January Subject Swap: My First Car

Welcome to Phase one of the January Subject Swap. I am writing this on less than my usual amount of sleep and with no coffee. I am trying to live more on the edge. I’m a mom, this is as cool as it gets.


This week 16 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. My subject was submitted by http://followmehome.shellybean.com.

Let me tell you a little story about my very first car…

My first car was a gift from my Grandpa. It was his old car (which wasn’t really old at all since I tend to keep my cars until they stop moving) and he and my Grandma drove it from Virginia to Connecticut to give it to me, just in time for my High School graduation. This was actually kind of funny considering I did not even have my license yet. I took drivers education kind of late and then I did not pass my drivers test on the first try. I could drive, but I also had a tiny problem with speed control. I failed my test for going 20 miles per hour in a 15 mile per hour residential zone. Yep. Failed.

This story makes my husband laugh and laugh and laugh because I am the slowest driver he has ever met. The fact that I was penalized for speeding just about does him in every time he hears about it. Back in those days, it could take three to six months to get another driving test scheduled with the motor vehicle department. This was a horror for me, not because I was at the advanced age of 18 and still did not have my driver’s license, but because I was supposed to start college in three months. I was commuting to college. Without a  license I wouldn’t be able to get there. If I didn’t go to college, I wouldn’t get a job. If I didn’t get a job I would have to live with my parents until I died. For a teenager, this is the scariest conclusion you can fathom. I was scared. I was horrified. I was desperate.

Anyway, as luck would have it, I got my driver’s license right before my college classes began. I mean like two days before they began. So, I went to college. I got a job. I moved out of my parents house. I became not so rich and famous. Got married. Had a kid. Got some chickens….

There is more to that story and it wasn’t so neat and straight forward, but that is for another time and place because this is a story about my first car. I just wanted to get that out-of-the-way. I don’t want you to be distracted by the possibility that I am living in my mom’s basement right now, eating her food and running up her phone bill. I am so lucky I avoided that catastrophe and actually, so is my mom.

My first car was white. It was an automatic. It was a car your Grandpa would buy. I cannot remember the make and model, mostly because cars have always been about transportation for me. I’ve never had a love affair with any car I have ever owned, but to be fair, I have only owned three cars in my entire life. Three. That’s it.

That first one was a real mess after a while. Things started going wrong. My dad went and looked the make and model up in Consumer Reports Magazine and we discovered that my car was rated worst in everything. It really was. It was just a sea of solid, black dots. The solid black dot was the worst dot a car could get and my car had them on every single line. It was not a well made car. It broke down often. The radio over heated. I can’t even make this stuff up!

I still loved it. I loved it because my Grandpa gave it to me. I loved him because he wanted me to go to college and this car was proof that he thought I could do it. It gave me freedom. It gave me space. It gave me a way to realistically move out of my parents house. Which I totally did do. I do not live in my mother’s basement. I swear!

And that is the story of my very first car.


Go read the other swap participants by visiting Karen over at Baking in a Tornado.



42 thoughts on “January Subject Swap: My First Car”

  1. I’m so glad you were able to get that license and move on with your life. I love that your grandpa bought you your first car and that you knew he had faith in you. That made me teary. Thanks for rocking my topic!

  2. LC, this was funny, entertaining and revealing. I loved it. Do you remember the make and model of the car your Grandpa gave you? My first car was a 1981 Honda Civic. Like you, I didn’t get my license until late, about 17 or so, and I loved that little car. It died, finally, with 180,000 miles on it. I had tags on it, “MCBUTTR” because … y’know, “Molly” is my name.

    This was a great post. I dig it. And I’m not just saying that. it was fun. xo

  3. It was so sweet of your Grandpa – the gift and everything it stood for…My first car was navy blue, an Opel. I loved it and felt really safe in it until…it was stolen.
    Now I don’t really need a car and don’t own one (my better half does) but I still feel warmth in my heart whenever I see the same model on the streets (it also makes me really angry that someone would steal such a car but well, life…).

  4. That’s a really sweet story! My husband is a serial car buyer – so I get his hand-me-downs every few years. Not that I’m complaining – he has great taste in cars. But I do remember purchasing my first car as a “grown up.” It was a silver VW Jetta – and BOY was I proud to drive away in it!

  5. It took me 3 times to get my drivers license, so don’t feel bad. lol. But I got them and now, I wish I didn’t have the damn thing. This post really made me miss my Grandma and Grandpa…..gotta love the memories they give us!

  6. what an awesome and loving grandfather you have. I don’t know much about cars either, I do my first car was plymoth reliant…it was like a boat, but I loved it.

  7. My first car was a Ford Escort (GT), my father bought it for me months before I had my license as he thought it was a good deal; and I thought it was cool. I was 15 and it was a “GT” somehow I thought that sounded cool and would score me some “cool points”. I’ll be the first to say there is nothing cool about a hunk of junk.

    1. My car was a Ford too…what was the make?! I cannot remember for the life of me. At 15 ANY car would be cool! I mean a car is freedom. I can totally relate to your 15 year old self.

      1. Tempo! Ford Tempo…I think that’s what it was. Man, that was buried so deep in my brain it took you, lots of coffee and over 24 hours to bring it to the surface. Thank you for jogging my memory! It was driving me crazy.

    1. Unfortunately I can relate to the forgetting stuff all too well.

      How weird is it that “got some chickens” is like a major life event/milestone for me? Maybe they will engrave that on my tombstone.

      1. Yay! Confirmation. I can’t believe you can even remember that. Obviously, you are awesome. It’s good to have friends who knew you when….:)

    1. I did too for a minute, but that wasn’t quite right. Ford yes…but Ford what? I swear I suffer from some sort of child-induced brain damage.

  8. I’m so behind on reading the SSS posts (shhh, don’t tell Karen). I failed my permit test 3 times. Yep, 3 times. I did get my license on the first try, but I almost failed. She told me to “take a right at the 7Eleven and I thought that meant to turn right INTO the parking lot so that’s exactly what I did and she was yelling at me, “WHAT are you doing?” I replied back with, “Well you said turn right at 7Eleven”. In my defense, that’s exactly what she said 🙂

    1. Yeah, you should have been given a pass on that one! When I was taking drivers ed the car got a flat tire. My driver instructor yelled at me. How could I control that? Another time, he stopped at his house, went inside for 45 minutes and ate lunch while I waited in the car. Weird.

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