And This is Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 17-Year Old a Brand New Car

When our boys got close to driver’s permit age, I told Kevin, “I’d like to buy them a nice, slightly-banged up car to drive.”

The reason I wanted to do this was so that they wouldn’t learn how to drive in my car. I like my car. I like that my car has very little dings in it. And I knew, if they learned to drive in my car, I’d be a nervous wreck and would likely make them nervous while learning thereby increasing the odds they would hit something … or someone.

So. We shopped around and bought two used cars for them. (Actually, the cars are ours – they’re allowed to drive them and if/when they get jobs, they can either buy the cars from us, or buy their own cars).

Dude drives a ’99 Chevy Cavalier and Jazz drives an ’04 Mazda Protege. They’re decent cars and they both look pretty good (though they’re parked outside and are starting to fade – boo).

The boys share a driveway we built at the back of our yard. Kevin was out mowing one day and I was getting ready to leave for … some reason, I forget, and Kevin calls me over.

“Hey Karen, come look at this.”

He was standing by Jazz’s car and my stomach dropped. I had a feeling what was coming.

“Notice anything different?” He nodded toward the back panel of Jazz’s car.

I saw it immediately.

“Wow. That’s quite a scrape.”

Jazz obviously hit something and the scrape stretched from the back door to the trunk.

“What do you think he hit?”

Kevin looked over at Dude’s car, which was parked next to Jazz’s and nodded again.

“I think I know,” he replied.

Though the damage wasn’t as bad on Dude’s car, it was there.

Now the question was, who hit whom?

I was strangely calm. A few year ago, I would have gone ballistic but I seem to be mellowing in my old age and besides, what good would it do to be upset at this point? What was done was done.

And this was PRECISELY why we bought slightly-banged up cars.

We questioned Jazz later that night.

“You’re not in trouble,” Kevin began, “but how did you get that scrape on your car?”

Jazz said he was coming home from a football game (he doesn’t play football – my boys hate sports – he was playing in the band) and he misjudged the distance. (They both back into the driveway, I don’t know why, really, other than the fact that it’s easier to pull out into the street as opposed to backing out into the street)

Plus. It was dark. Because it was at night. In case you were nodding off and missed that part.

“Did you hear that sickening scraping sound when it happened?” I asked. I hate that sound. It ranks right up there with fingernails down a chalkboard for me.

He cringed. “Yeah. And I sort of freaked out.”

“Why didn’t you tell us?” Kevin asked.

He shrugged. “I figured, why? We couldn’t do anything about it at this point.”

A chip off the ole block, don’t ya think?

Thank goodness for used cars.

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