A New Year’s Eve Story
|1980 Monte Carlo|
Back in the early 80’s, I owned an 81 Monte Carlo. It was a nice car, dark blue with sleek lines and pretty much loaded but I wasn’t all that fond of it. I have a weakness for Firebirds and so, in 83, I sold the Monte Carlo to my brother-in-law and picked up a new 83 Firebird Esprit. It was late fall and a very mild one. Global warming hadn’t happened yet but the temperatures were milder than those we’ve had this past year.
Those mild temperatures carried into winter and we had the barest amount of snow at Christmas to barely qualify as a white one.
My ex-wife had invited a colleague and her boyfriend to spend New Year’s Eve at our place and the plan was to go to my sister’s for a party. New Year’s Eve arrived and the temperatures were on the plus side of zero so I wore a trench coat rather than my usual winter coat. The four of us crammed into the firebird, guys up front, ladies in the back and headed off to make merry.
The party was a blast. The house was full. The music was great and there was the usual revelery good food, dancing and carrying on. At midnight we toasted in the New Year with champagne, hugged and kissed anyone within clutching distance and then got back to serious drinking and dancing.
We left the party around 3:00 am and after a few goodbyes, I grabbed my trench coat and we bundled off in the car for home. I had no business driving but we lived about 4 minutes by car from my sister’s and this was still an era when drinking and driving was considered almost as normal as smoking used to be. Once home, we had another drink and then it was off to bed.
The next morning, late in the morning, we got up; had coffee, some breakfast and our company left. I was sitting in the family room nursing another coffee. I had woken up feeling like I might die and by noon was afraid I might live. Around noon, the phone rang. It was my brother in law.
After a few moments of commiserating with how hung over we both were and thanking him again for the party, I asked him what he wanted. He told me that he would like me to bring his car back.
It appears that feeling somewhat detached from reality as we had the night before, I had taken his trench coat by mistake. His coat had his car keys and forgetting somehow that I had bought a new car, we had all piled into the Monte Carlo I had sold him a couple of months earlier for the trip home.
When I told my ex-wife we had brought the wrong car home she made a comment about my being an idiot and while she was probably right and I had to agree with her. Of course, she didn’t take it too kindly when I asked her why she and her friend hadn’t noticed that they had more leg room in the back seat on the way home than they had on the way to the party.
For years after, both she and my brother-in-law told the story over and over and the standing comment became that when the Bear went to a party he had to do two things the next day. The first was to try and remember where he left his car and the second was to remember to take back the car he had brought home.
Those were crazy times. We were young and foolish, thought of ourselves as immortal and pushed the boundaries of responsibility and common sense a bit too far at times. I don’t drink and drive now and I hope you won’t either as you ring in the New Year. It’s a stupid and dangerous thing not only for the DUI but everyone else on the road. Make it a resolution this coming year and….
Be safe. Be happy. Be successful in 2012 in whatever way you define success.
© 2011 Maggie’s Bear
© 2011 Maggie’s Bear
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