Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Always too soon.

Teh Kaar is a 97 Honda Civic.  It has more sea time than I do.  Its been across the US, up and down the East Coast, to GTMO, and now to Bahrain, and I have plans on it seeing the US again.  Teh Kaar has over 235,000 miles on it.  It gotten a few facelifts, to include major revampage in GTMO because a TCN sideswipped me, not a fun day week month 3 months, and after it was fixed someone keyed the new side of the car (thank you, asshole).  Its been rattling a lot more than it used to, and loud cars are acceptable here in Bahrain, so it kinda works itself out.  I'm sure that some people think I made it sound that way, but that isn't the case.  It rumbles like that cause its old and its way of protesting any motion at all.

The Ghetto Machine
(Teh Sister photo)
Teh Kaar was a pre-graduation present that I receieved in April 2002.  Prior to that, I had driven both Teh Mom and Teh Dad's Toyota Camrys (they had different year models, but inside they were the same, how convenient).  Then I drove "the Ghetto Mobile", which was Teh Mom's 1990 Ford F150.  It was a stick shift, and I, being vertically challenged, was challenged to supposed to drive it.  I was NOT pleased.  I struggled with the clutch, since I could barely reach the peddles with the seat all the way up.  This truck was UGE.  Then sympathy was had on me, via Teh Granny, and we set out for a Honda Civic, 4 doors, something with yellow signal lights that weren't the same light system as the brake lights (something that just pisses me off).

Teh Kaar in Raleigh
(with matching visors).
Teh Kaar is affectionately referred to by Teh Dad as the Sliver (yes this had to be brought to his attention) Silver Streak.  I liked to speed around town before I left Podunk, NC..  Hell, I still like to speed around town.  Teh Dad has done plenty of oil changes and tire changes and general maintenance to Teh Kaar.  Always with good intentions, he noticed that my visors had holes in the cloth (the car was used when it was purchased).  This was slightly annoying to me, since the foamy stuff was drying out (as the car aged), and sometimes if the windows were down, the foam stuff would blow in my eyes (never good while driving).  We discussed options for this problem for several years.  I could just have a fun creative project and cover them with tacky random cloth.  I bought the cloth with good intentions, but then the issue of covering the mirrors put a halt on my project.  Eventually, I just threw the $1 cloth away, as it was ridiculously tacky, and my project wasn't going to happen, and I would just live with the holes.

Teh Dad then vowed to go junk yard shopping.  Splendid.  (that is sarcasm font).  This shopping took place over the course of several years, it had started while I was in high school and went through almost all of my college education.  Honda Civics run forever and there about 20 million different versions of a Honda Civic (no jk), so it was, apparently, a very complex ordeal to find visors for my car.  He often asked me what year my car was and what color the interior was, to which I would always reply, 97, 1 year newer than your Camry, and grey, just like the Camry.  He asked me this so often that I just emailed it to him, which didn't stop the question being repeated.

I came home one weekend from Raleigh, and I needed an oil change, so I asked Teh Dad to do it, no biggie.  I was out with then Pirate, but now Pirate Gone Marine (PGM), and I got a call from Teh Dad.  He had a surprise for me.  I told PGM, this isn't good, and tried to ignore that nagging pit in my stomach.

Please note the color of the
visor above my head.
Eventually, we headed back to Teh Dad's to see what this surprise was.  He had "fixed" my visor issue.  I know Teh Dad has told me since as long as I can remember that he is "deaf" in one ear, that changes randomly (one Sunday it would be the left ear, the next Sunday it would be the right ear.. VERY complicated).  But I never knew Teh Dad was also color blind.  He had purchased TAN visors for my grey interior car.  TAN.  After YEARS of him asking me what color my interior was (same as the outside dad), he bought TAN visors.  The was a LOT of upsetedness.  Pirate Gone Marine tried to talk me down, "he was just trying to help, blah blah blah."  My response: "He's been trying to help for years, and he's been asking me all those years, and I've been telling him, GREY!!!!!"  The best part.  The tan visors had no mirrors, which was why I had kept the holey grey ones to begin with.

Extremely upset, I said I wanted the older, crappier ones back.  While he understood my disappointment, he had tried to surprise me, and he did explain that he felt that solid visors, although the wrong material (vinyl) and the wrong color (tan) was better than crap falling into my eyes, which was a safety hazard (he really liked to use that one against me).  Aaaannnd, because the tan visors didn't come out of a car exactly like mine, he'd had to disassemble the grey, crappy, right color, right material, visor to get the metal corner piece (I'm not a mechanic or a car person, forgive me for not knowing the technical name) to put in the tan visors so they would fit in my car.

Meaning... I was stuck with vinyl, tan, mirrorless visors unless I wanted to purchase some from the dealer or find some visors myself.  STUCK WITH TAN, MIRRORLESS VISORS!  I'm not super picky over appearances, but I am slightly OCD, and damn if it doesn't upset me that my car didn't doesn't match.  Did I mention I was a broke college student?

But, I was stuck like Chuck, so I finally mustered up a frustrated, thank you for trying, and for changing my oil, you're awesome and I'm just your ungrateful heathen child to Teh Dad.

Tan visor, WITH mirror.
Teh BFF had her own issues with my new "installations"... NO mirrors.  "Oh, dammit," was often muttered after she would pull the visor down to try and check her hair/face, "you don't have mirrors."  She would look at me, at which point I'd have a very unsatisfied grimace on my face.  With full sincerity, "Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot its still a sensitive issue."  And this was years later.  Finally, when we moved in together and she was riding in my passenger seat more often, she broke down and bought a mirror for the passenger visor, as she was annoyed with being disappointed every time she tried to use the visor mirror in my car and it was a fail.

Still to this day, when someone new gets in Teh Kaar and questions the ghettoness non-uniformity of the interior of my car, I still get the dissatisfied look on my face and have to explain the story.  Which seems to get slightly funnier as the years pass on, but still is just one of those things that I've struggled to accept.

I'm sure that when I Teh Kaar breaks down and is no more, and I have to get a new car, I'll miss the non-matching visors and the amusement that is the story and effort that Teh Dad really did put into it.  For now though, I still have my stories, and my mismatched visors that still bring me pain to look at.

And for good measure, all these years later, I sometime ask Teh Dad, "Hey, what year is my car and what color is the interior?"  And he'll respond, "96, tan."  Sometimes I really can't tell if he's using his sarcastic font or not...............

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