Today is a sad day for me, my coupe days have past. I am officially driving a mommy mobile. Pook exchanged Claudia (my 2000 Honda Accord) yesterday for a big bad sedan. I knew this day was coming but I didn’t expect it to be this soon. Over time Claudia and I have developed many memories together and it is very hard to see her go.
I remember the day my Dad and I went out to shop for a new car. I had been driving my sister’s old Pontiac Grand Am throughout high school and I always dreamt of being the owner of a Honda one day. I left for college (Texas Tech) the summer after my senior year to take a few summer school classes. My Dad made me a promise before I left that if I made straight A’s then he would buy me a brand new car before the fall semester began. I studied my arse off and came home from the summer with a 4.0 under my belt. That might have been the only 4.0 that I ever got, but dude there were incentives involved this time.
Pops and I were off to find the shiniest, reddest car that was out there. Once I laid my eyes on Claudia I knew that we were meant to be. She was everything that I ever wanted, spoiler and all. I remember driving her home from the dealership…I was so overly delighted that I felt like I was going to crap my pants. No really though, literally I really felt like I was going to shit myself! I made my dad pullover at a McDonald’s so I could run inside and relieve myself. Five minutes later I was up and ready to cruise on home. When we arrived home I sprinted upstairs to tell my sister, Leah, about our new purchase. What happened next was something that I was not expecting one bit. Leah took one look at my new car, rolled her eyes at my father and I, ran back upstairs and didn’t talk to me again for the next two weeks. Apparently she was terribly upset because she was driving my grandma’s old Ford Thunderbird and didn’t think it was fair that I got the new car. Looking back I can see where she was coming from but at the time all I could think was, “Screw her, I’m happy about my new car and I’m even more happy that I lost the argument that Leah and I had over who was to get the Thunderbird”. Yes, we fought over a Thunder Bird people. It really was a cool car at the time I promise.
My sister and I never saw eye to eye on why my Dad decided to love me more that year. Fortunately, 8 years later we are finally getting to the stage that we can both get a good laugh at the old, long, huge T-Bird that she used to creep around in.
Another favorite Claudia story real fast…This memory that I have takes places during my freshman year of college in the thriving town of Lubbock, Texas. My roommate and I were lounging around one Friday night and the phone rang. It was one of my roomate's friends from high school whom lived in Austin. They got to talking and for some reason or another they decided that it would be a good idea that she and I visit for the weekend. By this time it was already 11pm so we threw a few cute outfits into a bag, ran next door and convinced our neighbor to come along and then we were off to Austin. I considered calling my parents to tell them that we would be making the 6 hour trip across Texas but decided that it would be best if they didn’t know what I was doing. “What they don’t know doesn’t hurt them right?” Before we left town we stopped by the trusty old Diamond Shamrock and fueled up on No Doze, Caffeine, Capri Cigarettes and these crazy glasses that had the big nose attached. (Dad if you are reading this I promise I didn’t always abuse your Diamond Shamrock card this way, it was a one time deal). Ok so maybe I owe my Dad a couple hundred or thousand dollars for all of the crap I bought at Diamond Shamrock over the years. We decided that if we were going to make it to the University of Texas before all the partying ended, then we were going to have to speed. Before I punched the gas we all made a truce, that if we got pulled over we would all put on our crazy glasses with the big nose. We thought that the cop would consider us clever and decide that since we were so funny he would let us off. Man we were WRONG! We eventually got pulled over in the small piece of shit town. We all threw on the glasses as planned, but unfortunately that cop didn’t think it was the slightest bit funny. He demanded that I get out of the car and come around back. I was scared for a second thinking, “Oh shit I wanted planning on the sucky, sucky this time.” Oh how I kid, I have never even thought about doing that before. The Copper sat me down on the back of his bumper and insisted that I remove my retarded glasses. He told me that he was disgusted in me and could not believe how fast I was going. I begged and pleaded that he not give me a speeding ticket. I told him how I had lied to my parents and if he was to give me a ticket my life would be doomed FOREVER and ever!
What the cop said next I remember distinctly to this day. He looked me directly in the eyes and sternly said, “little girl, I am going to give you a ticket. And the reason that I am going to do this is because I would rather be writing you a ticket that scrapping you and your two friends faces off the highway two miles down. You and your friends are precious cargo and I would like for you remember this in the future”. Holy shit, if that’s not intense then I don’t know what is. And to this day whenever I think of speeding I think of my face splattered out on the freeway. So the Po-Po finished writing the ticket, handed it to me and asked me to get back in my car. As he walked away he turned around and said, “I know you think your parents will hate me for doing this, but later on in life you will realize the favor that I did for them.” I got back in the car a balled my eyes out. I hugged my friends and told them I was sorry for putting their life in danger the way I did. I looked down at the ticket and realized that I was going 93 in a 55. HOLY SHIT I WAS SCREWED!
We arrived back in Lubbock safely on Sunday when I decided to break the news to my Dad. I thought he was going to be outraged, but he was more than outraged, he was fuming! He did something that I never in a million years would have ever though to do to my child. He told me that I had fifteen minutes to go to the dorm parking lot, write down my mileage and then call him back with the exact number of miles that were on my car. I did exactly as told and when I called him back all he said to me was, “Now, put the keys away and don’t touch the car until the end of your spring semester”, and hung up the phone. I did as I was told and didn’t ever come close to driving my car the entire year. Sometimes I would go down and sit in Claudia and dream of driving her, but that is as close as I got to turning her on.
I tell you what….that was the worst punishment ever! Knowing that I had an available vehicle sitting in the parking lot knowing that I could not touch it totally sucked. There were many nights that we were not able to leave the dorm because most of my friends didn't have cars. We would sit and think how cool it would be if we were able to take my car out and turn the mileage back when we got home.. But we all knew damn well to stay away from Claudia.
Soon enough spring semester rolled around and my Dad came up to Lubbock to make sure that the mileage was exactly the same as when I left it. And that it was! After he gave me the okay to drive, I remember cruising down 19th street with the windows rolled down going 20 mph in a 45 mph zone. Yes, I was scared shittless and yes I did learn my lesson!
Man, oh man that was a long story but it is a story that I cherish. It is a good example of the extraordinary, brilliant and loving man that I am fortunate enough to call my father.
Thank you for all the of the memories, good and bad. I know you are just a car and this sounds a bit crazy, but we have been through a lot together. No matter the situation you were always able to protect me and keep me safe from the nuts out there. You were the best car and I will always cherish the great time that we had together. I hope that your next owner loves you just as much as I have.
The hugest Honda Fan, Lane