Age 16 – I wanted a sports car. I had my driver’s license and all teens want wheels. I sat on the steps and watched a friend drive by with a low, sleek, sports car. That was my dream! Instead, I had to drive my dad’s old black clunker, and that was only when I could beg hard enough to get his car keys.
Age 21 – A car, any car, I didn’t care what kind of a car. I just wanted transportation. And that was pretty much what I got. My first car was a well-used, two-tone, pink and brown car. The word ugly is really describing it too kindly. You couldn’t get much for $800 even in those days. But – it was a car.
Age 25 – Married, two salaries instead of one. Why are we driving that old bag of bolts that only starts on cold mornings if you keep a light bulb on the engine all night? We decided to get a better car. Okay, I’ll admit it was a blue cracker box on wheels. But it was ours, if you didn’t count the monthly payment book, and best of all, it was NEW.
Age 30 – Kids came along. I needed a station wagon. Didn’t matter what I wanted. I had to have something that could hold a family, the dog, and sometimes most of the little league ball team. The station wagon was brown, not very sharp. Can you believe I liked station wagons so well I upgraded and got another one?
Age 35 – A pickup truck seemed like a good idea, a practical vehicle, something to haul things in. But after the 12 bags of mulch were home, we realized that we really didn’t have anything else much to haul. We got to sit up higher and look down on everyone else, though. And in the unlikely event we ever did need to haul anything else . . . well, we were ready.
Age 40 – The “in” thing was an SUV, four-wheel drive, wouldn’t get stuck in the snow or mud! Never mind that we drove mostly in the city and didn’t really encounter mud on paved streets. You never know out there. We were mean in our monster machine – except at the gas station, where we were broke from filling it up.
Age 45 – we wanted something nice, a luxury car. We traded for sleek, silver boat of a car, complete with soft leather seats, and stereo tape player. A big car was a sign of success, and we wanted to show the world that we were making it, whether we could find a parking place for it or not.
Age 50 – Life is going by fast. I never did get that sports car I dreamed about when I was a kid. Life was half over, no family to worry about. Mid-life crisis attack! I could afford a sports car now, the one I’d always secretly wanted. So, full speed ahead!
Life has come full circle now, and I don’t know what will be next. I’m looking over my shoulder, though, hoping that black clunker isn’t somewhere just around a corner, grinning and waiting.