Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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My parents have had a beautiful red 1991 firebird since it was brand new. They have always kept it stored for the winters to keep it from rusting and not only that, it doesn't drive well through snow and on the ice. Ever since I was around the age of 14, I begged my dad to let me have it when I get my driver's license. He was pretty much "Ok" about the idea but my mom was like "No way! That's my car!" I knew with my dad, I would definitely get my way, only because I have always been daddy's girl.

Of course, the day I get my license the car was mine. I drove it to school the next day and parked away from all the other vehicles so no one would crash into it. Everywhere I drove it I got compliments on it and people would be asking me so many questions about it.

The car was my baby. I took it to the car wash at least once or even sometimes twice a week to keep it clean and vacuum it out. My friend Melissa even named it "Rocko." I don't really know why but I thought it was cool.

About a month later I was being challenged into a race with a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am. I accepted only for the fact that I'd rather be called a "loser" than a "chicken." After school around 4pm I brought my friend Melissa with me, we were both really scared. The race began on Hwy E around 4:30pm, we almost crashed into a jeep head on going around a corner on his side trying to pass the guy I was racing. I quickly stomped heavily on my breaks and swerved back to my own side in front of my opponent. The race came close and the guy claimed that he won but I honestly think we did. It doesn't matter to me anymore anyhow, I'm just glad Melissa and I weren't hurt.

Sometime around July I got picked up for a speeding ticket. I was driving 72 mph in a 55 zone on hwy 10. The ticket cost me $150.50 and also an additional 6 months of probation to my license. I was so sure that I wasn't going to tell my parents about the speeding deal but my best friend Beth convinced me that I would feel so much better if I did, and wouldn't have to worry about my parents not trusting me do the right thing. So about a week later I told them. They were steamed, but they knew that I have been depressed and knew that I learned my lesson, so they told me not to worry about it. My punishment was to start paying my insurance. I thought that fair. No guiltiness, no secret, and how bad would it be to pay for car insurance? All my money that I earned working at Culver's went to insurance, gas money, and my phone bill.

Only 5 months of driving the firebird it started having problems. Every time I would slow down or get to a stop the car would quit running, and the "service engine soon" would light up. I was so disgusted, I didn't want to have to drive my dad's ugly little 1988 Honda. The Firebird not only needed to be fixed but it needed all new tires as well. My dad explained to me that I'm not making enough money to pay for all of the repairs and I agreed to the fact that I am only making $150 dollars every 2 weeks. He told me that if I gave him the firebird back that he would buy me a newer car that I wouldn't have to worry about for a while. I was upset. I didn't want to give up Rocko, it was the most beautiful car around. Then I realized that if I didn't take this offer I would be stuck riding the bus and not being able to go anywhere for a while until I saved enough money to bring Rocko back to life. The next day my dad and I went car shopping. Our first stop was Airport Auto, where my dad bought his red Honda that he has had for almost 2 years and had no problems with it. I spotted a very pretty blue 1995 Grand Am with tinted windows. I told my dad that that's the one I wanted, so that's exactly what came home with us.

Right now the firebird is sitting in our garage for the winter waiting to be fixed and need new tires. My dad just waxed Rocko about 2 weeks ago and it looks more beautiful than ever.