The good ol' days
Ah, the good ol' days! Okay, I'm not saying that I'm old (although I don't know what to answer when my 3-year-old son asks me why I put some "white" in my hair), but I've lived long enough to come to a point where I like to recall the joys of a certain past.
Anytime I listen to that 80's on 8 station on Sirius XM and hear nothing but classic '80s music, I'm happy as can be. However, when I sing some Duran Duran or Depeche Mode out loud and realize that these songs first hit the airwaves nearly a quarter of a century ago, it's like a slap in the face.
Yet at the same time, it brings me back to my teenage years, my first passions, my first cars. At 36 years of age, they all seem pretty distant now. Sure enough, every ride I've been in nicely fit my lifestyle.
1986 Chevrolet Cavalier. My first car, when I was 17, and not the sedan, but the ugly hatchback. The Cavalier did exactly what I asked it to, which was to take me to college and allow me to drive well above the speed limits. I was young and I didn't care what my car looked like; just the fact that I had one proved more than satisfying. The parking lot at school was full of Acadians, Reliants and Ponys, so I guess we were many to think the same way.
1989 Ford Mustang. Calm down, it wasn't the mythical 5.0L Cobra but rather the base model with a four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission. Yeah, you can probably laugh now... I was 18 and I wanted to be hot (not cool, but hot!). Maybe I'm the one who started that whole global warming thing. With the windows down and a slightly excessive pressure on the throttle at all times, life was already better than in the Cavalier.
On a side note, I remember when gas only cost $0.29 per litre and people were waiting 30 minutes in line to fill up. Heck, prices even dropped below $0.20 at one point. Madness! I can't believe that I once paid a mere $13 to fill my Mustang. And when gas rose to $0.57, a lot of folks complained that they were being robbed. I don't know what I would give today to return to those scandalous prices!
1995 Suzuki Swift. My first ''chick car!'' The rear hatch came in handy and I could go on long road trips with significantly less money. It was also my first manual car, even though I had yet to learn how to drive with a stick! For two weeks, I left endless trails of raging drivers behind me. The Swift proved quite convenient... until I got a baby.
2002 Pontiac Sunfire. This one I bought in 2006. After separating from my husband, I felt the need to try something new and wild, so I turned to a compact sporty car with a manual gearbox. However, gas prices continued to rise.
The guys at the used car lot offered me a minivan when they saw that I had two boys. Um, excuse me? I'll never get into that thing!
2003 Pontiac Montana. Yeah, I know... Could you please stop mocking me, now? Having crested past the 30-mark, I was looking for a nice and quiet time with my new partner and my 9- and 5-year-old sons. No more crazy escapades! After all, a minivan is much more appropriate for family vacations. I sure was glad to have the Montana when I gave birth to a third boy in 2009!
2012 Dodge Grand Caravan. Owning the Montana eventually turned into a series of nightmares, though - none worse than the leaking windshield. But since one of my kids was playing football in high school, I again opted for tons of space, comfort and ride quality, not to mention the peace of mind of a full warranty.
Oh, how the times have changed in 20 years: Six different cars for as many parts of my life. What will I be driving next? An electric minivan? A Fiat (as a second vehicle, of course)? And what will my eldest son wind up with as his first car? You know, the one he will be reminiscing about when he's old enough to have a kid asking: ''Why did you put some white in your hair?''