I grew up in a large city. Not as huge as Cleveland but still sizable enough to take at least 3 hours to walk across from east to west. Often I would take the public bus if I was feeling lazy that day or had an extra $1.25 in my purse.
I had been out of high school over a year, working at a nursery school (making $6.00 an hour back in ’93 was pretty sweet) and saving up to buy myself a car.
I was on the bus coming home one afternoon after hanging out with a friend in downtown Lakewood, staring out the window waiting for my stop. Even then I would have to walk a whole block just to get to my house.
Passing a car dealership, I swore that I saw my mother talking to a man. Next to them was a 1987 Dodge Omni. It was a light-blue 4-door with a hatchback. If it had been sunny that day instead of overcast I’m sure that it would have sparkled like unicorn turds.
It was beautiful.
I quickly pulled the string on the bus to notify the driver that I wanted off at the next stop. I walked to the front of the bus, heart racing and my adrenaline pumping.
Could it be true? Was my mom really getting me a car??
I hopped off of the bus and ran as fast as my legs could take me. (I was 19 and this was still possible.)
One block, two blocks…and finally block number three and there I saw her, it was my mother after all! I hadn’t been hallucinating.
I hadn’t been dreaming.
I ran up to them, panting a little bit.
“Oh,” my mom said shocked to see me, “I was going to surprise you!”
The dealership guy smiled at me brightly with bright white chicklets.
“What do you think young lady?” he asked me, gesturing to the freshly washed Omni.
“I love it!!” I exclaimed. I pictured myself driving my friends around, going to the mall and to the park to wax it until it gleamed.
“The payments are $80 dollars a month and I’ll take care of the insurance,” my mom said.
“Cool! Thanks, mom! Holy shit!” (I am embellishing here for I cannot remember exactly what I said.)
“How did you know that I was here?”
“Oh, I saw you as I was driving by on the bus!”
We all had a good laugh and then it was time to drive my new car home.
That was one of my best memories from that time period in my life. I loved that little car. It was my baby. I taught my brother how to drive in it. He nicknamed it The Blueberry.
I think it’s really neat to have driven by at that exact moment to see my mom finalizing the deal. What were the odds?
I should have played the lottery that day.
I dated an older man a few months after I left my ex. I was 28 and he was 42. There was a bit of a generation gap but it didn’t seem to be a big deal to either one of us. I remember being fascinated by his stories of going to Studio 54 where he claimed to have seen Micheal Jackson.
I was just a wee tot when he was out partying with famous people. While I was watching Sesame Street and chilling with Grover, he was probably snorting lines of coke with the aforementioned celebrity.
I thought that he was so classy, always wearing dress pants and a crisp white shirt, sometimes even a tie. I was always in my preferred style of dress at the time, jeans and a T-shirt.
He was a businessman. I worked in the kitchen at a nursing home. He had money and a nice car. I did not. I peppered my sentences with cuss words and he would laugh at how adorable I was.
We were an odd pair. I have no idea what he saw in me.
He wanted to meet my mom within two weeks of dating. He bought my daughter toys and took us out to nice restaurants. He even spent the night once, sleeping on the living room floor with me. My first post-ex apartment was a one bedroom. I made sure that my daughter had the room to herself instead of sticking her on the couch that night.
He started talking about having us move in with him. My daughter would have her own room. I didn’t take it too seriously but I’ll admit that it did sound wonderful. My mom was skeptical of him when I told her and warned me to not fall for his act.
Things were lovely for about a month until he started trying to get down my knickers.
I told him quite firmly that I was not ready for that. He seemed angry at first but quickly smiled and told me that it was no big deal. He would wait until I was comfortable.
Then one day out of the blue he told me that he loved me while we were chatting online because he was on a business trip.
No way, I typed back. We haven’t even known each other for two months yet. He swore that it was true but I wasn’t buying it.
I ended up hurting his feelings with my supposed rejection of his feelings. He sent me an email the next morning canceling our breakfast plans. He said that seeing me again would be too difficult after I snubbed him so coldly.
Thinking back on it now, I think that he was only trying the “I love you” as a last ditch effort to get me to do the horizontal mambo with him.
Or perhaps he was being sincere? I will never know the truth.