In the caste system of unspoken eighth grade politics, it’s apparently not cool to ride a bike anymore, or not a Mongoose anyway. Bar Mitzvahzilla remains undecided on what type of bike will be cool enough not to make him lose face. He's mulling this over and it's quite a puzzle. All he really knows for sure at this awkward age of fourteen is what kinds of cars are cool.
His first choice: a Lamborghini. I advise him he is not getting a Lamborghini.
He sighs heavily, frustrated by the fact that we don’t have any cool cars in our household.
“Mom, why don’t you drive a Mustang or a Camaro?”
I have to think over, mull over the impossibility of driving around in a car that makes teenage boys want to race me. I try to explain this.
"Then why not dad?"
I think about this. What would it take to get my very practical husband into a Mustang or Camaro? Probably a midlife crisis. Right now my husband’s idea of a midlife crisis would be to do something really wild, like not take out the garbage can on trash day.
How did my Jewish son develop such an affinity for muscle cars? His forebears on my side of the family drove peddlers wagons in the Old Country. My father drove a series of wood-paneled station wagons that, even after he sold them, would just keep showing up at our house, embarassing nightmares from our past, loaners from the repair shop he had sold them to. My mother, at seventy-nine, careens through town in a souped up Toyota Matrix.
On my husband’s side of the family, Bar Mitzvahzilla's obsession with muscle cars is even more bewildering. Husband’s father was a mild-mannered pharmacist, a non-driver, who had to take three buses to his job each day working at a drug store in downtown Milwaukee. He finally got a car when Husband was a teenager.
So, no, Bar Mitzvahzilla's not getting a Lamborghini, or a Mustang, a Camaro or his other choice, a Challenger. My husband says his own Honda will be just the right age to be passed down to Bar Mitzvahzilla when he turns sixteen.
He's at first horrified. Then he starts mulling over customization opportunities: custom wheels - spinners? Custom paint?
Wood paneled sides?