When I turned 16 my parents surprised me with my very first car, a red 1994 manual transmission Chevy S10 pickup truck. I drove my 5 speed until it finally bit the dust my junior year of college. In a panic, I called my parents to give them the news that I was in desperate need of a new vehicle. My parents told me not to worry and that they would start the search (based off of the criteria I gave them) for my new car. The following weekend I made the most exciting trip home ever. I absolutely could not wait to see what my parents were going to have waiting for me. I dreamed of driving back to Gainesville in my new Acura, Accord or Camry. After all, that was what I was going get according to my “criteria,” right..?
As my bestie and I pulled into my driveway, I became even more excited because I realized my grandparents had come into town, and they too had purchased a new car! We raced inside, hugged my parents and asked how soon we could go pick up my new car. My dad smiled and said, “How did you miss it? Your new car is sitting in the driveway!” Now, my dad is never serious, ever, so I immediately knew he was joking. However, over the next few minutes I quickly realized my grandparents were in fact not visiting, and the 2001 Buick Regal sitting in the driveway was indeed mine.
My parents hated me and my life was ruined, or so I thought. How was I going to park my sparkly blue, turbo charged Buick in front of the Kappa Delta house, next to all of my sorority sisters’ brand new BMWs?
Like a huge jerk, I cried, screamed and refused to take the car. Making matters worse, my dad had been working full time out of town and had made a special trip home just to car shop for me — his ungrateful 21 year old daughter. When they couldn’t find anything safe enough in my (very modest) price range, they opted to take my neighbor up on his offer to give us his mom’s Buick Regal with 16K miles. They then advised me to take the car to Gainesville and trade it in for something I wanted.
I cried all the way back to school – in my Buick Regal.
Out of pure laziness I kept the Buick for 3 years, hiding it in the back of parking lots and never offering to drive anyone anywhere. Finally, in 2010 I said goodbye forever to the Buick. And you know what? I ended up being pretty darn grateful (& humble) from the experience.
A few days ago, I got the Buick back. Yep, we traded in Matt’s Pathfinder for a new Buick Regal. Sigh. After test driving half a dozen cars and walking away from the Acura dealership, we ended up at the GMC dealership with a new Regal. I still cannot believe we are now officially “Buick people,” along with Peyton Manning and Shaquille O’Neal.
Quite an impressive upgrade from my 2001 Regal, don’t ya think?
Edited: Matt lasted about 6 months in the Buick before realizing he was actually more of a truck person.