Tonight – not about health, cancer, or diabetes. Tonight, a car tangent.
When I was in grade school, my family got a new car … a Plymouth station wagon … pale yellow! OMGosh, I loved that car! It had the third row, bench seat, facing backwards! My brother and I thought that was the coolest thing ever invented on planet earth. We called it, the way back, as in, we’re sitting in the way back! And OMGosh, the rear window! — it magically went up and down with the push of a button!
… until it didn’t.
My sister started driving when she turned 16, as everyone who turned 16 did. She used the car frequently, with full parental permission. One of the very FIRST times she drove my adored car out the driveway, she scraped an entire side against a stone pillar!!! No, no, no, I thought. My car! It was badly scraped and dented, pale yellow paint gone!
Dad, of course, was very practical and said, I can fix this. I was relieved! He went to Benny’s and bought a can of spray paint with rust inhibitor. The only yellow they had was MUSTARD yellow. Dad then proceeded to “fix” the damage. (“A car is simply something to get you from point A to point B. Doesn’t matter what it looks like. We just don’t want the dent to rust.”)
Don’t know if it was weeks or months later, my sister was again using the now disfigured Plymouth. She backed out of her boyfriend’s driveway and, CRUNCH! Oh my goodness, was that a CAR parked on the other side of the street?
Dad went to Benny’s again. I was skeptical. This time he found a tail-light replacement kit. My adored Plymouth with a mustard yellow, four-foot long dent on one side, now also had a missing left tail-light, previously a sleek rectangle, replaced by two round, red light-up disks. They reminded me of those brake lights the fancy kids got for their bicycles — I had always wanted one of those, but NOT on my Plymouth station wagon! That’s also when the rear window no longer went up or down.
But hey, it’s 2020 now, and we’re all grown ups! Occasionally my sister will mention things from our childhood that she thinks I might resent her for. None of them register. It was JUST TONIGHT, remembering my fondness for that pale yellow car with the way back seat, that I realize, if there’s any true sibling resentment — it stems from the Plymouth!
To be continued … the Gremlin.