Friday, 3 June 2011

Baby loves me, yes yes he does.

I didn't get my drivers license until I was thirty years old. Is that embarrassing? Probably. I lived in the inner city of Sydney for my whole twenties, so I didn't need it. I was busy.

Max was born up here in the Blue Mountains when I was 29. We were renting a house around the corner from the main street of Katoomba, so I still didn't really need one. After a while, an opportunity to own this beauty for the princely sum of $1000 arose. Dave and I saved and saved ... soon it was ours.

He had his ute, and I had my shitbox. We were a two-car family! All I had to do was learn how to drive. How strange is the feeling of getting used to drive a hunk of machinery around the earth? I'll never forget how repulsed I was at the power I felt behind the wheel. It seemed obscene.

A few years later, after many arguments discussions around getting married (Dave did NOT want to, I wanted to) ... Dave had this funny look on his face and asked me if I wanted to go "for a drive to the block, hon?" The block was where he was building our house. We went there a lot, to marvel at the fact that one day we would live there in a house that he built.

Max was getting minded. I waited at home for Dave to pick me up, he did in one of these:

A Mitsubishi Mirage. It was so luxurious! We drove to the block and he parked the car. A Neil Diamond song was on the radio, and Dave asked me to open the glovebox to pass him something. I opened it, to find a card addressed to me. Dave was laughing - he never did anything like this.

I opened it. He had bought one of those "Congratulations on your Engagement!" cards, and written in there the words:
"I hope you like your pressie hon. It's an engagement car! Will you marry me?"

It remains the most romantic, beautiful, extravagant thing he's ever done. I cried, he cried, and we smooched to the strains of Cherry Cherry.

I felt like the richest chick in town, driving around in that thing. A heater! No rips in the dashboard! Dave slowly cottoned on to the fact that if we were to get married (which we did eventually) ... I needed an engagement ring. He was spewing. "What? Why? Well do I get an engagement ring? I can't believe you get something else after I already got you an engagement car hon. Jeez."


I've had to write this Kidspot Top 5 post on the sly - Dave wanted me to write all about HIS first car, the one he got when he was seventeen. Remember these cars, in the early eighties?


What was your first car? Did you feel repulsed at learning how to drive or is that quirk just mine? And Ford haven't sent me the Territory yet ... do you think they're trying to back out?


  1. Ah, okay I know the post was suppose to be about the car but I just LOVE the romantic aspects! An engagement car . . . ahhhhh.

  2. Love the proposal story. My first car was a Ford Fiesta that belonged to my Dad he traded up I got his car, which I promptly reversed into a lampost, terrified to fess up I said someone had reversed into me whilst I was parked. I love the fact that he knew that wasn't really the truth but didn't give me a hard time about it.

    p.s you can forgive Dave for driving THAT car because of the Engagement car story..

  3. Oh is that a Sandman van? The old don't come a knockin' type of van?

    I've never heard of an engagement car, but I love it!

    I'm not a natural driver, it took me about 10 years to enjoy driving and even now if someone else offers I'm happy to be a passenger. My first car was a Barina, I loved that car.

  4. My first car was a Ford Fiesta it was my Dad's old car. I reversed it into a lampost not long after passing my test

  5. Apols - posted twice, some days blogger wont't let me comment and other days it lets me do it twice. Still loving the post :)


    That was my first car -- a hand-me-down from my mom. I know. Right?

    Back when she first bought it, I was young enough to think it was cute and cool. By the time it passed to me, I wasn't quite so impressed with it, but hey, driving around smoking the way we used to ... it's just as well ... it was more of an ash tray on wheels (cringe). It worked -- until one day my BFF from high school came to visit from back home and she drove it around while I was at work. And it was smoking by the time she came to pick me up. :O That was the end of that one. RIP. I'd forgotten about that until just now ....

    I have always loved to drive. What I remember about learning to drive is my mother insisting that I learn to parallel park by "pretending" there were two cars at the curb to park between. Which was the most rip roaring stupid suggestion I ever heard. Yeah. That lesson did not go well and needless to say, I never took another lesson from her. Certain temperaments just don't mix when teaching things like How To Hurtle Around In A Hunk Of Metal.

  7. I also thought driving seemed so strange. Although I got my licence when I was 18 and living in the 'burbs, I moved out of home shortly after, then spent my 20s and early 30s living in Sydney's inner city, and a few other cities where I had no need to drive. Not having a car was another factor, and I ended up not driving for about 13 years.

    It became a bit of an irrational fear. Having my eldest daughter forced me to sort myself out though, so I could stop depending on other people to drive us around. Then just as I was getting confident about driving in Sydney, we moved to LA for my husband's job. Gah! I've had to adjust to driving on the other side of the road now... but I'm a little bit proud of myself for that. I still avoid the freeways though - drivers here seem to have a death wish and I don't care to join them.

  8. Jenn you Fox in the City .. thanks. He can be romantic, who knew!

    Oh my god Sharron that is so sweet of your dad for not giving you a hard time about it. My dad took me for my first-ever lesson when I was sixteen, a few days later he killed himself. That's probably the REAL reason I didn't get my license for so long, but I didn't want to be a maudlin drag and post about it.

    Corrine - BEEP BEEP BARINA! Go you good thing. And yes, Dave's car was a panelvan ewwwwwwww.

    Pale - You had me at "ashtray on wheels." Actually, you had me along time ago. Forever. SO nice to see you pop your cute lil face in XOX

    MJ - Yes, exactly - having people drive me around got ... embarrassing. It was a huge hurdle - and I am coming to LA in August! You around?

  9. What a great propasol story. I have never heard of an engangement car bu it is the first.
    My fiorst car was aplymoth after my divocre from first husband our car when we were married was the Chevy truck he kept it.
    Have had many cars since.

  10. I was also a late-bloomer when it came to driving, and I still mostly hate it. I am the "I will bring snacks, supply good music, and pay for gas" friend on road trips.

    That is such a sweet proposal story!

  11. I kept failing my driving test! If I wasn't failing the actual driving portion of the test, I had the wrong paperwork, or a car with the wrong paperwork. It was a nightmare! Everyone I knew had their licenses when they were 16; I got mine when I was 18. I got a car a couple years later - I bought this stripped down Honda from my cousin. No air conditioning, no power anything, I think it had a radio, but I can't remember. I hated that car, but it got me to my last year of college.

  12. Also, Engagement car and a ring? You're brilliant!

  13. FAB proposal, Dave!

    My BFs husband owned a Sandman AND it had the Bat out of Hell artwork up the sides. We thought it was the coolest thing ever. But we were only 15...

  14. I love that proposal story. Especially since like you two it was me that wanted to get married and not J - so I proposed to him on Parramatta Road outside some dingy shop.

    I got my licence in London at the age of 29. I had to learn to drive along busy streets and the world's biggest roundabout.

    I only got really confident driving when GPS came into our lives. I bless the calm tones of the woman who instructs me where to go. I need to know where to go. A metaphor?

  15. OH MY GOD.

    And I thought I was the only one who didn't drive until she was ... how old was I? 26.

    In my new shitbox Subaru wagon.

    Seriously Eden. Weeeeeiiiird.



    Your springtime not-readheaded nor nearly as cool --twin.



  16. Um, It's me. Pam. BLogger your comment system is strange and labyrinthine.


  17. I did not get my driver’s license until I was 25. I lived in the city all my life so I did not need one . I moved from a big city in Brazil, to a small town in Kansas , USA. I had to drive !!! I was terrified of driving, I had a true phobia. I overcame my phobia when my then husband surprised me with a brand new car, a silver Dodge Interpret. I felt so cool on my car, it gave me so much freedom! I couldn’t believe that I had all that power lol I drove the same car until it got stolen... then I got another one, just a different color... Love the proposal story.

  18. My first car was a 1988 nissan sentra wagon, in school bus yellow. It had no seat belts (a friend of mine and I broke into a junk yard and stole seatbelts! And installed them ourselves). It was unregistered and uninsured the entire time I drove it. It also shot super black clouds of smoke for the 1st 20 mins after starting......the dashboard was designed perfecrly ro hold a large McDonalds fry and a sweet and sour sauce for dipping while I drove......ahh I loved that car.

  19. See? That is why I love your Dave. What a cool bloke.

    My first car was a Triumph Herald. My Dad fixed her up for me. She smelled of puke. I loved her - she was powder blue. She died when a tree fell across her in a storm. I cried.

    The first car I saved for was "the silver bullet". A little Metro. I wrote that one off too.

    Oh my.

    I can feel a post coming on...


  20. I didn't get my license until I was 30 either, but I never went out with anyone who had a fuck truck!! After your engagement car story, maybe I should have...

  21. I'm loving that Panel Van. It reminds me of Puberty Blues, The Angels, early Midnight Oil, Hang Ten, Cricket, Zinc sunscreen, Sherbet...

  22. I did not get my licence until a few years ago either, I have no excuse and I did need it...Wow Repulsed is exactly how I felt at the power of driving.

  23. Hi I'm a new follower after discovering you on the Kidspot Top 5. Good luck for the rest of the competition. My first car was a 1982 Ford Laser in a lovely mustard colour. My dad drove me around in it as I was not confident enough to drive it myself. Till this day I still am not confident....

  24. Awww you got me all gushy! Talk about a sentimental bloke - buying you a CAR! Love it!!

    Can you believe I don't drive, I just invest in our family cars - first one was a Diahatsu Charade - but after finding out our second child was actually our second AND third child we had to buy a bigger beast - a ford falcon station wagon to accommodate our three-ring-circus-pram, two capsules and a baby seat.

    Those were the days.... *groan*

  25. Awww what a gorgeous wat to propose its defaitnly a fabulous story to tell everyone hehe

    My first car is a white laser my aprtner now drives it hehe and i drive his fairlane now thats luxuirous! hahaha its only because i dont use as much petrol as he would if he was driving the 'lane'
    well thats what i like to tell him ;)


  26. First car was a Holden Gemini. Metallic gold, tartan seat covers. Called him Hamish. Little brother borrowed him. Wrote him off - the car that is. RIP Hamish. You served me well.

  27. Ok,, this yellow auto thing??!! Err, must be something confined to your lovely country. I was just out of high school in the early 80's so was certainly paying attention to cars, and I can tell you emphatically that I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THAT!!! Lol,, ha ha,,

    Nice proposal piece - love those!

  28. Oh Dave is awesome I love his proposal. So did you get a ring as well??

    My brother bought my first car, I was still learning how to drive. He is an Alfa Romeo nut and it was and old Giuletta. It was manual not only was I bunny hopping everywhere but I was sweating every time I turned the steering wheel. I gave it back after two weeks.

  29. You paid $1000 for that? Daylight robbery!!! Talk to Al from the Fibro about learning to drive - she is still 'practising' 15 years on! x

  30. Edies, I will never forget this day, it was the day we brought Billie Bea home from the hozzie, the most surreal car journey of my life. It was a rainy freezing cold day in the big smoke, I remember we had just tucked the weeny little chicken wing of a girl up in her cot and you called me with your news, a perfect ending to a perfect day! Took yez nigh on nearly 3 years to hitch up tho uh HHAAAHHAHAHAHAHAHA xxx

  31. She got the way to move me, Cherry. Love that song. (I'm a shameless Neil Diamond fan.)

    It's a great story, and a good proposal. We men pride ourselves on those. :)

  32. Darling when I was in the back of your car a few weeks ago it was far more luxurious! As my bare skin brushed against the leather I felt very posh. Just wanted you to know....


  33. What an awesome post! Yes, he LOVES YOU! He surely does. My hubby needs to take some lessons from Dave!! He hasn't gifted me a car and we've been married for 6 yrs, dammit! :) My first car was a 1986 Pontiac Firebird - white with an orange stripe around the side. It was $4000- my parents said they would match what I saved, and I only managed to save $2000.00. But great car back in the day, until it spun out in a rainstorm on the highway and sent me and my parents flying into a ditch. Who the hell allows a 16 yr old to have a freaking sports car?? Even if it was cheap w/ over 100,000 miles on it!! So ended up getting an old Honda so I wouldn't die driving home from college in rain storms. My daughter will have the oldest beater I can find (Is your old car still around perhaps? :) No brand new cars for my kids!! And you need to stalk Ford!! Lisa

  34. I'm 37 and still don't drive. BUT, that's because I can't. I can't see well enough. :-(

    But on a brighter note :-) my hubby proposed to me with a card too (not a car tho). It was my 23rd birthday and after the bday wishes he wrote "PS: will you marry me?" When I looked up he was holding my ring!

  35. A 1979 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight monster, two doors the size of picnic tables, dark red with a white top, dark red velour diamond-tucked interior. It looked like Miss Kitty's parlor in "Gunsmoke." Much much teengage sex (none by me, alas) was had in that car.

    Laura, Charlotte NC

  36. Wow. When I'm lost and lonely, I can just come hang out in my comment section. I picture everybody in this thread out on my back deck, reminiscing about their first cars. WHAT AWESOME FIRST CARS YOU ALL HAD!!

    Bethe77 - A Plymouth and a Chevy? They sound v. exotic, because we don't get them here. I love how you Americans call your utes "trucks." I think I'll start doing it too.

    Marci Jane - COOL NAME! Snacks and gas money in exchange for driving is frickin genius.

    areyoukiddingme - Love your first car story. And I totes got extra engagement pressies, go Dave!

    Toni - A Sandman! I forgot they were called that. And I am loving the Bat out of Hell visual.

    Mary - Love. Do you think of your proposal every time you drive on that serene stretch of road? (Ha!) And the GPS has saved my life.

    ZSMOM - I knew it was you as soon as I started reading. Of COURSE we had similar cars at similar ages. Ya bloody soul-sister spunk.

    Cibele - We get Dodge's down here! And good on you for overcoming your driving phobia. XOX

    The Captains Wife - Oh my god I loved your story. The Mcdonalds sipping sauce and fries ... hilair!

    Lucy - Oh your poor broken powder blue Triumph! I want to read your blog post about it. XOX

    Mrs BC - ROFLCOPTERS! I had completely forgotten that brilliant term of endearment for those cars.

    Tracey - YES! You forgot Chiko Rolls.

    Emma - Yay, you felt repulsed too! I thought I was the only one!

  37. A field of dreams - Thank you so much. How sweet of your dad to drive you around in it. Does he still? ;)

    Liss - He is sentimental. And you don't drive? You rebel! Love it! xox

    Tara - Ha! I love that you call it "the lane." Do you drive it round the 'hood?

    Nikki - TARTAN! HAMISH! Were you spewing at your lil brother?

    Dawn - Yes - they were called panelvans. Only the roughest, hardcore, naughtiest guys would drive them. And you KNOW their girlfriends would put out on the mattress in the back.

    Vee - Rofl at sweating over turning corners! And yes, I did get a ring as well .... two years later!

    Multiple Mum - HA! Oh I love the friendly "paying out on the sister" banter. Love.

    Rex aka MY sister Leigh - HAHAHAHA I love that you added up how many years later we got married - THREE! Bloody hell it was a hard slog to get there. And as soon as he was married, he LOVED it.

    Danger Boy - Cherry BABY! Me too, I adore Neil. And he rested on the laurels of his proposal for nigh on five years.

    St Murphy - HA! Yes my current car is MUCH better than my first car. I must say, I'm interested to see how the Ford is going to compare.

    Anon - Thank you for your comment! And your "who the hell allows a 16yr old to have a freaking sports car" ... HILARIOUS. Did they let you take up knife juggling, too?

    Jennifer - That is so so sweet. Engagement cards FTW!

    Mis Cut Glass - Cool name! Oh I would love to sit in that car. The tales it could tell!


  38. Auto Triumph with leather upholstery. I felt smug. But it had no reverse.


  39. I was 26 when I first learnt to drive and my first car was a baby poo brown Laser hatchback. I thought I was the only late-bloomer in the car driving stakes :)

  40. What a sweet post! I love it BTW I did not get my licence until I was 38. Hmmm.

  41. OMG, I had blocked the existence of those cars from my memory.

    My first cars was a blue shoebox on wheels...otherwise known as a shitbox Honda Civic (back before they became good cars). I loved learning to drive and I still love it.

  42. Eden... I am horrified that you have not received yor prize yet? What are they waiting for ?? Love the stories about all the cars...Your Engagement Car was still the best though... Nanny did not get her licence till she was 40 !!! Grumpy wouldn't teach her...she had to get Mr Navin over the road in Adina Place Cooma North to take her!!! You were just a young chickie babe when you got yours !!!..... love Dave's Shaggin Wagon in Tweetie Bird Yellow!!! xxx Eden's Mum

  43. One more thing we share...I didn't get my driver's license until I was 31. So not embarrassing at all, in my view.

    Dave, you are the greatest. I love hearing stories about you and your mad and sweet antics.

    Eden, I love the way you tell your stories. Really love it. xoxo

  44. So romantic! I turned 21 in September and just got my license about a month ago. :]

  45. I got my licence at 27, but I bought my first car with my boyfriend when I was 19 or twenty. I "practiced" for a long time (I think I was afraid to fail the test), but stopped after he died and finally started again when my daughter was born. Baby + public transport = huge PITA = the motivation I needed to finally do it.

  46. I don't care about any of the car stuff. I just LOVE that proposal story.

    Was 27ish when I got my license too.

  47. Mr S never proposed. Now I have to rub it in "Even Dave Riley proposed for fuck's sake. Where's my proposal?" I twisted his arm until he agreed to tell his mother we were engaged. No backsies.

    My first car was a 1982 Buick Lesabre. If that sounds like a granny's care, you're right. Push-button radio, 22 feet long, couldn't go over 55 mph.

  48. I was 25 when I got my license for exactly the same reasons AND my husband wanted one of those cars but i would never let him buy one.

  49. I basically was standing at the motor vehicle office waiting for it to open on the morning I turned 16. I passed my test on the first try and got a red 1991 mitsubishi eclipse:

    It was hot. So was I. I had a lot sex in that car, though now when I look at the picture I'm not sure how...that thing was small. I was a lot more flexible back then.

    My best memory is taking it to Lollapalooza - LOADED with friends and beer. The lineup included the Chili Peppers, Rage, Ice Cube, TRIBE, Luscious Jackson, Porno for Pyros and...of course...Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, this was the 90s after all. I was driving way too fast for my skill level with a grunge-themed mix tape blaring, all the windows open and my friends screaming as I weaved in and out of traffic. We should have died, but we didn't and so it was awesome.

    Repulsed? Good god no! I loved driving - still do. Sometime in 1998, I had a little manic episode and ditched classes for a while to hang out in West Hollywood. I rented an eclipse and relived my youth (of course, I was 24 then, but thought I was old) speeding along the PCH, driving back and forth between LA and San Diego, staying at hostiles and meeting cute surfer boys. Having more sex in the eclipse.

    *Sigh* I think I'm due for another manic break. Can I rent an eclipse in Australia???

    Love you, babe.

    XOXOXOX Tobacco


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