411 deal. He was with me to write the Festiva deal and pick it up; showing it to mom was my first stop after.
The hardest part for me is the sadness. It’s a Kia Soul. That’s it? Lurlene’s opinions notwithstanding, it at least IS a car for youngsters. It is NOT a @#$%#$ soccer mom car. But why not a flashy color? Kid1 planned to trade the BMW for a used 5-speed Mustang. Why not do that? Or do the $199/month lease on new Mustangs I heard advertised the morning after ?
I get the idea that Kid1 wanted a “new car.” Evidently, the particulars (make, model, color, options) were not as important as it being new. Especially since it goes away in three years. Evidently too, it was more important to:
- do this with mom.
- keep it secret from me until it was too late.
- get something that met an ambitious price point (how mom shops for leases).
- get the best deal/most car for the $ possible (impossible on a lease).
- show Dad that kid1 is grown.
- follow mom’s safe, unambitious example of softroad quasi-SUVs instead of some hyperballsy road rocket.
Mostly I am sad about that last one. Kid1 is smarter than mom, but just as timid/repressed.