I am not sure how most kids get their first cars but I knew that I was getting a Mustang convertible as early 2 years before my 16th birthday so we never had a car discussion. My dad had a friend, Valerie, that had a 1984 red mustang convertible with a white top. She had told my dad once (several years before my 16th birthday) that her plan was to keep the car 10 years (1994 when I turned 16). It was like a sign to the Hippy. He told Valerie that day that he would buy the car for me and he did. He brought home my car two weeks before my 16th birthday! The Hippy and my Uncle Glen spent an entire Saturday washing and waxing the car (and fixing various little items as it was 10 years old). I tried to watch them but it made me so tired I went and took a nap (I was still depressed from my friend dying the week before and didn’t have much interest in anything). I wish I had a picture of this car. It was so cute. My school colors were red and white and my mustang was red with a white top. The Hippy washed my car every single day when he got home from work! It’s fair to say he loved this car too! April 8, 1994 I turned 16 and the Hippy took me to get my drivers license after school! The Hippy is HUGE on birthdays. In fact he would celebrate my birthday for 2 weeks (the week preceding my birthday was the last of’…you know the last Monday I was x and the week following my birthday was the first Monday I was x etc). He always wanted me to skip school on my birthday but I never did. Like I said I went to school because I wanted to but I never had to go. Note: as an adult I have taken off work every single birthday that I can (which is most of them). On my 16th birthday the Hippy decided to renew his license with me as his birthday is May 1 and his was expiring then. This decision while very cool at the time was probably a HUGE mistake for him. In August of 1994 I sadly get into an accident that totals the Mustang. The next week, as the Hippy is going to look at a new car for me, he gets into an accident and totals his truck! (Note that at this point in 1994 the Hippy is only home every 6 weeks for about 2 weeks as he has already moved to Jamaica). In November, that same year, I got a ticket for speeding near my school (not in a school zone). I am terrified to tell the Hippy and Step-Monster! My dad was always strict about my whereabouts and this only increased when I received my license. I had a perimeter I was supposed to adhere to as well as the rule of not driving with the top down, in the Mustang, after dark and I had a car curfew. I could stay out later but I couldn’t be driving! My step-dad’s brother was an officer assigned to the area around my school and the Hippy even had him watching for me (he pulled me over a few times as well). The day I received a ticket I was REALLY hoping it was my Uncle Jared but it wasn’t. I was freaking out and rehearsed with my friend all the way home. I have always believed that honesty is the best policy so even though I hate the step-monster I immediately told her about my ticket. She grounded me on the spot! Not long after telling the step-monster I see the Hippy pull into the driveway. I run out the door and I am standing next to his car by the time he parks it. He knows something is up but he waits for me to speak. The second he opens the door I tell him that I received a speeding ticket after school. He doesn’t say anything but hands me a green piece of folded up paper. I had no idea why he was handing me a piece of folded up paper when I just told him this HUGE violation of our driving agreement! I must have asked him why because the only thing he says is “open it”. I do and I start to read that the Hippy got a speeding ticket the SAME DAY! See my ticket was blue and I had no idea they come in different colors! The Hippy gets out of his car and hugs me while he laughs that we have been struck by the DMV curse again! We walk into the house together and at the sight of us laughing and hugging the step-monster loses her mind! She is screaming. She is throwing things. She is having a full on temper tantrum. The Hippy tells her to settle down and says they need to talk (he received his ticket early that day and even though he spoke to her several times he to was too scared to tell her!)! I am sent to my room but as loudly as she was yelling there really was no point. While all this yelling is going on my best friend arrives with Casa Ole take-out to cheer me up. The Hippy has always had a soft spot for her and never cared if she came over (plus I only lived at home on the 2 week stretches he was home and when he was in Jamaica I stayed at her house anyways). Tara tells me that the only part she heard (of their discussion) was the Hippy constantly saying that he couldn’t punish me when he did the exact same thing (he is very big on fairness). Well they finally agree on a suitable punishment and call us into the living room (ok they called me but no one was surprised when Tara went too). The Hippy does all the talking and is very careful with his words (or at least I interrupted it that way but like I have said the Hippy and I are in total synch). The Hippy begins with his punishment which was that he would have to pay for my ticket and any fees to take defensive driving (ok this is dumb as he wouldn’t allow me to work during the school year so of course he is paying)! He then states my punishment but what he says is “Heather your punishment is you cannot drive your car for two weeks”. It takes me less than a second to see through that (remember the Hippy lives by the mantra that rules are made to be broken). My keys are on the table where I was told to leave them when I confessed to my ticket. I reach over and take my keys and hand them to Tara. Tara reaches into her pocket and hands me her keys! Problem solved. Heather would not be driving the Blazer for two weeks…he never said that Tara couldn’t and besides he would be gone in a week anyways but we still knew we had to deal with the step-monster so I held my breath! The Hippy sees this and lets out the loudest laugh! He claps his hands and declares “problem solved”. I am surprised the step-monster didn’t have a coronary at that exact moment! Two weeks later I was driving my Blazer and Tara had her car back and all was right in the world of Heather again! I bet the step-monster is still pissed about this!