I drove a gently used blue 1993 Chrysler minivan My father believed teens shouldn’t have fancy cars. My old man would say, “All you need is something reliable to get you from point A to point B.” I always wanted a truck, or maybe a 4Runner. In Ft. Wayne IN, kids who drove 4Runners were my High School’s upper crust.
Still, I loved that minivan, because it could carry up to 7 wide-eyed teenagers around. I didn’t party much in those days, mostly I was a weekend chauffeur. Given my gangly frame and big ears, giving rides was my “in” to hang out with the popular girls.
One night after a football game I drove a group of six of my girlfriends (not in the romantic sense, I was well friend-zoned by all) back to my house to watch a movie. We stopped at Wendy’s along the way to pick up some .99 cent bacon cheeseburgers, fries, and Frosty’s to dip the fries in. If you haven’t experienced a salty Wendy’s fry dipped in their Frosty, you’re missing out on one of life’s greatest little pleasures.
When we got back to my house, everybody dug in to their dinner. My dad asked the girls, “I hope John paid for everybody’s Wendy’s tonight?” It was a test, my father was old school, chivalry was alive and well in the Resig household. Thankfully, I had a rare $20 bill in my pocket from mowing lawns which paid for the burgers and fries. “Yes, Mr. Resig, he did, it was very nice.”
“And he opened the sliding door for y’all?”
“He always does.”
My father walked away smiling. In that moment, I knew I’d made him proud. Chalk one up for chivalry, minivans, and crumpled up $20 bills.