Friday, March 20, 2009

Driving along in my automobile. Well, someone's.

Last month Nancy reminisced about cars in her past, and I commented that, even at my advanced age, I've never had my own car, not counting the ones I now share with my husband. In high school I had to walk, borrow from my parents, and even (horrors!) had a babysitter whose main job function was to drive me and my younger siblings around after school.

I went to college in West Philadelphia where a car was unnecessary and expensive, not to mention a certain target for theft and destruction. Then I moved to Manhattan--same situation, multiplied a few dozen times.

Apparently I moved in with my then-boyfriend, now-husband, just to get my hands on his car keys.

Still, when I was a magazine editor I went on two trips to test-drive cars. The first one was for Buick Regal and GM put us up at a very swanky hotel (no wonder they are out of money now). I spent a couple of days driving the car around a parking lot with all kinds of simulated hazards. During an evening cocktail party with the GM PR people I let slip that I lived in New York and hadn't actually been behind the wheel of a car in four or five years. PR man almost choked on his hors d'oeuvre.

That one trip made me an expert in test driving, apparently, so my editor also sent me to Alaska to preview a Volvo station wagon. And just to emphasize the ruggedness of the car which is now, in fact, my own mommymobile, I also learned how to shoot a rifle and go salmon fishing (with hip waders and everything). Besides seeing Alaska for the first and so far only time, I also got to meet a lot of blond Swedish dudes.

These days, the blonds I share my car with are the ones I gave birth to; and I will be happy to trade my four wheels for two as soon as it's warm enough to get out my bike again. But if anyone wants to send me to Sweden (or Santa Fe, or Seattle, or frankly, Stroudsburg) to check out the latest offerings, my bags can be packed in a matter of minutes.

9 comments:

Mandy said...

I never, ever, would have pegged you as an official car tester. My how the bloggy world is full of odd tidbits!

Heather said...

I always wanted a job like that that would send me to cool places. Sigh. Maybe when the kids are grown.

Lady M said...

That Alaska trip sounds fun, if a bit unusual - huntin', fishin', and driving Volvos.

the mama bird diaries said...

My favorite car was my jeep wrangler. Totally impractical but I loved that thing (even though I also froze my arse off in it).

Kate said...

Wow, cool road trip! The only car I ever had of my own was my first -- a 1964 VW bug. That baby was awesome.

Don't Lick The Ferrets! said...

Wow, cars AND Alaska! I have to say I'm glad it's you and not me! My cars always break and I HATE the cold! I hope YOU enjoy it!

the calm before the stork said...

I am continually in awe of your awesomeness.

Love love love the Alaska test drive story. Did you woo a swede with one of your fish?

Patois said...

Dream on, lady.

Nancy said...

If you get that offer, let me know -- I can have my bags packed quickly too and I'll ride shotgun! ;-)