My first love

My first car looked like this, only dented and rusty.

I learned to drive on a minivan. A maroon Nissan Quest to be exact. My mom pumped the invisible pedal in the driver’s seat as I quickly and um…haphazardly? navigated the streets of St. Louis. I was admittedly not a natural behind the wheel. I lacked spacial awareness. I can remember ducking more than once when I was absolutely positive the car on the other side of the road was headed straight for me. Turns out I was the one riding the center line a bit…

The weekend after I got my license I hit a parked car.


One particular afternoon, as I drove that sexy beast of a minivan alone (she had a sun roof, you know. *insert sexy growl here*) I zipped down the back stretch of Strecker Rd., the radio blasting the wicked awesome tunes of Green Day and The Dave Matthews Band, and I noticed a sign on the right side of the road coming up dangerously close. I leaned forward over the wheel, staring intently at the sign, wondering why on Earth it was set so close to the road when…


I nailed the sign, the sexy beast rocked, and I panicked. I screeched into the parking lot of a nearby school and jumped out of the car to survey the damage. Nothing. I’d hit the sign with my rear view mirror. I popped the mirror back into place and headed home, determined to stay a little further away from the shoulder.

When I pulled into the garage, I was still shaking. I came in too fast and hit the garbage cans, crushing them.

Maybe I wasn’t quite ready for a license? I definitely wasn’t ready to navigate the sexy beast around town, that’s for sure.

Incidentally, I’m pretty sure my exact words after I hit the garbage can were, “I hate this stupid van. I’m never going to drive one of these again. I’m gonna be the mom with the sporty car when I have kids.”

Mmmmm….What would my sixteen year old self think if she saw me now? Driving a Nissan Quest. Midnight black, of course, because black is HAWT.

But I digress.

Shortly after the run-in with the inanimate objects, my dad came home with a car just for me. It was a rusty, dumpy Honda CRX. A mercifully smaller car which ultimately became my first love. I named her Stella.

Every morning I jumped into Stella and revved her up, listening to her whine and moan against the frigid St. Louis winter air. The heater never really worked properly and the car trembled something terrible if you hit 55 miles per hour, but boy did she have character.

I loved Stella for a lot of different reasons. First and foremost, she wasn’t a minivan. Ahem. Stella was just kind of quirky and fun. I felt like I made a statement when I drove to school. The statement was here I am. I have a car. It’s a piece of S*%$ but it’s mine and look at all the flecks of rust on her smooth white exterior.

I dunno. I just loved that car.

Until someone ran a red light my junior year as I turned left and totaled sweet Stella leaving me with whip lash and supreme sadness over the loss of My Precious. From there I had other cars, all of which had their own endearing qualities, but none quite as charming as Stella, my rusty, dumpy CRX.

My current (smokin’ hot) minivan is running a close second, though, what with all her scratches, stains and quirks. She’s paid for, is still chugging along and only has a few Tats at his point (i.e. rust marks) but will likely develop more “character” as time goes on. Gone are the days when I jam out to Green Day, Dave Matthews or, really, anyone grown up. My car rocks to the beat of KidzBop, which makes her even more endearing in an odd and sad little way.

And I’ve yet to hit a road sign OR a parked car in her.

Go. Me.

What about you? What was your first car like? Did you name it? And more importantly, are you today driving the car you thought you’d be driving when you were sixteen?

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