Saturday, October 26, 2013

Playing in the Boys' Playground: Mommy's Little Monster

By Poisyn LaRue
When I was growing up, my mother (bless her heart) did EVERYTHING in her power to make me a little girly girl. Frilly dresses, Barbie dolls, you name it. If it was marketed to girls in my age group, I had it. I did the dance classes and attended the Catholic schools. My mother spent thousands (if not millions) of dollars that she didn't really have to ensure I would grow up into a fine young lady.
And what did she get?

A race car building, video game playing, card carrying member of the NRA that you literally have
Mdme. Poisyn with her daughter
to BRIBE to get into a dress (I have an understanding with skirts: If it's short enough to possibly pass for a belt and over top amazing tights, we can talk). So maybe I didn't turn out like my mother wanted. But she still says I turned out pretty well.
It's pretty funny; I used to think I belonged in the crazy house until after my daughter was born. I always felt like an outcast among girls my age, mostly because I'd rather be under the hood of an old Chevy than wandering around the mall for hours on end. That really didn't change much after I became a mom, except now I had a little set of hands to reach into the engine bay to retrieve tools or a screw that had escaped. Don't get the wrong idea, my little girl is pretty well rounded. She has dolls, even if they're mostly from the "Monster High" franchise. She'll wear a dress a lot easier than I will, but she won't hesitate to climb up a tree and show the world her "baby butt" if I'm not careful. She likes zombies and video games, but she also likes dancing and  My Little Pony.
1997 Chevy Cavalier Z24 - The Purple Monster
But if you ask her what her favorite thing is, you'll get a pretty straight answer. "Mommy's little purple monster". Ya'll probably looking at me like I'm crazy thinking "What in God's name is this little girl talking about?" My purple monster was the first car my little girl ever was old enough to have a truly "hands on" approach with.  She was bought in 2012, when my daughter was five. I picked up the stock 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 for just under $2,000. My little girl helped me shop for it and picked it out because it was my favorite color, purple (dark mulberry metallic with red flake, for the car nerds following).

Over the course of 6 months, my daughter learned how to install coilovers (to replace the stock suspension) and lower a car. We swapped the stock sixteen inch rims for eighteens with thin wall tires. We also painted those eighteens sky blue. She learned how to install a stereo system, speakers, cold air intake, new headlights and tail lights. On top of all this was the daily maintenance, like oil changes and spark plugs. She helped me every step of the way, never once did I chase her inside. It was great to see her face light up when we went to car shows or the track with the "monster". It may have only been "just a Cavalier", but to me and my daughter it was a project worth having. Now she gets excited when I talk about our next "project", a 1999 Sunvalier that we're gathering parts for.
So maybe being under the hood of a car isn't normal "mother/daughter bonding", but it works for us.

Madame Poisyn LaRue is a self-described "square peg in a round hole." She has an Associates of Science in Visual Communications and is pursuing her Associate of the Arts in Theater with a minor in Music. Although she's at home on the stage, she's just as comfortable under the hood of a Chevy, covered in oil and grease but still wearing 5" heels. You can follow the Madame on Facebook or at her website and of course, here on I Feel Delicious! 

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