Yesterday I was playing Madden Football when Jess walked in the room. The Giants (my team) were playing the Chargers in the Super Bowl. She asked if I always chose the Giants as my team and I said yes. She was quiet for a minute, then said, "Um, daddy. A lot of people at school are Jets fans." I told her that the Jets are close to the Super Bowl and a lot of people are rooting for them. She had this 'I have to confess something' look on her face. "Um, Daddy?" she began. "A lot of people were cheering for the Jets at school yesterday, and I did too because everyone else was, but on the inside I was rooting for the Giants." I told her she can root for any team she wants. And to myself I muttered, "As long as it's not the Dallas Cowboys."
Okay, it's been a while since I posted anything. Me and the girls have been having a blast, which I'll talk about in the near future. However, the most recent discussion in the homestead has been "the car." I finally broke down and replaced the 12 year-old, 171,000+ mile Ford Escort that was the envy of anyone who ever said, "You know what, I'm going to ride this car into the ground." Like Eli Manning in a two minute drill, that car had a "never quit" mindset. All the years, miles, and yes, accidents have gotten that car no closer to "in the ground" than the Democrats have of getting us a national health care system.
But what does any of this have to do with the girls? I believe they are actually happier than me to have a new car. To quote Steffi, "Now I can actually open the door to get out!" (Okay, so the back right door didn't open from the inside. I looked at it as friendly chauffeur service from a Dad to his first born child.)
When I pulled in the driveway last night in the new Ford Fusion, the girls came running out of the house all excited. After telling Jess to get rid of her ice cream before stepping into a new car that I've owned for 20 minutes, she and her sister jumped in the back seat and started checking out the cup holders, the moon roof, the stereo and everything else important to a child in a car. It was too late to go for a spin, and tonight didn't work out either. Their anticipation level for riding in the car is so high that I dare say it could only match what Neil Armstrong must have felt after strapping himself into a rocket to go hurtling towards the moon.
To underscore why the girls are so excited for the car, and why it's been such a topic of conversation in my house, I'd like to spend a moment to reflect on what the American landscape was like when first brought the Ford Escort home in early 1998. Consider that:
The only reality show on television was "The Real World"
Director James Cameron would soon win a best picture Oscar for his hit movie Titanic.
Eli Manning was the star of his high school football team. Brett Favre's Packers had recently lost the Super Bowl to John Elway's Denver Broncos.
Thursday nights on NBC consisted of Friends, Seinfeld, and ER. Everyone in America was gearing up for the Seinfeld finale that May.
George W. Bush was Governor of Texas. (sigh)
Roger Maris was baseball's all-time Home Run King with 61 homers. The talk of spring training was that Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa or Ken Griffey Jr. would break Maris' record that season.
The Sony Walkman was a cultural icon. There was no such thing as an iPod.
Netscape was one of the most popular Web browsers. There was no Google.
Howard Stern was on K-Rock in NYC. There was no national Sirius satellite radio, no XM radio, and defintely no Sirius/XM radio.
The name Britney Spears did not ring a bell.
Hillary Clinton complained of a "vast right wing conspiracy" on the Today Show.
I was married for 4 months. There was no house, no kids, no blog.