Can I just ask...what is it with boys and cars?
Okay. So maybe it's not all boys. But most boys know cars.
I do not know cars. I have a car fanatic for a father, but I have not absorbed any of his knowledge on the subject. I know when I see a car I like. And I can detect some cars upon sight without being told. Easy ones, like a Sunfire, a Taurus, a Rav (of course).
But otherwise? No. I might take note of colour, and that is it.
My dad's specialty is old cars, natch. Lately, due to health issues, there isn't much he can do. So he sits at the head of the kitchen table and looks out the big front window. The highlights of his day are when he spies the fox that has been running around the neighbourhood for about a year now. Or if there are deer up on the hill across the road. He keeps his binocs handy just for occasions such as these.
The real excitement, though, comes when someone's out tooling around in an old car.
He will literally interrupt a conversation to tell you the year and make of the car.
"That's a '63 Ford Mustang something-something-blah-blah." (Of course, I have no idea what the car might really be called.) Usually followed by, "That's a nice car."
Sometimes, he might even say, "I used to have a car like that."
See, by the time I came along, my dad's days of owning cool cars was over. By then, he had graduated on to pick-up trucks. No more Mustangs. All I had were the illustrious tales of him and his Mustang racing my uncle and his Corvette.
For reals, people. They did this. Apparently in the days before there were these things called laws.
My dad's a Ford man (we are a Ford family, despite what my brother's Pontiac G5 and my Toyota Rav 4 might lead you to believe...) And to be honest, I've had a crush on an old yellow Mustang convertible since my teen years.
But I don't know what friggin' year it is.
(This is a picture of the one I like. It is clearly not even that old.)
I'm completely amazed when Dad can watch a car drive by the house and tell me the year, make, model, and any other detail that can be spouted off about cars. I always have the notion to look around for some big secret guide to cars that he must keep hidden under his chair or something.
How do guys just know this stuff?? My dad doesn't even remember my name half the time. He probably couldn't even tell you how old he is. But a car? That's a breeze.
They all look the same to me…
It frustrates my dad that I don't know more about cars. Especially when I crash into them.
Like this past April, when I had a fender bender in Aylmer. After asking the usual questions, in his not-impressed-you're-such-a-dummy voice, like "Was everyone okay? Did you exchange information? Why the hell were you looking back at Caden when you should have been looking forward?" - you know, the typical crusty dad questions - he then moved on to car questions.
"What damage did you do to the other car?"
"Um...well...it was crunched in a little bit. But not much."
"What do you mean, crunched in? How hard did you hit him?"
"Well...It felt like I hit him hard, but we were barely moving, so it couldn't have been that hard...There was no damage to my car. So it was just crunched in a bit. Like a ding."
"A ding or a dent?"
"Um...I don't know...a bit more like a dent, I guess. But not a big dent."
"What kind of car was it? Where did you hit him?"
"I hit him above the back bumper."
"What kind of car was it??"
"Umm...a silver car? A hatchback maybe?"
You see? These answers are not what he's looking for. These answers frustrate the hell out of him.
But I seriously don't know cars. I've been accused of being a snob because I do not wave to friends when I meet them on the road. My apologies to all of you who have experienced this problem with me, but seriously, I don't know what you drive.
I've waved at people before when I did not know them. Because I'm all like, "Okay, this looks like Lynn's car, I have to wave at her," and then I give the big friendly wave, and it turns out it is not Lynn's car, not even close. And then I imagine that the people in the other car were looking at me funny, and laughing at me, and then I get embarrassed.
Stupid. I know. But so true.
So, are you a car buff? Do you know this boy stuff? Am I the only dunce out there who can’t rhyme off car facts?
Or please, please, please…tell me I’m not alone.