Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Blue Streak

Having my summer off and promising myself I would engage my creative self has led me to feel somewhat crazy at times.  I wake up with my head swirling wondering what I will write about today.  So many ideas are circling me at a fast pace and I cannot drink enough coffee to keep up with them in any reasonable way.   It is funny how one idea will come forward a little bit and get a little bolder in the details that appear to me and then it flits away without any further ideas being developed.  I chase it just far enough that I am exhausted before I realize it is gone for now and it is not coming back during this post.

So where shall I start today?  (Why is Julie Andrews in my head singing, "Let's start at the very beginning...)  I guess the only natural place to go next with the dad series is to the blue streak.  Ah, the blue streak.  I may have to tag all friends from high school on this post, because who did not love the blue streak!!!!  She was my car, people.  I turned 16 and that day went out and got my license and my mom let me take the blue streak to school.  So, if I remember correctly the blue streak was originally a car my brother bought.  Then he bought a different car and so my dad took over the payments on the blue streak and he gave it to me!!!  I bought the gas and insurance and he took care of the payments.  It was a solid deal.

So there I am sitting in chemistry class on my birthday and I turn and see my mom decorating blue streak.  By the way, the streaker was a blue station wagon. One of those K car types....maybe a dodge?  I don't know.  It didn't matter.  She was my freedom!!! She was my friends' freedom.  She was the blue streak.  I used to take rides just to take rides.  I only had to tell mom where I would be, but having the car meant I didn't need to borrow hers so I was GROWING UP!  Most importantly, Blue Streak got me to work and I loved my job as a take out girl at Espresso Restaurant. 

Then one day it happened.  Mom and I were sitting at home in the living room when the phone rang.  I can't remember the exact details but it was a hang up call and then another call with guy checking the number against his.  Not two seconds later there was a knock at the door.  I answered and the guy said,  "We are looking for Jennifer Lotane."  Of course, I admitted I was Jennifer Lotane and he said they were there to repossess my car and I needed to show them where the car was right then.  My mother, hearing what was happening, got up and gave the guy hell for speaking to a 16 year old girl.  He felt pretty bad but said that he had been told the car was in the possession of a 19 year old person. (We came to find out that dad had told them my sister had the car in Chicago.)

My sister was actually home working her summer job and did, in fact, have the car.  We were sharing it for the summer.  The repo guy followed us in his truck and when we got there I spent some time bawling my eyes out and cleaning the car out.  They loaded her on the tow truck and there she went.  Never to be seen again. 

Things worked out for us somehow on the car end.  Mom probably sacrificed her car for the summer so she always had to have a ride to and from work and eventually my best friend's dad gave me one of their older cars.  I am not sure how I rate so lucky all the time!!!!  But let me tell you what did not work out so well.  The hit our relationship took from this car repossession.  My mom called my dad fuming and he would not speak to her.  He would not speak to me.  For months we didn't speak and it was because he was too embarrassed to face up to what had happened.

If only he could have seen that had he been honest with me and said, he had to give the car back it would have been less traumatic.  Or he could have asked if I could make the payments.  Why didn't he ask that?  Instead, knowing they were after the car (and that means A LOT of payments missed my friends) he lied about where it was so they would have a longer search and I could have the car longer.  How friggin' embarrassing.  Then when he finally did talk to me it was a million promises about getting the car back or getting a different car.  That only made things worse. 

Blue Streak is mostly a good memory.  What I learned from the experience is that Integrity is everything to me.  I expect honesty from my friends and I expect that they know they will get honesty from me.  I work hard every day to make sure what comes out of my mouth, I would willingly sign my name to if it was brought forward in writing.  I often fail, but then I work on fixing it.  How come I feel like dad never worked on fixing it.  We all make mistakes.  Just once I wanted him to actively fix it, not by getting my car back, but by saying, "I was really wrong and I am sorry."

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