It's official. The Crankies are now card-carrying liberal hippie tree-huggers. Jason drove home yesterday in a Prius.
You probably have a pre-conceived notion of the kind of people who drive Priuses. Go ahead. Think those things. There's a grain of truth behind stereotypes, or so I hear.
When Jason's Impala began to resemble a crumpled Dr. Pepper can more than it did a car after his second accident, we decided to take the insurance money and get an affordable, highly-fuel-efficient car. The problem is, those kinds of cars don't usually fit 6-foot-4-inch dudes very well. Jason's head touches the ceiling of my crossover and he hates to drive it; it's hard to find something outside of the good old American land barge that he fits well into.
But he fit comfortably into the Prius. Who woulda thunk it?
We all went for the test drive, but I've stayed out of the later parts of the buying process. When he pulled into the garage last night, and paused for a while before coming in, I knew he probably wanted me to run down and see the new car. But I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I've told him that for a while, anyway, I don't want to drive his car. It's not that I don't like it.
It's that I like it too much, and that makes me a traitor.
Dad worked for and retired from GM and was a proud member of the UAW. There were a lot of things, growing up, that I would have been terrified to tell my parents. That I had gotten knocked up. That I was in jail. That I was eloping and moving to Kenya. That I had decided to vote Republican in the next presidential election. But the following conversation scared me most of all, because it would have been the least likely to have been forgiven:
Mom, Dad, I...There's no easy way to say this, so I'm just gonna come out and say it. I...I've fallen in love with a Toyota and I signed the papers today. I drove it home, and it's going to be living here with me a really long time.
So now we have this Prius, and I'm worried that my dad is going to perhaps haunt it.
We broke it to my mom last weekend, gently.
"Mom, we decided to buy a Toyota. I know you still want us to buy GM cars, but we have good reasons for wanting this car, and we couldn't find a GM model that had all the things this car does for the price."
I kid you not, my mom actually put her head into her hands.
"Oh, Lord. You didn't."
I am such a disappointment to my mom. I was a valedictorian of my class, graduated from college with honors, have kept the same steady job for a decade, and given her a granddaughter that she adores. But I have gone against my raising by buying a foreign car.
She eventually got over it, and we might even be able to get her to ride in it someday.
But I am never, ever taking it to Dad's cemetery. I believe in vengeful spirits.