Thursday, July 10, 2008

28 going on 16 - the car fight continues

When I go home to Wisconsin to visit my family, I've noticed that the Amtrak train magically puts me in a time warp once I board at Union Station and I exit the train as a 16-year-old again. This is not always a bad thing, but there are a few teenage memories I would prefer not to relive.

The major issue I have when I go home is: the car. I don't have one in Chicago because a) I don't need it and b) right now I couldn't afford it between gas and parking so I happily walk, bus or El just about everywhere I go. I rarely ever take cabs and when I do, it's a treat. This is why I look forward to going home because I get to DRIVE. I love driving, singing to the radio, driving on the freeway, parking, you name it! Sometimes I fear that I'll forgot how to drive when I haven't been home in a while but it's just like riding a really big bike :)

My dad is great about basically handing over his car to me after he picks me up from the train station. The car and a full tank of gas is pretty much at my disposal. Awesome! I always return it with at least three-quarters of a tank and try to leave him a couple of bucks to contribute to the refill, but that doesn't always happen.

The only drawback about having to rely on my dad's car when I go home is when it's not as available as I want it to be. There have been a few occasions when the stars align and somehow everyone needs to use their individual cars at my house, thus leaving me to beg for rides or sit around and wait for people to come back with cars so that I can leave. I look like a little lost kitten in the window, pawing at the glass, asking when I can go out to play.

There is nothing more demeaning at the age of 28 than begging your dad to borrow the car for the night. Usually when I say, "dad can I have the car, PLEASE," his automatic response is "where are you going?" followed by "what time will you be back?" I usually shuffle my feet and come up with a half-correct answer but then he'll sometimes say, "well if you don't want to tell me, then you can wait or I'll come with you." Most of the time it's okay if he comes with me (no I'm not going to the sex store or to cruise for guys) but when you're home and in a three bedroom house stuffed with people, I need me time alone and I don't want company. Plus why do I have to actually tell him. Come on, just give me the keys, it'll come back with me in one piece!

The other way I get the car when the stars align so unholy against me is if I take dad somewhere to meet his golf buddies on the weekends they spend the day at the course. Of course the drawback to this is that I have to take him to meet the guys at some ungodly hour of the morning on the weekend (around 5:30/6 a.m.) and promptly have to pick him up at 2:30/3 p.m. that afternoon when he's done. Sometimes that just seems like too much work so I spend time hiding in my house so that I don't get picked to do yard work or garden while he's gone. Thank goodness for Lulu and Wi-Fi at our house because they have kept my stepmom from finding me! Another benefit to being petite.

Ah to be 28 going on 16 again those weekends. I wonder what other painful teenage memories I can relive when I go home? Hopefully not the whole being-caught-by-your-parents-while-making-out-with-a-guy bit. No thank you.

Also, one week from today, from right now, I will be in San Francisco for BlogHer and I cannot wait! Counting down the days to California sun and bloggy goodness. 

28 comments:

Maxie said...

haha I <3 that you have to explain where you're going. You should just steal it! That would be very high school.

Rachel said...

I have the same problem when I go home to MI. I take the train and get stuck driving a beat up minivan or a beat up neon...not what I want the neighbor I graduated with seeing me in....though now my Dad has a company PT Cruiser so it's not too embarrassing, though I expect Dick Tracy to come after me


By the way, I loved the "pawing the window like a kitten" line :D

Anonymous said...

I don't want to upset you, but fair disclosure on the California sun front - this is SF we're talking about here. Bring layers.

-SB

chickbug said...

this is EXACTLY what I deal with! And then add to the mix...two younger sisters (19 and 17) who also want use of the car. fun family times!

romagypsy said...

Wow no car I could not have it that way. Bought first car two weeks after getting drivers license, paid 260. And have had one ever since would probably give up most anything to stay mobile.

Caz said...

haha that's totally the same with me whenever I go home! mostly the parents try to work it out so we have a car, but occasionally I'm stuck at home. It's wierd sleeping in your old bedroom that doesn't feel like yours anymore, and telling your parents where your going and when you'll be home.

It's even wierder now that I sleep in my childhood bedroom with my boyfriend there too. Not awkward, just odd.

Mandy said...

So true! I have my own car, but when its in the shop and I need to borrow one of the parentals, I get grilled too...

classy & fabulous said...

lol "where are you going?" no matter how old you get, you are still ur parents lil baby :) my parents still ask too.

thegoodnamesaretaken said...

For several weeks, I was stuck at home without a car and it was awful! I'm glad you're able to borrow one (most of the time) when you're at home.

Gretchen said...

When I go home in a couple weeks, we'll have 2 cars and 4 drivers. I'm not exactly looking forward to it.

tiedtogetherwithasmile said...

I love that you drop off and pick up your dad, how great.

How exciting about your trip, its going to be amazing!

Deutlich said...

I seriously hate the 20,000 questions upon leaving the house.

HATE.

My mom's gotten accustom to not asking anymore. Haha

Anonymous said...

Yo. Playa Donnie here. If ya'll talking age, I tell my women that when they turn 40 - I'm gonna trade them in for 2 twenties. Yeah, boy. :-)

LJ said...

AHHHHHHH you totally warped me back in time for a minute, the agony of begging for the car! I really don't miss those days! Have fun in San Fran, its a very interesting city to say least. I don't know how long your going be there, but I would like to hear your comparison between SF and Chi.

Jess said...

We don't have a car anymore and the same thing totally happens when we go visit my parents! Requests for Use of the Car must be filed In Advance, or we get stuck with the 15-year-old minivan that is only used for transporting the dogs--and really, truly smells like it.

Blaez said...

ps, the non smoking is rough. i get into traffic and i want to light up. i go through customer service hell (you'll read about it) and i *REALLY* want to light up. it's not easy.

and on to you: i feel the same way when I go home, especially when I fly. i'm always asking daddy if i can borrow his truck. next time i think i might just rent one at the airport...

dude, your lucky. CA is the place i wanna be! (to visit, not live)

Blaez said...

pps, i *want* to light up but i havn't since my bday party june 13th.

RebeccaC said...

JiT and I recently sold my car since he has one and neither of us drives to work. Its rarely a big deal because he considers the jeep to be "ours" but occasionally he'd take off for golf or need to run a random errand just as I'm about to head to the grocery store or the salon and we freeze in the doorway...both of us clutching keys. Its an awkward moment. But at least he's not my dad I guess.

lifeintheleftlane said...

That's no fun that you have to say where you are going. Boo on that! And I can't believe they try to get you to do yard work. That's not nice when you are there to visit! =)

Have a great weekend!

megkathleen said...

I definitely know what you're talking about. I lived with my parents for a few months after college and they always had to know where I was going and I just wanted to scream I'm an adult why do you have to keep track of my every move?!

Angela said...

I'm going through the same car situation now. Between my mom, brother, and me, there are two cars that we have to share. That usually includes me waking up at 6:30am to take my mom to work so that I can use the car for the day. I hate it. I hate having to ask to borrow the car. I hate that we have to talk together about who's going to use which car at what time. It's really annoying.

Jenn said...

I feel like I turn 16 every time I walk through the door to my grandparent's house.


Bleh.

redstaplernation said...

I love the train! I will be taking it up to Chicago in 2 weeks - it makes me so much happier than flying, especially these days.

Cannot imagine not having a car... but then I think about not having the payment and the insurance and the fact that another $350 a month would make for a kickass apartment if I lived in a city like Chi-town where there is decent public transportation...

L Sass said...

I hear ya - same thing here! My parents also love to plan 24/7 activities for my entire visit home to MN. I have to, like, ask permission to see friends.

Marianne said...

"Nothing more demeaning"?! Um... how about not having a license at all, and having to get your dad to drop you off at the pub for a drink with a friend?!! I feel your pain.

Kayleigh said...

28 years of age and nothing has really changed since age 18. this is so my life as well. my parents make me CALL THEM when i drive from their house back to chicago at night. might i add that I live 30 minutes away? yeah....

Bayjb said...

Well I'm really relieved to see I'm not the only one who goes through this.

Yes I do really look like a kitten, sitting near the window, jumping up when a car goes by to see if that means I get to go out.

I know my dad only does this because he cares about me...and the car, but at 28, please, let me be an adult!

Princess Pointful said...

Ohhh, yes. I love having to have my parents drive me to my friend's places when I go home (they just have the one car-- a sweet ass minivan), and making them stop so I can pick up booze first.