Wilson Post Blogs
That new car smell
By Becky Andrews
It was a 1971 Ford Torino and it was mine! Who cares that it was 1992 and the new car smell disappeared around the time ‘lap only’ seat belts were replaced with those fancy shoulder belts or that the AM radio no longer worked or that every time I pressed the brake water would rush up to the pedals. It was my first car and it was new to me. The newness wore off the third time I had to take it in for repairs. Honestly, I got sick of the mechanics and their lingo.
‘She’s a classic!’
“You need to take care of her.”
I was barely old enough to vote but because she was only fed low grade gasoline and barely bathed, I was the neglectful mother of an inanimate object.
That new car smell applies to many things…jobs, homes, marriage, and yes, even those little bundles of joy who call us mommy.
That new job is perfect until you realize more money means more responsibility. That new home is perfect until that first major repair bill or you visit a friend’s house and realize you should have gone with a different floor plan. The honeymoon stage ends when your husband buys you a new vacuum for your first anniversary. Finally the new car smell of your little boy is nearly impossible to detect once they reach their teens who live in a messy room, have a smart mouth and would rather spend a week without Wi-Fi than give his mother a kiss before getting out of the car on morning drop off.
After 7 long years, more than 40 road trips, countless seasons of baseball, soccer, football, and basketball, at least 1,000 showings of Cars and Happy Feet (whoever decided to put televisions in a vehicle, I’m forever indebted to you), and ten sets of tires, the new car smell had long worn off and that meant it was time to finally retire our family car-my minivan. For me it was like giving away a very important piece of our family history. For my husband, a new car meant he would be getting respect on the roadways once again. He’s always been convinced that no one takes a man in a minivan seriously.
With a new(er) vehicle, it was my goal to keep it cleaner. At 13 and 9 years old, it shouldn’t be that hard for my boys to comply with our new rules. A few days after our purchase, it looked like my new rules were being followed. No longer would I feel embarrassed opening my car door where empty fast food containers, gum, overdue library books and loose change were peppered all over the floor. I patted myself on the back because finally they got it. About that time, my youngest shouted from the back,
“Can we get this car dirty yet? I’m hungry!”
I knew I was getting too cocky.