Just Because I drive a Station Wagon Doesn't Mean You Can't Race me on the Freeway...

I wanted a station wagon even before I got knocked up. Mostly because I thought they were cool and because I had dogs and wanted to appear more grown-up. I had gone through my Cabriolet phase and my Jetta phase and was feeling old and retired at 23, opting for the Passat wagon with the V6. No more bikini-clad cruising to the beach with the top down, no more illegally tinted windows I had to roll down every time a cop passed. I wanted the seafoam green family wagon, even before I knew I was settling down. Call it "telling the story until it comes true". Call it presumption. Call it another predetermined chapter of my life.


In my younger, wilder days I liked to drive fast. I was the person in the carpool lane honking when people drove slower than 85. I was always in a hurry and like a good LA driver I was vocal, horn-happy and crazy behind the wheel. Anyone who has done the San Diego to LA drive (a la the 405 freeway) at 2am knows that its prime racing time for Acura Integra/ suped-Civics and other spoiler-sporting UCI alum. It seemed that every night I made the drive someone in a fluorescent rimmed, lowered, something-or-other with twin exhaust tips was trying to step to this. Not that my Jetta was race-esque. It was a Jetta with 14'' rims and a spoiler that came stock on the car but for some reason dudes would cruise up beside me, cut me off, flash their hazards and try to race me. Dipshits. I liked to drive fast but I wasn't an idiot. I had learned my lesson at 19 with five speeding violations and very unhappy parents (who were paying my insurance at the time. Thanks, guys.)

For years I flashed my brights, tossed cigarettes at their windshields, rolled my eyes and turned up my music as they drove away, showing off their stupidity. It always bugged the shit out of me and didn't stop until recently. Like, say, two years ago when I traded the Silver Bullet in for the Green Grocery-Goblin. What? I'm not the only one who names my car.

Besides the fact that the GGC'S GGG was a faster car with a bigger engine, the Wagon just wasn't race-friendly and though I made the SD/LA trip dozens of times in the Goblin, no one even attempted to race me. Maybe because they could see me through the windows and pigtails aren't exactly intimidating. Maybe it was the BABY 1ST PUTS SAFETY FIRST sunblocker on the rear windows. Maybe it was the wagon itself. Anyway, I kind of missed being challenged to race.

I was explaining this to a friend on the phone one night while making the drive, Archer sleeping soundly in the backseat.

"No one tries to race me on the road anymore."
"Helllllo. You drive a station wagon."
"Hellllooooooo. I drive a V6 station wagon."

Just then, the two clouds in the sky parted and a Honda Accord with racing lights around the license plate cut me off.

"Dude, you won't believe this. Someone is seriously trying to race me right now."

I switched lanes and drove up beside the car. The kid lifted his chin and puffed out his chest. I lowered my glasses.

"Duh, idiot. I have a kid in the back and I'm driving a green station wagon. Are you out of your mind?"

I hung up with my friend and had an epiphany, the kind of epiphany one so often has when in (less than) two years their life goes from single, irresponsible twenty-something who regularly speeds on the freeway to married parent driving a station wagon barely doing 75mph in the third lane. Shit has changed and I reaIized whist pawing at my brain cloud that I was wrong. Just because I drive a station wagon does mean you can't race me on the freeway. Just because I have a child does mean you can't cat-call my ass when I'm walking my stroller down the street. Just because I wear a wedding ring does mean you can't flirt with me at the bar. I will not deny that I find myself secretly refreshed by this attention. (Duh!) A girl's gottta know she still gots it. I am also more and more annoyed by people that cannot see that I have changed, friends and strangers.

Having a child has made me grow-up very fast and I can't say there are moments when I feel I must retain my youth, parade around in ankle boots and designer duds, make kissy faces in my rear-view mirrors and I do... only now the boots and makeup are to pediatrician appointments and family-oriented gatherings and the kissy faces are for my baby on board.

And I started thinking about the young/independent/modern woman and the classifications/roles I have played in my young adult/adult life. First as a teenager, experimental, fearless, cruising the beach with my girlfriends and boyfriends and Operation Ivy CDs. Then as a college-dropout, all-nighter partygirl gone wild, seemingly tough in the city that for a minute I thought I owned (and we all know that wasn't the case).I don't know how I would classify myself today, what role I play to the exterior. Mom? Wife? Crazy multitasking biotch?

I do know that at twenty-four I don't feel like I am missing out on anything. Really. This is my life and the decisions I have made have brought me here, full speed. Pedal to the metal. I have lived quite fast and now that I have slowed down I feel very comfortable with who I am and where I'm going, pressing cruise control at 73 mph in my Green Grocery Goblin Momzmobile, no need for a map.

GGC

24 comments:

sarah | 5:26 PM

love it! love you! the new you!


... and is that beau obrien? love him too! hee hee

Kristen | 5:36 PM

First - let me say that I love station wagons as well - and I would rather be driving one right now.

But on to the matters of the heart - I really believe that there is something that happens at some point in a mother's life when she finally feels a marriage between her past self and new self. I'm not sure if I'm there yet - I still desire a little attention now and then (from people other than the huz and daughter) and I'm still not sure if I'm totally comfortable wearing the mom hat yet. BUT, it's starting to fit (or maybe I'm just finally starting to like how it looks...) and I appreciate your sharing. That's why I started blogging - to hear and share stories about the journey of motherhood.

Chag | 7:52 PM

The Passat wagon is my wife's dream car. She's still dreaming.

Great post. Nothing makes you realize you're not a "kid" anymore like having a kid.

Alisyn | 8:15 PM

My friends always give me shit about being younger than them. At 24, you must get that a lot, too, huh?

You are way ahead of the game, though, GGC, and not just because you feel the station wagon looooove. Props to you!

the weirdgirl | 11:03 PM

Like you I'm not interested in racing, but I love cars and I so want to pimp out mine! I'm driving an Audi A4 (turbo - love it!) and I just want to do some killer paint on it. I know that isn't very mom-ish. But my first car and love is my '66 bug - if you travel that classic car route it sticks for life.

It's cool that you are so comfortable with where you're at. I think I'm right there with Kristen. I love being a mom but I occasionally still feel the need to (obviously) retain my youth and, honey, I'm 34!

Jess Riley | 9:09 AM

Great post! I'm all "mommed out" and I don't even have kids...wow. Man, that's sad. :)

Bridgermama | 9:19 AM

Thanks for making me feel cool driving in my Passat wagon...I forgot what that felt like for awhile! I agree, you grow up when you become a mom but wouldn't change it for the world, and now you have this little person that thinks you're the bomb and probably will for about 13 years or so.

Kimmy | 9:33 AM

Great post! I'm with you all the way. I'm glad I had my party days when I was younger. I had my son (now 10) at 19. I was in college and with a guy that was only bringing me down.
Now I have a beautiful son that has changed my life, and I'm so thankful for 'im!
Always proud to drive a station wagon...within reason.

Happy Valentine's Day!

reluctant housewife | 11:18 AM

"Crazy multitasking biotch"

Love it! Love the post. Motherhood is what you make it. Thanks for reminding me.

erotic_cookie | 11:23 AM

Your aren't the only one that names their car. We have a '93 Ford Tempo called the Black Cupcake. It's falling apart but it can outrace most cars. Unless they are supped up, then we just suck fumes.

MIM | 12:04 PM

Girl, I drive that same wagon (color and all) AND I have very similar rectangle glasses. You'll see when we meet. Freak-y.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 4:56 PM

Thanks all. I think it's pretty cool that we all drive station wagons. A little weird that MIM and I have 179821 things in common, but fantastic.

I also think it's pretty cool that we are all grown-ups in training. I meant to mention in my post that my Wagon has training wheels. With 24'' chrome rims.

Nancy | 5:57 PM

I lurve my station wagon too. It's a saturn, so not as cool as yours, but it has BUTT WARMERS.

Found you through Motherhood Uncensored. Howdy!

Kristy | 7:20 PM

Driving a Volvo wagon these days. Thought is was cool for about two days until I saw the interior in bright daylight....Disgusting shit brown leather and it brings me down. I named her the "browneye". And not for my eye color......

The most important thing though is to drive the little men around in comfort and safety with a decent sound system to blast the Wiggles CD.

Mom101 | 7:23 PM

Aw, GGC, you're still cool, station wagon and all. You make me feel so old, and yet...so old.

Stefania Pomponi Butler aka CityMama | 7:59 PM

Laughing...I went through my cabrio phase, moved onto to a Beetle (which I loved!), and then, onto wagons...we chose a Matrix.

But have you seen my dream wagon? (Oh, I *will* have it.) The Mercedes R-Class? beautiful.

http://www.edmunds.com/new/2006/mercedesbenz/rclass/index.html?mktcat=makemodel-mercedesbenz&kw=mercedes+r+class&mktid=ga11328008

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 8:07 PM

Ooooh la la. Dig that. I have to say, my *dream* wagon is the Audi Allroad. Shit has hydrolics and everything. One day...

jess | 12:19 PM

cheers to that! i am 23 and a new mom(z), previously one who lived and partied hard. l. a. is a good place to do that.

no i am happy to have gotten it all out of my system and am just looking to be a good mom and an interesting person at the same time

Anonymous | 2:40 AM

hi GGC-girl !
my baby was born on the same day as your wonderful son ! lover your blog, great humor ! good writes !
http://mo-ma.blogspot.com

MIM | 7:49 PM

I's gots spinners on my trainees. Or is trannies?

Mama! Mama! (Mel) | 10:59 AM

Love Operation Ivy! Love the post. I'm a little older than you, but still a young mom. I totally relate.

KaritaG | 11:13 AM

I am reading through your old blogs and just NOW read this...I miss my Operation Ivy days too, and I don't even have a baby yet! Thanks for the memories.

amber | 9:26 PM

awww you made me miss my integra and the annoying boys that thought just because i had a loud exhaust meant i liked to race (i actually purchased the car like that...it became "me" but i wouldn't have opted to put it there myself).

sometimes i do yearn for my party days, but being a retired-raver with a "real" life is far more interested!

now, i'm pregnant with my first child, i drive a Rav4, i own a home...i'm responsible dammit. that doesn't mean i don't still like to drive fast with the bass (the sad sad base of stock speakers minds you) thumping and still remember how it felt to drop the car into a lower gear to blow someone away at the toll plaza :P

Mellisa | 9:26 PM

Like you I'm not interested in racing, but I love cars and I so want to pimp out mine! I'm driving an Audi A4 (turbo - love it!) and I just want to do some killer paint on it. I know that isn't very mom-ish. But my first car and love is my '66 bug - if you travel that classic car route it sticks for life.