*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.*
If you knew me, you might say that I have had a questionable dating history in the past, starting way back in high school with my first boyfriend, Ricky.
I must admit now that I liked Ricky at the time because he was a very cute and very bad boy, a combination that appealed to my seventeen year old self. I was at a time in my life when I was pushing boundaries with my parents, searching out my identity and my freedom at the same time. When you’re young and dating, that’s a dangerous combination. When you don’t know yourself, you don’t know what you want or need, so you take what you think you want and deserve - but those things don’t always coalesce.
I met Ricky in study hall, at a time and place where anything could happen in a barely supervised high school cafeteria. We bonded over bubble gum mini muffins and Mountain Dew from the vending machines and played poker and talked to pass the time. No one really studied in study hall, you know.
Ricky was my first boyfriend, and he was quite a catch in many girl’s eyes. His family was wealthy, so he lived in a big house in the nicest area of town by the beach, had the nicest, most stylish clothing and shoes, and always had cash to treat his friends to pizza or McDonald’s after school.
Then came Ricky’s seventeenth birthday. He always had a big party, and his parents didn’t disappoint. As his birthday was in September, it was still nice and warm enough out to celebrate outdoors, so his parents rented a big tent to have the party out on their back lawn. A DJ was hired, caterers came, there were even belly dancers and fire eaters for entertainment. It was extra.
Then came the big reveal, Ricky’s birthday present. He already knew he was getting a car, as he’d just gotten his driver’s license and it was pretty much a given with his rich parents to spoil him.
Sure enough, everyone was led to the front of the house to see a car draped with a massive sheet and topped with a huge bow. Ricky high five’d his dad and kissed his mom, and then went to rip the sheet off of the car. He was expecting a sports car. Maybe a Mustang. Maybe a Dodge Charger. What he revealed was a bright, shiny, black Subaru Outback. The most practical and safe car for any teenager in America.
Ricky turned to his beaming, proud parents.
“Are you kidding me?” He shouted at them. “An Outback? Are you serious? I’m not going to drive this!”
“Son, this is a reliable, safe car,” his dad said, sounding stern.
“Yeah but it’s not what I want. I’ll just trade it in. Thanks,” he said, and then walked through his crowd of guests to go back to his party tent. Everyone followed, most of us stunned at his audacity, and I saw his mother start crying.
Sure enough, Ricky did indeed get his parents to trade in the Subaru for a Dodge Charger, because of course Ricky loved driving fast.
What would you have done if you were Ricky’s parents?
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