Years ago my father and I drove our old sedan to a car lot to trade it in on a brand new red Rambler American. It was an exciting afternoon for me as a 12 or 13 year old to finally unload the old scarred chevy for something fresh that even smelled new and different. I thought my father had made a good choice and I approved wholeheartedly. It was truly a joyride back to our neighborhood, but the joy would prove shortlived. I waved enthusiastically at my buddies at the baseball field on the way by but i noticed they did't seem to share my level of enthusiasm. Were they laughing? If so, at what? Yes, they were laughing. Later I found out at what. At the red Rambler. Turns out it wasn't their idea of cool transportation. Consequently it wasn't my idea of cool anymore either. That which had been the source of such happiness went overnight to become a source of embarrassment, though I didn't hesitate to drive it when I gained a permit and then a driver's license. Wonder what my father thought when he noticed the change in my attitude toward the Rambler, assuming he was perceptive enough to notice it. You see, the separation was beginning. The seperation of my tastes and opinions from his. The loss of our unanimity as father and son was beginning to be felt. And yet what was replacing it wasn't really my taste or opinion at all, it was someone else's or something else's. A part of growing up you say. Let's hope so, let us hope it's that and nothing more.....more insidious.
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