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Zeus and the Hanger

Time flies.

It flies so quickly that I just realized I never wrote about the acquisition of J’s first car, six weeks ago.

SIX WEEKS AGO. That’s like, four years in blog time.

I won’t go into all of the details of the search except to say that J was delightfully open to “almost any car that runs”. This attitude was in massive contrast to his brother’s: when D was looking for his first car, he had things narrowed down to what was nearly impossible to find. Oh, he found it alright, but the annoyance level of everything having to do with that car hunt was high.

This house was full of notes, newspapers, and magazines about used cars for about two months when the stars aligned and we finally had a free moment to take him out to seriously shop. We went to a few used car dealers, but “the one” ended up being on Craigslist. When Jim and the boys went to check out the car (I was otherwise occupied, unfortunately), J fell in love.

Even though it lacked power windows, power locks, and a/c (none of which were originally installed), the speedometer worked intermittently, the windows were no longer on their tracks, the brakes needed to be done, it needed new tires, the stereo was broken, and I’m sure I’m missing a couple more things(“But it’s a manual transmission, Mom!!!”) he bought it and drove it home.

Well, Jim drove it home, as J didn’t know how to drive a manual yet. The drive home had two distinct segments, as it overheated along the way.

Still, I haven’t ever seen a teenaged boy so excited about a car…except for D.

J decided that his new ride needed a name: something bold, strong, manly. The name he decided upon?


Did I mention that Zeus is a Neon? (Hi.)


Zeus has great self-esteem, because J is always saying things like, “Wow, look at that handsome car sitting out there in the street” and “Have you ever seen such a manly car?”

It’s actually quite entertaining.

Yesterday was entertaining, too. I was on the phone when J came home from work, and when he walked in the door I noticed that his face was pale and looked panicked. I asked my friend to hold for a second and I asked him what was wrong.

“I locked my keys in the car!”

I smiled (don’t judge me: wait it out.) and said, “Oh.” Then I went back to my conversation, as J paced in front of me for a couple of seconds.

“Is there anything I can DO???”

I asked my friend to hang on again, and said, “Did you ever get a spare copy of your key like I told you to?”

“No.” (frown.)

I said, “Well, you can call your father and ask him if he has any suggestions. Otherwise you may have to pay about seventy-five bucks to have someone come out and let you in.”

As I finished up my phone call, J called both Jim and D, and neither of them answered. I asked him, “Hey, your windows are still slightly off-track, right?”

“Yeah, they open a crack,” he replied.

“Great. Go get me a wire hanger and come outside.”

I showed my sixteen year old son the fine art of bending a wire hanger just-so, and he remained confused as I told him to see if he could somehow grab the top edge of his window and swing it out by about a quarter inch. I fed the wire hanger in, grabbed the door lock button, pulled up, and voila! Zeus was once again accessible.

J was extremely impressed. “HOW DID YOU KNOW HOW TO DO THAT????”

I told him that’s how we roll, old-school.

“But you did it on the FIRST TRY!”

“I know!” I said, and feeling especially Bad A$$, I said, “I am Bad A$$. And you owe me a Facebook status, telling your friends how awesome I am!!”

And that’s why, at 4:15 yesterday afternoon, his friends were treated to this:

And that’s why, at 4:30 yesterday afternoon, J drove to the store to get a copy of his key.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Tara R. August 18, 2011, 10:12 am

    You officially earned mega Cool Mom points for that.

    My daughter’s first car was a 5-speed Neon too. Great minds.

    • Melisa August 19, 2011, 6:52 am

      Really? That’s funny! I hope hers was in better shape. 🙂

      • Tara R. August 21, 2011, 7:47 am

        It was until some doofus t-boned it running a stop light. Up ’til then it was a good first car for her.

        • Melisa August 21, 2011, 7:32 pm

          Oh gosh. Well, I’m gonna keep everything crossed that Zeus doesn’t get into any trouble.

  • Liz August 18, 2011, 11:47 am

    I bow down to your total b.a.ness and hoping that I get to display mine, preferably in our driveway and not the shopping mall, 45 minutes away, as well.

    • Melisa August 19, 2011, 6:51 am

      I figure that with four kids, you have TWICE the odds of needing to do this. So it looks good for you! I agree though: hopefully it’ll happen at HOME. 🙂

  • Heather August 18, 2011, 2:19 pm

    that is pretty BA dude. i don’t think i could do that! awesome!

    • Melisa August 19, 2011, 6:50 am

      I bet you could!

  • Mom24.4evermom August 18, 2011, 9:24 pm

    Awesome. Those parenting moments are priceless!

    • Melisa August 19, 2011, 6:50 am

      It was definitely one of my finer moments. 🙂

  • Patty @ A Day in My NYC August 19, 2011, 8:42 am

    Best post of the week! 🙂

    You are too cool for words! I love it! 🙂

  • hogsatemysister August 21, 2011, 7:57 pm

    Breaking and entering are essential parenting skills, and not to be trifled with. And if your son swears he is a great driver, after totaling his car and the other guy’s, in DOWNTOWN, I feel your pain.

    • Melisa August 21, 2011, 8:19 pm

      WHAAAT? OMG. I feel your pain and that didn’t even happen over here! (knock on wood) Yikes!

  • As Cape Cod Turns August 22, 2011, 7:18 am

    Damn girl, you are more awesome than I ever thought possible! Very cool!
    And yes, I got to witness how Zeus’ ego was continually smoothed by J in person. I feel pretty honored about that 🙂

    • Melisa August 22, 2011, 10:23 am

      Hilarious, isn’t he? And it’s not just Zeus’ ego. J said to me yesterday, “You know what I just realized Mom? I’m a handsome dude.”

  • MJ Tam September 1, 2011, 4:20 am

    So glad to witness (via phone) your non-chalant way of responding back to your pale looking panicky son. Now I know why you sounded all cool and calm. Because you are one Bada$$ Mom!

    “Old school, that’s how we roll”?! Yeah, really! Snort**

    (Excuse the delayed comment reaction, I’m just now making it to #2,346 list of things to do…haha)