I soon found out. My parents handed me the keys to a classic car--my father's 1966 Ford Mustang, midnight blue and gorgeous. He kept it garaged and tuned up and polished. I was in heaven.
But as the years marched on, the car needed more and more TLC that I couldn't afford. Then came marriage and baby number one. With no air conditioning, front seatbacks that didn't lock in place, and ancient lapbelts that barely held an infant seat securely, I had to let her go. Now it was my turn to cry.
My days were to be spent hauling kids and bikes around in a van. Practical and sturdy, it did its job. Until the past year. When it rains, water pools in the third row, and after a few damp days, boys' stinky socks don't hold a candle to the smell.
Little by little, things begin to go wrong, and now I'm on a first name basis with the car center repair people. I even have a favorite spot in the waiting room, next to the table with the wilting plant and dog-eared magazines, like Bow 'N Arrow and Fish 'N Chum. It's also a good seat to watch their TV, but the Weather Channel doesn't cut it after two hours. So I bring my own 1,000 page book to read. I could be there for days.
One time I was so engrossed in my reading, that I sensed rather than saw everyone in the waiting room stopping whatever they were doing. I looked up into ten pairs of eyes staring at me. The eleventh pair belonged to a man standing at the front, clipboard in hand.
"Mrs.Skaleetza?" he boomed, probably for the fifth time.
"Uh, Skalitza," I corrected, hoping they'd think I just didn't understand his pronunciation of my name.
I packed up and raced out of there, paying the bill and grabbing my keys. My van was right by the door. I opened it, climbed in, and noticed that my gray cloth seats had magically turned into pristine black leather. Not a bit of ketchup adorned the dashboard. Sheepishly I got out, and one of the repair men came toward me, laughing. He pointed to my van, in all its dented wonder, one aisle over.
There's a classic car show coming to my area soon. You know where I'll be. :)
*For more about Anne and to read her ramblings, go to www.anneskal.wordpress.com