My first car was a 1991 Honda Accord, which meant that when I was born in 1995, the thing was already four years old. In fact, in footage from my very first 4th of July, the Honda can be seen sitting in my grandparent’s driveway; it was their car first. After them, it went through several other of my family members and went back and forth to Maine many times to visit the family that lived there. It was also the first car I ever drove. One day when I was fourteen my grandpa pulled it out of the shed next to their house and had me drive it through the yard and even try backing up (which I was really, really bad at). At fifteen, I bought it off of them for one dollar and by sixteen I was officially cruising around New Franklin, OH and adding more miles to the odometer, which already read well over 200,000.

The Honda had many… quirks. If you sat inside, the first thing you’d notice were the seat belts. They were the kind that went around the door on a track and buckled you in automatically. Then you’d notice the ungodly hotness of the black leather seats (no A/C), and how the passenger seat couldn’t move because of the coins stuck in the tread. The Honda was an oven on wheels, no matter the season.

Other quirks were more frustrating. The windows were difficult to put down, for example; they’d struggle about half way and then stop, so I’d have to force them down manually. I also had to shut the driver’s door, run around to the passenger door, and hit the lock button on that side to make all of the doors lock because, one day, the door handle on the driver’s side decided to fall out. My dad superglued it back together, but the lock on that side never worked unless the door was shut after that.

The worst of all was the trouble with the alternator. I was driving to school with my sister one day when the Honda stopped accelerating. I was going 25mph on a 45mph road and I was freaking out. It was unable to shift gears properly and the battery was dying. Luckily, I managed to get us to school, but after school I ended up leaving it in a Dollar General parking lot because the problem started again. I got it fixed, but after that whenever I drove it, it would stop accelerating and I would have to floor the gas until, finally, it would spring to life and rocket up the street like normal. When the “check engine” light came on, I knew I was in the clear.

Then there was the mystery water, which to this day I haven’t figured out. I was driving to school and my sister randomly felt water splash onto her, and I even heard it happen. When I felt the backseat, though, it was completely dry.

It had really great heat and headlights, though. And, much like with siblings, I could badmouth it all I wanted, but if anybody else made fun of it, I gave them what for.