Freudian Slips: A Free Ride in Life

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

September 02, 2007

A Free Ride in Life

Over the course of my lifetime measured by modest income, my parents have given me two cars free and clear of title. Enjoying many years of free travel, retrospection has ripened my true appreciation of my parents’ generosity because I have since learned that some family traditions are hard to pass down to the next generation.
Last night, I gave my 2000 Ford Taurus sedan in good condition to my oldest daughter as a big-bowed gift for her seventeenth birthday. This car had been promised to Rachel for two years. It was not easy convincing this teenager my offer was a great idea. Over time, Rachel went through a metamorphosis in attitude just to accept this gift with open arms. You got to love this next generation of entitled kids.
When I originally offered her a free ride in life, she started squawking from the bellows of the backseat. “Forget it! I would not be caught dead in this car. Dad, this is an old person’s car.”
I argued, “I hope you haven’t forgotten how to ride a bicycle.”
In time, I noticed Rachel moving to the front passenger seat more often as if her closer proximity would start to open her eyes to the possibility.
My daughter contemplated, “Maybe if you painted it a different color and got me a CD player, I might consider taking the car if there is nothing else.”
“There is nothing else as far as I know. There is also nothing wrong with the exterior paint but you retain the right to save your own money for a cosmetic paint job. You own an Ipod so I will buy you an Ipod jack converter as a car accessory.”
Months later, Rachel got her Cinderella license through the Division of Motor Vehicles. Call it maturity or epiphany but she started to ask me about the operation of the dashboard gadgets and switches on the Taurus. That is when I thought that things might change.
On a day like any other, the real changeling in her came out. Rachel uncharacteristically yelled at her younger sister for getting a little too comfortable at a red light. “What do you think you are doing? Jenna, get your dirty shoes off of my seat.”
With more apprehension than enthusiasm, Rachel eventually got behind the wheel of the Taurus and learned how to drive it with me as her driving instructor. It could have been merely practice or a dress rehearsal for her metallic inheritance. I did not know.
In life, there are always bumps in the road. I got into an automobile accident while reading lines for an actor’s workshop, a little fender bender really on an otherwise flawless metal frame. The next time I had visitation with Rachel, I delicately broke the news about the mishap, but she sniffed out my soft-pedaling. She literally jumped out of the car she just entered. Rachel circled the car with reckless abandon while raging a single purpose repeated question.
“What did you do to my car?”



Blogger mommanator said...

Arent children WONDERFUL!- did you do the same to your folks!? Lucky I had to purchase my first car, after out of Nursing School!

9:22 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

No, even as a young lad I could see a free ride from a mile away. lol

11:25 AM  

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