Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tell you a little story

Sometimes my sister Becky will say to me, "tell me a story" and expect me to pull a fantastical but true story out of my brain for sheer entertainment purposes; like I'm her own personal court jester or something. We recently went on a road trip together and she asked me several times over the duration of our trip to entertain her with my exaggerated versions of past events. So I dug deep and pulled out a story about a woman who was pregnant with triplets, and had conceived these triplets using borrowed attractive people's sperm and eggs, but led her husband to believe these triplets were their own spontaneous offspring. Okay so I can't tell you that particular story as I was sworn to secrecy, but I will tell you a story that I thought of today while I was trying to think of anything but my impending move.

After my freshman year of college I decided I needed a car. So did I get a job and buy a car, or at least save money to pay for part of a car? No, instead of taking the natural road to a car, I put my energy into begging for a car and proceeded to persuade my father into buying me a car. Now this was before I had taken my persuasive writing class, and even before I entered the print journalism major (from which I graduated) so imagine the raw, unhoned powers of persuasion I had to deal with during this persuasive process. Okay so I've always been good at talking people into things. I think it's one of those natural talents talked about in the bible, and believe me, I didn't bury this talent in the earth. I'm sure I more than doubled it. But that's beside the point.

So my Dad wasn't entirely convinced that I even needed a car and used his years of experience as an attorney to convince me otherwise. Attorney schmorney. I didn't back down. His main excuse for not allowing me to get a car was that I'd have no where to park it. That might seem like a silly excuse in the real world, but in the college world it was an astronomical problem to not have a place to park your car. You see I lived in an apartment with five roommates, and there were only two parking passes given by our apartment complex per apartment. Meaning, I really had no where to park, and that if I parked illegally I'd be given the boot, or more literally my car would be given a boot. So I took this parking problem as a challenge.

I had heard a rumor that the doctor's offices next door to our apartment complex (okay so I just remembered we lived in a condo not an apartment, but I like the way apartment sounds better so we'll stick to that) was selling spaces to students who didn't have parking permits. Problem solved, I could park at the doctor's office, and I went over there and bought myself a parking pass. But that uncovered spot wouldn't work for me in the winter, so I offered my landlord $50 a month more rent to let me have one of the underground parking spots. And he did. And my roommates thought I was sneaky. And I was. But sometimes Arizona girls who are deathly afraid of the snow gotta do what they gotta do.

So I went back to my Father with my parking dilemma solved, and once again asked for a car. He gave in, I had won, and he was going to buy me a car. I told him an SUV would do nicely, and he laughed and told me they were too expensive and proceeded to tell me about a nice Pontiac Grand Am that his friend had for sale. (No offense to anyone who drives a Grand Am, I promise that in the last 11 years since this experience I have grown as a person immensely and am much less bratty and spoiled than I'm ashamed to say I once was). I was crushed. I had begged and I had pleaded and now here my Dad was offering to buy me a car, and I was about to turn him down because I didn't think the car could keep up with my reputation. Or at least the perceived reputation I wanted people to perceive me to have. Meaning that I wanted people to think I was cool, hip, and not the kind of hip like a broken hip you might get while driving a damn grandma's car because excuse my french, those were the two words that popped in my brain every time I thought of a Grand Am. (Okay that was the exaggeration for entertainment sake like I spoke of previously). I had actually swallowed my pride and hope for all coolness and humbly and thankfully accepted the fact that I was going to drive a Grand Am and people would have to accept me for who I was, and not the car I drove.

Lest you think this story is about a young woman's journey into humility listen up because this story takes a turn for the better right about here. Now this is my favorite part of the story, and puts a smile on my face to this day. A little while after I had consented to take my dose of humble pie and drive the Grand Am my father called me with some "bad news." His friend who had the Grand Am for sale was sorry to say that another car had accidentally been dropped on top of the Grand Am (the one we were slated to buy), crushing it, and rendering it undriveable. We would have to find another car for me. I think my Dad and I actually had a good laugh over this and the validity of his friends story, but who the heck cared as long as I didn't have to drive a Grand Am.

My car may have been crushed, but my spirits were lifted. Someone up there cared for me and my perceived reputation enough that they dropped a car on top of the reputation destroyer/husband repellent Grand Am. The clouds parted, the heaven's opened and the sun shone a little brighter that day. A few days later my Dad called and asked what I thought of Chevy Cavaliers. His same crazy friend had a four door white one and a two door, red sport coupe. The four door white sedan was practical, less nerdy than a Grand Am and made the most sense for me, and so I chose the red two door sport coupe. And I loved that car from the minute I put my Will Smith "Gettin jiggy wit it" CD in I knew I was cool and had the reputation I was looking for. That car saw me through a husband, college graduation, my first born child, and our move that brought us to Arizona.

And if you actually read that entire story I will consider you a loyal friend, one who would love me no matter what kind of car I drive. And if you ever get pregnant with another man and woman's triplets and lead your husband to believe they are yours I won't tell a soul. I swear it on the grave of my crushed Grand Am.


Mike and Joy said...

It's no wonder your sister asks for these stories all the time...I was VERY entertained!

Keith and Lynsi said...

I love the way you write! Thanks for the hostess with the mostess blog tip. That was fun to check out, I hadn't seen that! Hope all is well... See you soon at Stephs, looking forward to it!

The Rogers Family said...

Way fun Nancy. Love the story.

Emily said...

We gifted that Cavalier to Neil and Diana for their wedding. It's still going strong, as far as I know, but the exterior has seen shinier days.

Courtney said...

I still remember the turmoil over the grand am. funny.

AL&G said...

Is that the same Cavalier that had it's own name spelled across the front windshield in Gagsta' font? Good memories.

pam said...

That story alone should have sufficed Becky for the whole trip!

Emily said...

When Nancy went a-shopping for cars
She met a cute salesman named Lars.
He had quite the nose,
but he spoke in prose,
"I hope this Grand Am can be ours."

Steph said...

With tears rolling down my cheeks from laughter, I am proud to say that I read the entire story...and I LOVED it! I too remember those day's, that car and would trust you with my secrets too! Hilarious!

Laura said...

Um, I enjoyed many trips in the cavalier and learned all about music because of the great sound system. But I honestly cursed you repeatedly every time I had to park in the next state when I came home at 5am from my job at Hogi Yogi. Buying the parking space was sneaky but that's okay it was one of the funnest years of my life. Thanks for the great story.

Becky said...

Now the whole world is going to start asking you to tell them stories, Nancy, cuz they'll know how good you are. I am picturing this in my head like a movie, with the Grand Am being crushed by some other car with a obliterating thud. No triplets over here in sight, but if I come across some, I'm calling you.