reNOVAtion

The kid was talking the other day about how she can’t wait to get her license.  She’s wondering what car she will get to drive.  I have terrible news for her.  It will most likely be nothing short of falling into the category of a soccer-mom vehicle.

I base part of that decision on my own teen experience.  It was a circa 1970’s Nova and it had an 8-cylinder 350 engine.  No seventeen year old should be driving a car of that magnitude.  Especially not me.  Let’s just say, I went through a period where I thought I wanted to be a race car driver.  Not a good combination.  Like the elastic neckline, I think my mom was trying to kill me.

But this car was the bomb.  It didn’t have reverse, the seats weren’t bolted down to the floor board and the windshield was loose.  Every time I went over a bump when it was raining, I would get splashed in the face and my seat would lift up in the air like a ride at Disney.  It didn’t have a paint job, but it did have a Budweiser gear shifter.  I was the shit.

This Nova is similar to mine.  This one is on E-bay if you're interested.
This Nova is similar to mine. This one is on E-bay if you’re interested.

The only time I could get it to go into reverse was when the engine was cold.  And I mean ice cold.  Like the middle of February cold.  Any other time of the year, if I didn’t park where I could just pull straight out, I was pretty much screwed.  Unless there was a strong male walking by, I was stranded there until the following Winter.

I was really good at pulling donuts and burning rubber.  The engine was so loud, my friends could hear me coming a mile away.  I adored that car.  One night a friend of mine who was going to BOCES for auto mechanics told me he could fix my transmission.  Just like that.  I was all too eager to hand him the keys.  Without consulting my parents.

My good friend wrapped her around a tree that night.  He was ok, the tree was not.  And neither was my Nova.  As for me, I was grounded for a month.  And my baby spent the rest of her life in a junk yard being raped of her good lady parts.  Sniff-sniff.

And that is precisely why the kid will be driving a mom-mobile.  That’s a good enough reason for me.  What memories does your favorite car stir up?

I am No Marcia Brady

If you liked my Cal-Pro story, you’ll love this one.  It’s quite obvious that my parents were on a budget.  So in addition to not being able to obtain Adidas, I couldn’t have Jordache jeans either.

What I did have were these totally rad gauchos.  My mom had a sewing machine.  Unfortunately for me, she wasn’t very good with it.  Every time I saw a pattern out on the table, I’d pray it wasn’t for me.

This one particular outfit stands out for me mostly because I wore it for my first day in a new school.  I was 12.  12 was a pinnacle year for me for fashion.  My gauchos were made with the stiffest denim known to man.  I believe the material was meant to upholster bus seats with.  What happens when you make gauchos out of stiff denim?  You become a triangle.  The top was a short sleeved shirt with an elastic neckline.  Why elastic?  I guess there was a sale on it.  Add in knee socks and saddle shoes and I am a total trend setter.

Honestly, I don’t know how I had any friends.  It must have been my winning personality.  Well, at least the saddle shoes were the same size.  Sorry, mom.  I know you meant well.  At least you clothed us.  But an elastic neckline?  Were you trying to kill me on purpose?  Gag.

Goody Two Shoes

Let’s go back to 1979.  Remember Caldor?  Well, do you remember the bin in the back of the shoe department?  You know the one.  It was filled to the brim with Cal-Pro sneakers.  Each shoe was attached to its twin by a really nice elastic rubber band.  Awesome.  Every 12 year old girl’s dream.

Yup, you guessed it.  I was one of the lucky few who got to actually own a pair of these. When all my friends had those totally nerdy Adidas and Pumas, I got Cal-Pros.  I was incredibly cool.  The envy of all the school.

The first time I tried them on was at gym class.  When I got them on, I saw that one shoe was a whole size larger than the other.  I literally spent the entire class with my toes lined up so it would look like they were the same size.  I’ll tell you, playing dodgeball with your feet pressed together doesn’t work very well.  Let’s just say I was an easy target.

I’m not sure what ever happened to those sneakers.  Did my mom return them?  I don’t remember.  I guess I blocked it out.  And the rubber band system?  What were they smoking at the factory?  Thanks a lot potheads.  You were a huge help in my development and for that I’m forever indebted to you.

The Belt

Yesterday I told of my daughter’s special gift of my leftover “incidentals.”  Well, at least they had a sticky strip to make her life easier.  Would you like to hear about MY hand-me-down?

Hysterectomies run in my family.  A tradition that runs 4 generations deep on my maternal side.  Anyway, when my mom lost her “womanhood”, she left me a nice surprise but I wouldn’t find out about it until it was too late.  Believe me, if I had known it would have accidentally died in a fire.

Mother Nature showed up when I was 14, sitting in my room, on the floor, doing a puzzle.  My mother was at work.  My father was home.  Oh God.

I called my mom in total panic mode.  She instructed me to go to the hall closet.  In the said closet on the top shelf is where it was, cobwebs and all.  What I pulled down completely had me puzzled.

Unknown

What is it?  A headband? A dog collar?  I could only wish.  For those of you who don’t know, it’s called a Sanitary Belt.  Honestly, I think it was a hand me down from HER mother.  And the pad I had to use?  It looked like it was made for a menstrating elephant.  Never mind an 80 pound teenage girl child.  Once I figured it out and got it on, it flopped about until dad drove me to the nearest pharmacy where he made ME go in and get some supplies.

Well, 30 years and many therapy sessions later, I’m over it.  And whatever became of the belt?  It’s hanging in the Smithsonian.  Right next to the torture rack.