I attended a banquet last evening where the featured musicians played songs from the 60s and 70s…the Beatles, the Bee Gees, Neil Diamond, and so forth. Listening to the same Beatles songs that were first heard on the Ed Sullivan Show years ago, I became nostalgic for my childhood. I led an unusual childhood with parents who were the opposite of materialistic…they rarely spent money on “things”. Being a teenager those days was much easier than being a teenager in “modern” times. Teenagers now have so many choices of types of jeans, sneakers, perfume and so forth. We did not have as many choices when I was younger, and, if we did, my parents would have still bought the no name brand sneakers and jeans at K-Mart. And who needed to smell good anyway?
For Christmas that year my dad gave me his old record player and a record to play on it. The record was of the fake famous band the Bugs…dressed and hairstyled after the Beatles. They played the same songs as the Beatles, albeit a little off key. To my parents, it was the same. To me it was not. Having been raised not to care about “things”, it surprised me how let down I felt when I received this record. I know it was selfish of me when we had so many other things to spend money on, but I was disappointed by the fact that I did not get a real Beatles record.
Although I have lived my life also not dependent on “things”, I still remember with more than a little resentment that day 40 years go. Sneakers were just sneakers. Jeans were just jeans. But the Bugs were NOT the Beatles!
To read more about my unusual childhood, please check out my book The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Remaining Sane, which was reviewed by Readers Digest at http://www.rd.com/recommends/what-to-read-after-a-hurricane/
When Angel recently graduated from high school, (Thank GOD for that huge accomplishment,) I lent him my mini-van for a car. When Dinora graduated from high school, we paid 1/2 the price of a car for her so she could use it to go to work and college. By the time we got to our 4th high school graduate, lending him my car was the best I could do! He has been thrilled with the mini-van, unfazed by the stares from classmates. He can drive and he has a car and that is all that matters!
Fortunately for me, who gave up my mini-van, I was able to obtain a huge 12 passenger wheelchair life van for free. (long story.) It is so tall that I need a step stool to climb up into it. And I am not very ladylike in doing so! But once I get in and start driving, it seems like a regular car to me, as long as I just look forward. I also just drive it forward, of course, because backing up this monstrosity of a van is a little beyond my capabilities.
This van is a 2002. Huge. Older model with some mechanical difficulties. Last week, it would not start. It appeared that all of the oil had drained out of the engine. I couldn’t budge it. A frequent user of AAA, I called for a tow to our family mechanic. I told them my van needed a tow. They asked me what kind of van. “White”, I answered. “Dodge”. They asked me what model Dodge, and I told them a van. (How was I to know that there are many styles of vans? I’m just a little old mother…) “1500?” they asked. “Sure!” I answered. I waited the requisite half hour, and along came a cute little tow truck with a lovely driver. He took one look at the van, which towered over his tow truck, and started to laugh. “They didn’t tell me it was a 3500 model” he said. I took the blame for that, pleading ignorance about vans. He did not look too hopeful that his little tow truck would be able to tow it, but because he did not want me to have to wait any longer, he offered to try. He was very nice. He backed up the tow truck and hooked up the van. As he started to try to lift it, the van did not budge! Instead, the tow truck moved, and the front of the truck was soon lifted high in the air! It was hilarious! As the driver slowly lowered his truck, he apologized that he “did not think” he would be able to tow it. And we both burst into laughter.
I had to wait several more hours for a flatbed tow truck to come to bring the van to the mechanics. I didn’t mind the wait. I giggled the whole time!