I found myself acting like the most stereotypical teenager in a Beach Boys song last week, begging my dad for his car keys with big sad puppydog-eyes and angelically promising to drive very, very carefully. And Iâ€™m almost 30 years old.
In all fairness, though, my dadâ€™s new car is totally worth every bit of begging I did.
Itâ€™s a 2008 Mustang convertible, painted a glorious sparkly deep red color, with a top that goes down and a stereo volume knob that goes up.
And my dad let me drive it.
Driving a Mustang convertible is like being a rock star, without the annoying paparazzi and drug addictions. On the way to the YMCA, a small boy Iâ€™d never seen before called out â€œNice car!â€ and I waved and yelled â€œThanks!â€
Three people turned positively green with envy and asked me if Iâ€™d gotten a new car. I told them the car was my dadâ€™s mid-life cri-sis car, even though heâ€™s actually been talking about buying a Mustang convertible since he was a teenager, which was definitely not the middle of his life.
For some reason, at this point in all three conversations, the other person said, incredulously, â€œAnd he let you drive it?â€
Yes, he did.
And yes, I did drive that Mustang, cranking the top down and the music up at every possible opportunity for a week. I played the Beach Boys and the Beatles, the Travelling Wilburys and the Go-Gos and generally pretended to be one of those cool people who drive cars like that.
I tended to arrive at my destination with a big stupid grin and my hair standing straight up, Einstein-style, but the car was so darn fun to drive that I didnâ€™t care.
In fact, I had fun, fun, fun, â€˜til my daddy took the Mustang away.