There’s NO SEX in this one …. it just passes us from one stage to the next. Skip it if you want, but it’s part of our story.
It was just getting into summer and school was almost ready to let out for the year. I’d was working at my dad’s and had nearly all the money to I needed to finally buy that Mustang. I couldn’t imagine why somebody hadn’t snatched it up by now, almost 4 months later, but he was still there, sitting on the showroom floor. All the talk around school was about the seniors and juniors heading out for their class trips after graduation, and what everybody was going to do during the summer. Me, I was thinking about the Mustang in my granddad’s showroom window. Then it all came crashing down with one overheard remark. I was walking down the hall at school between classes, one of the juniors told his buddy that they weren’t going to get to go on their trip. “We can’t go because we’re short by two hundred bucks!” he was saying. Since that was my girlfriend’s classmate, I couldn’t help but go up and ask him what was going on. “We won’t be able to take our class trip because we didn’t get enough sales. Short by two hundred bucks.” “So, what, all you need is a few more subscriptions?” “Yeah, like 20 or so and we’d have it made. Really sucks.” Mentally holding the Mustang in one hand and my girlfriend’s potential depression in the other, I said, “Uh, look here, why don’t you drop by my house after school? Maybe we can work something out.” I knew this was going to cost me plenty, mostly in the form of frustration. I’d just have to tell my grandpa I needed a little more time, but I would sure as heck rather do that than see the disappointment in my girlfriend’s eyes when she found out they weren’t going. She and her friends were so excited and planning what they were going on the trip to do for months. Well, long story short, I bought 25 subscriptions. Every magazine that looked like it might have something even remotely interesting in it. Took almost an hour of going through the little stamps again and again, finally getting down to TV Guide and Field and Stream to put us over the top. I made him swear utter silence about even so much as knowing where I lived, much less what I’d done. He just looked at me and said, “You know, most times you little twerps are a pain in the ass. Other times you really surprise me. Thanks.” Upperclassmen. Gotta love ‘em.
Well, the news got around the junior class that the day had been saved by “hard work and hard effort, and we’re still going!” Oh, hurrah. All I saw was my Mustang still sitting in the showroom window when he and I should have been dragging Main Street and showing off to everyone who had a pair of eyes and was drawing breath. I went over during lunch that Saturday and told my grandpa I was still a little short. “I thought you were almost ready to buy it,” he said, “What happened?” “I had kind of an emergency I had to take care of. Cost me some money I didn’t plan on.” He said, “Don’t worry about it; it’ll prob’ly still be here.” I was so bummed out I just went back to work.
A few days went by and I guess my granddad had talked to my girlfriend’s dad, or somehow word had gotten around to her that I’d spent some of that “Mustang Money” as she and I were calling it, because that Friday after school she showed up at the shop. One look at her and I could tell she was hoppin’ mad about something. “Oh crap,” I said to myself. She marched right up to the table where I was sorting parts and stood there with her little hands on her hips and started right in on me. “Why did you do that? I am so ANGRY with you right now I don’t know what do!” “What?” I said. “Spend that money!! Somebody else is going to buy that car! What did you spend it on? You should have told me!” She was right in my face, shaking her finger at my nose and she was right. All I could do was stand there and take it. Even seeing her this angry at me, my heart still surged with the deep passion I’d felt for this girl from the first time we met. “You shouldn’t have done that without TELLING me first! I have to know too!” The men in the shop were all suddenly very busy doing other things and very pointedly not paying any attention to the little 5’5” 115lb slip of a 17-year-old girl giving her boyfriend the what-for, or to the 5’9” 150lb 16-year-old boyfriend she had stacked up against the edge of a shop table, very obviously getting his ears pinned back. “I spent it on magazines.” “What!?!” I pleaded my case. “Baby, I couldn’t do anything else. When I heard your class was going to miss out on your trip, I had to. You’ve been talking about this trip for ages and I know how excited you’ve been.” “YOU made that last purchase? That’s why you did it? For us? For me?” “Well, yeah.” “You gave up the car for me?” I gave her my best hang-dog and said, “The car’ll still happen. Just take a little longer.” She snorted a little at me and said, “You still should have told me first. It should have been OUR decision.” With that, she grabbed my coveralls and stood on her toes to kiss me hard, then let go and twirled around to leave. “Don’t forget you’re coming over for supper!” she called over her shoulder. “And don’t be late or you’ll really be in trouble!” And just like that, she was gone. I was staring after her, wondering what the heck had just happened when I felt a big hand on my shoulder. One of the men had come up behind me. “Boy, you hang onto that one.” I was so dumbfounded all I managed was a weak “Yes, sir.”
Two weeks later and on my birthday, she and I walked into my granddad’s office and I said in my best 17-year-old business voice, “Grandpa, sir, I’d like to buy that Mustang.” “You got cash money?” “Yes, sir, I do. Three thousand, six hundred and forty dollars in the bank.” He looked at me for a minute, then reached in a drawer and pulled out a folder. It was marked “Grandson’s Mustang”. I looked at the folder for a minute before I realized what it said. “Grandson’s Mustang?” I asked him. He just looked at me with a smile on his face and said, “When I saw how hard you were working to earn the money for it, I couldn’t let it go. I had four offers for it, one of them for the sticker price, but found other cars for them. This one’s been yours for quite awhile. Now, let’s get to the paperwork.” My girlfriend hugged me, and said, “Finally!!” Grandpa hemmed and hawed a bit, signed the title over to me along with a few other papers he and I both had to sign. He did a little figuring and wrote something down on a piece of paper. He passed it over to me and said, “That’s your final price.” I looked at the number he’d written. Two thousand, four hundred and ninety dollars. “For real?” “You’re an employee of the business, so you get the dealer price plus a little so we can keep the lights on.” I don’t often make public displays, but I came around the desk and gave my grandpa a huge hug. “Well, go on now. Take yourself down to the bank and get a cashier’s check. I won’t give you the keys till you give me the money.” I fairly flew there and back, and within the hour, two mighty happy teenagers were cruising Main Street in a brand-new, shiny red Mustang convertible.