Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Women who Love Men Who Love Cars

So, I got a new car.

My trainer asked me what was new and so I told her.

"I got a new car," I said.

"Really? When?" she asked.

"A few days ago," I answered.

"Why didn't you tell me?" she asked, excitedly.

Here's the thing. I really don't care at all about cars. The first car I ever bought was from a colleague of mine, back when I was working as a producer for Pamela Wallin. She sold it to me for $500. It was like 3000 years old.

At that time, I was living with a guy - who I had to lead my grandparents to believe was a gay man, but that's another story. I didn't think they were ready to hear that their only granddaughter was living with a man - and he chipped in $250 for it and I chipped in the other half.

The car, ironically, died the day we broke up. I swear to god.

Anyway, the car was a piece of shit. My colleague who sold it to me had had a german sheppard dog for years, who always went with her wherever she went, and there was no air conditioning in the car and everytime you turned on the fan, clumps of dog hair would blow in your face and up my nose.

But the point was, it got me from A to B, even if I came out of the car on hot summer days looking like I had just taken a three hour hot bikram yoga class and smelled like a dog.

I do have certain opinions about cars. For example, I don't think I have ever seen a person who drives a Ferrari that I actually would like. I'm sorry to offend anyone out there who is a Ferrari driver, but, and I hate to make sweeping generalizations, but every time I see a Ferrari whip past me, I can't help but think, "God, what an asshole!"

Anyway, my trainer asked me what kind of car I got. So, like a trained dog who plays dead when their owner says "Play dead," I repeated the type of car I now drive, thanks to the fiance who had to remind me what kind of car it is about hundred and twelve times. He picked the car.

I kind of wanted a Prius (Is that how you spell them?) because I do care about the environment, and Brad Pitt drives one, which, I know, isn't the greatest reason to buy a car.

But in a city like Calgary, where everyone eats, drinks, lives and breathes, gas and oil, it was hard to convince the fiance to get a Prius, let alone test drive one.

Plus, the government workers in Calgary drive Prius' and that kind of made me not want to drive one.

The fiance loves my new car. He's the kind of guy who lives, eats, breaths cars. He can talk about cars with his friends for friggen hours. It takes him months and months and months to decide what kind of car he wants, only to change his mind, and then we have to go through months and months and months of more discussions about cars.

It's really hard to live with a man who is obsessed with cars. I know he listens to me moan about, let's say the pimple on my chin, for hours, so I guess the least I can do is listen to him talk about cars endlessly. But the thing is, because I don't care about cars, my opinion about cars doesn't have any impact at all in his decision about what car he wants next. He pretends it does, but it really doesn't.

I think cars are status symbols for many people. For me, not so much. I really do not care at all about cars. I'm not even a good driver. I am, however, very good at getting parking tickets, which is at least sort of about cars.

What is the one thing about your partner that he (or she) is obsessed with that you aren't?

Anyway, I told my trainer that there were a couple cool things about this car (See? I already forget what kind of car it is - I do know there is a xi or a si in the name of it. I think...)

First off, as the car dealer man explained to me, I can put my can of diet coke in the cup container and there's a little air conditioner thing, that keeps my can of diet coke cold. It's completey ridiculous. But so ridiculous, I kind of like knowing I have the option of having a cold can of pop in my car, if I want.

Second, there's this button I can push when it rains and the car somehow knows how hard it is raining and the windshield wipers will move accordingly to the amount of rain.

Third, there is a fin at the top of the car (Is that called a spoiler?) which makes me feel kind of cool.

Fourth (am I allowed a fourth?) it is really friggen fast. I swear to god, I can now get home from my office in six minutes.

Fifth (if I'm allowed a fourth, surely I'm allowed a fifth) it talks to me. My car talks to me. I had to take the Dictator to a party yesterday that was very far from my house. All I had to do is plug in the address and as I was driving, Car Voice Lady would say, "In 500 meters turn right. In 300 meters, turn left."

This is the most useful feature as it will save me from calling the fiance or my friends in Calgary screaming, "I'm somewhere and there's a Seven Eleven on my right and a Macdonald's on my left and how the FUCK do I get home from here!!!!" which happens at least once a week, when I'm in Calgary.

Plus, I loved how the Dictator would ask me, "Why is that woman talking? She said make a left mommy! Make a left!"

And, hey, there are no clumps of dog hair flying in my face. And it gets me from A to B. So I guess I like my new car.

Any bets on how long before I get my first ticket?


Blogger Sandra said...

I could have totally written this post (only my car doesn't talk to me but it does beep when I back up to close to something and that rocks). My man is a total car guy and I couldn't care less. Cars do not impress me in the least.

Haven't been by in a while ... congrats on the book launch .. I hear it's excellent. Looking forward to reading it!

5:10 PM

Blogger petite gourmand said...

what is it about guys and cars?

though I have to admit, it is nice to have a sweet ride.

6:21 PM

Blogger carley said...

I'm am completely jealous that you have a GPS in your new car! I wanted one in our SUV but the husband said no. He'd much rather I call him and say "There's a 7/11 on my left and elementary school on the right and I think I'm in the north part of Calgary." I'm horrible with directions and am constantly getting lost.

I use to follow city buses around bc I thought all city buses went to the ctrain station and from there I could get home.

Enjoy that new car smell. :0)

8:25 PM

Blogger Laural said...

I used to work with someone who drove a car with that directions voice thing. So, this is really fun - you need to program where you are going and then pay no attention to what the voice says. It's pretty funny to hear your car get pissed off at you. Try it!

5:53 AM

Blogger The Unrepentant Gallivanter said...

A new car! I'm jealous. I can't get a new car til we come home. You don't want one here anyway, it would just get ruined. So, I'm kind of driving around in the Euro version of your first car - only sans dog hair!

6:03 AM

Anonymous ali said...

oooh...i'm loving all the extras they have on cars these days. drink cooler? awe.some.

did you see that car on Oprah that parallel parks itself? i totally NEED that. you just sit there and it does all the work for you.

6:19 AM

Blogger Trish said...

When I was choosing a new car for the move to Calgary (and, like the Fiance, I'm the "car" one in the family), my husband actually asked me, "Does it come in a V8?" Working in oil, he wants it to consume more. Craziness.

8:44 AM

Blogger Moi said...

A long time reader, first time commenter :) Rebecca, I just had to say that today I got Wiped!. I'm so excited. I loved Knocked Up so much. I am your biggest fan!!!

On the top of cars, I don't care about cars at all, but my husband's like any typical guy, loves cars and knows everything about them.

10:01 AM

Blogger Multi-tasking Mommy said...

Your opinion (or lack of) on cars is the same as mine with cell phones (HUGE difference, I am aware). My hubby doesn't get why I don't get excited when we get new phones. My comment to him is if it lets me call people and I can hear them, they can hear me, could care less what it looks like or what it does.

10:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am just learning to drive at almost 25- I'm going to spend 2 fun weekends learning to drive with kids!

1:29 PM

Blogger Work-At-Home-Mommy-Venture said...

Well... I am 36 and I only got my drivers license last year because I had a baby... so you are well ahead of me. Being a city girl in Toronto, I never needed a car. But now I'm driving my daughter to dance lessons, swimming... I swear I'll never get a mini-van! But then again, I swore I'd never live north of Bloor St and I do... so who knows.

5:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this post! Enjoy the new wheels...and I am assuming the heated seats for cooler weather (if ever I can afford it, I want a car with heated seats!).

6:36 AM

Blogger Joanne said...

I was in Calgary 2 weeks ago visiting my family and friends. My parents graciously lent me their car w/ GPS. It really works IF you listen to the GPS lady. I don't know how many times she told me to "please take your first legal u-turn". I had my little dictactor (3 mos.) with me and he was annoyed with the crazy traffic in Calgary and I don't blame him!

9:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


2:28 PM


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