When I turned 18 I told my parents that I wanted to get my driving license and my own car. I was a good daughter and expected they would say ‘Yes’ on the spot and pay for everything. But mom and dad were not too keen on a system of privileges for their children. Quite the contrary. I was born into an average suburban family that worked hard and saved money to invest only in basic needs: food, water, clothing, shelter, sanitation, education, and healthcare. They never spent a penny to indulge my every whim. So if my brothers or me ever wanted something, we had to earn it. Therefore, I had to start working immediately. So happy birthday to me, right?
During six months I cleaned the windows of the house on Saturdays and washed my dad’s car on Sundays. Some weekends I babysat and helped my neighbors’ kids do their homework. My brothers took turns driving me to college or letting me drive to practice. When I saved enough money, I went to driving school and passed my driving test with flying colors.
My first car was a green Fiat Cinquecento. It had been my uncle’s, then my aunt’s car. I got it…when it was valued around 500 € (=415 STG=680USD). My parents covered the car cost and insurance. I paid for gas.
Safety, reliability, performance, spaciousness, versatility or fuel efficiency were irrelevant. My new car was a 4-speed manual with bald tyres and had missed the back bumper. But I just cared about the cup holders and easy-to-empty ashtrays. Appearance.
– Have you seen how nicely the doors open and close, dad? Not a squeak to be heard!
It was a “great learning experience” for a college kid like me.
One of the biggest moments in anyone’s life is their very first car. No feeling is better than knowing it’s all yours, especially if you bought it all on your own without any help from mom and dad. I loved that unbelievable feeling of independence that car gave me. I could go anywhere I wanted whenever I wanted.
Sadly, six months later my lovely Fiat Cinquecento and I smashed into a tree trunk.
So darlings, tell me: Do you remember your first car? Do you keep a good memory of it? What happened there? A first kiss? Anyone?