I Can Only Receive


My son has gotten to the age where he’s really interested in cool-looking cars. Every week, he brings two books home from the school library. One is about a sports team, and one is about a type of car. I guess this is just the deal now.

Over the past year, they built a shiny new Audi dealership at the end of our street. Now that it’s finally open, gleaming and red and black, he’s been asking if we could go there and look at the shiny cars. I told him yes, though there’s no fucking way we’re buying an Audi as they are really, really expensive. But that we might take one out for a test drive, so he could see how nicely they handle.

We finally went up there on Saturday morning. Rich people really do live a life different than you and me. The sales guy told me they don’t do test drives, because they don’t have any demo cars and driving puts miles on the car that are undesirable to buyers. Which he knew I wasn’t, as I told him we were really only there because my son loves cars. But D got in all the cars he could (the $185K sports car was locked, understandably) and sat in the front and back seats and made a lot of kid-like observations about how cool different things were, so I guess I’m going back to the auto show this spring, where I haven’t been in years. Still though, I can’t believe the cars are in such demand and the buyers so reliable that they basically just come in and pick which model they want, without even ever driving it. The kid ended up liking an SUV more than any of the other cars. Because it was blue and had a big back seat.

I used to be into the auto show, and was pretty interested in cars “for a girl.” I dated a few gear heads – where I grew up, if you dated much, the chances that someone was either a gear head or a farmer were pretty high – and I followed open wheel/IndyCar racing for many years, having grown up watching it on TV with my Dad. Dad was a driver and also the sometimes photographer for the local paper out at the local speedway. I used to like to go to the auto show and see all the new, fancy cars coming out and dream about what might be. At some point, teasing myself with things that are out of reach became unappealing and more like torture, and I quit going. But I’ll take the kid. I bet he will love it.

My kid has somehow become obsessed with money. I suppose because it’s the reason I give for us not doing so many of the things he wants to do, from traveling the globe to going to indoor play centers every weekend, to going out to eat whenever he wants, to buying a house with a yard. All of which make me feel pretty much like a failure, since his doodles are all about dollar bills and being rich. Maybe I’m raising Alex P. Keaton and he’ll become a day trader and make a lot of money. As a hippie trying to raise a sensitive boy who is interested in doing what’s right and not just what’s profitable, it’s kind of horrifying. But he is who he is and I will nurture whatever he loves. Maybe he can take care of my ass once I get too old to work anymore, since nobody else is going to.

Mother Nature is giving us a full week of spring preview. It’s a real tease, but I can’t help but love it. I was outside as much as I could be this past weekend, and will get outside as much as I can while this continues. The birds and bees are so confused, already out and flying around and getting busy, when I know we’re going back into the snowy deep freeze soon, not to emerge for another month or two.

But for now, man I missed nature and sunlight. Sinuses are a wreck, but soul feels fulfilled.


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