Monday, October 1, 2012

Leg Room

My first car was a 1978 Oldsmobile tank. Actually, a Cutlass maybe? My dad could tell you exactly what it was if you care enough to ask him. And it was light yellow. But it was 4-doors, so it had that going for it.

It was not love at first sight for me and the yellow submarine. But when my father informed me that it was "this car or nothing," I immediately sensed a warm and fuzzy feeling about that car. This thing was huge. And as my dad said, he wanted "lots of metal" around me.
I'm certain that had nothing to do with his lack of confidence in my driving ...I had learned everything I needed to know from the Tom Sneva School of Safe Driving. As any good parent would say,”It’s the OTHER drivers I’m worried about.”

This tank was also a gas guzzler. Averaged approximately 8 miles per gallon. Fortunately gas was only $.92 when I got my license. Yes, all you whippersnappers...go ahead and snicker. I'm old. And the economy is in the toilet as of late. I blame that more than the fact that it's been 22 years since the state of Indiana granted me my license.  Ok, on second thought, I’m old. I should not have done the math on that.
The other thing to mention about this car is that the front seat was a bench. Now for most people this would not be a problem. However, if you know me, you can probably assume what the problem with this was: the seat would only move forward so far. Even with the seat pushed up as far as it would budge, I had to lean forward to reach the petals well. Yes, ‘tis true – I am not the tallest woman God ever created.

The other issue with having the bench all the way forward was that my front seat passenger was all up in the dashboard. Anyone in the backseat, on the flipside, had a more than generous portion of leg room. So much so that multiple passengers would fight to NOT have to ride shotgun with me. The unlucky one of the bunch had to ride in the dash.   Even my winsome smile and charming personality couldn’t entice anyone up front. There were times (too numerous to mention) in which I looked like a chauffeur and everyone else rode in the back. Such nice friends I had.
In addition to the numerous discussions about the discomfort in the front seat, there were also multiple comments made (predominantly by my male friends) about the size of backseat; I will refrain from mentioning those here. We try to keep this blog classy.

So fast-forward to today. The PBA have their assigned seats in the car (which is no longer the yellow submarine, I am happy to report). It’s not at all that I care about which seat they select…it’s more about territory rights. For some reason, my 11yo likes to sit behind the passenger and the 9yo sits behind the driver. Who knows the rationale behind it and I, honestly, have never cared enough to inquire.
But today, the 9yo needed to charge his IPod so he asked if he they could switch seats, just for this evening, in order to reach the charger in the back. The 11yo agreed (and without argument, I must add...I was bracing for it and it did not come to pass. You know…the territory thing. “I don’t NEED the outlet but I don’t really want you to have access to it either.” I’m certain that your children never do such things, but take my word for it…it happens. Often.

So the 11yo was seated behind me as we’re driving to soccer practice. I have to be honest, it did throw me off a little bit to have him there. You know how it is…things are “normal”. Anyway, about 5 minutes into the drive he said, “Wow, your seat is really far up there. A lot further up than when you ride on that side.”
“Yes, I’m short. Did you just now notice?”

“No, I noticed before, but I didn’t realize how far up you had to sit so you could drive the car.”
Yes, he's lacking a filter. But now that he’s realized that there’s so much more leg room over there (and what with his legs quickly gaining on mine every day), I guarantee that he’ll be jockeying for that spot every time. I hope the 9yo is as gracious about giving it up.

Me with my yellow submarine...or as my dad said "Big Car, Big Hair"

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