Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Car

When I was in high school, my parents bought me a car.  My mother had always complained that my brother's insurance didn't allow her to drive his car, so when she started talking about driving mine, I asked her if the insurance on it covered her.  After all, I was new to both driving and insurance.  I had no idea how this stuff worked, but I wanted to make sure I was doing everything right.  I guess my mother misunderstood my question because she promptly told my grandparents that her ungrateful daughter wouldn't let her drive the car SHE had bought for her.  Every time she met someone new (I know this must be hyperbole, but it certainly seemed like every time -- it certainly wasn't confined to relevant situations), she told them about how I wouldn't allow her to drive my car.  A car SHE had paid for!  A teenager didn't trust HER with a car! 

I should mention here that my mother did have a history of what might be called reckless driving and was close to losing her license on account of how many speeding tickets she had and how many accidents she had caused.  So she was more than a little defensive when she thought I fancied myself a superior driver.  The frustrating part for me was that, on the occasions when I tried to explain to her audience what I had been referring to about the insurance coverage, she just talked over me. 

For the next few years, every time we got together with my grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins for holidays, she would pull this story out of her repertoire and tell it again.  Her indignation at not being trusted with my car got her worked up every time. 

I finally stopped hearing her complaint at not being trusted with my car when she drove it while on Ambien, fell asleep at the wheel, and rolled the car into a shallow ravine of some sort, totaling it.  (P.S. She called me afterward and told me I was responsible for paying several thousand dollars to have the car fixed because it was "my car."  I ignored most of the things wrong with that claim and instead reminded her how she hadn't wanted my name on the title and so it was not legally mine at all.)

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