I’ll admit it, I didn’t know how good I had it. I was car spoiled.
I don’t mean I had a fancy car. It wasn’t even a new car. And my parents endlessly reminded me that they owned the car and that letting me drive it was a favor. As if I was going to steal it like a common criminal.
But my dad did make sure it was always in proper order. He could put a Lohan car victim back together again. I mean he is that good. He would change my oil, spark plugs, deal with the tires, vacuum it, everything.
Back in 2011, I was lucky to have gotten an internship at a nonprofit called Keep Houston Beautiful. If any of you are from Houston, you know what a death trap Allen Parkway turns into when it rains. It’s like the Indy 500 and someone has put baby oil on your wheels. The city even carved out grooves in the road but that didn’t really help. So inevitably, I hydroplaned on my way back from work one rainy day and flipped over medians. I screamed my face off as an incoming car landed cozily in the middle of my vehicle.
Seriously though, I just did a google search for allen parkway and this was the number two result: Hummer flips, kills driver on Allen Parkway.
The car was still drivable but I was shaken and even more terrified to make the call to my parents. There were pieces hanging off, all the tires were flat, the back door looked like it had been sat on by Wreck it Ralph and to top it all off, the police officers thought my hysterical ugly crying was hilarious.
Still, my dad rejuvenated this piece of metal like a phoenix rises from the ashes. He should be on Pimp My Ride. I made him watch an episode with me once and he pretty much muttered “I can do that, that’s not hard,” the entire time.
Fast forward two years.
I drove that baby half way across the country. We’re adventuring all over Southern California and we couldn’t be happier.
I don’t have an actual picture but if I did, it would look something like this.
The honeymoon phase had lasted a long time. I think I knew this in the back of my mind but I was too busy getting carried away by my car — literally. So when she started malfunctioning, I figured those were just her little quirks and I would love them just the same.
I’m an idiot.
When your car does weird things, call a professional. Hell call anyone who has ever talked to you about cars for more than 10 minutes. I feel like this is a PSA.
Alright, alright. It was just the battery. I could handle that. But two trips to Auto Zone, a new battery and a bum wheel proved me wrong. This was the most painful adulting I had done in a while. In college it was about paying taxes correctly, budgeting, learning to tip, building credit and learning the value of a dollar.
But now it was about learning that the world looks at you differently. You’re not a kid anymore and therefore you’re not immune to it’s sporadic inconveniences that sting like lemon juice in a paper cut. Everything can seem great and suddenly you’re out $443 the same week you accidentally get a parking ticket and some jerk steals your bike.
And it’s all because you’re so much closer to being a real adult than when you first joined the ranks of the Y Generation, feeling valiant but proceeding uncouthly.
Last year it was all, “who am I?” “I say yes to adventure and the occasional day-drink” and now it’s all “I’m making my own natural almond bars and biking to work because I respect the environment and my wallet.”
This mundane incident reminded me that while my hangover tolerance is plummeting, the single gray hair count is rising and I’m one year closer to dropping the early from my semi-broad age definer, I can still embrace the haphazard parts of being a young adult.