Not proud, but not ashamed

I’ve mentioned our ’97 Suburban many times.  My love for that SUV is a special kind of love.  As a chronic “hauler” of both stuff and children, it meets my needs like no other vehicle ever has.

But I don’t know that I’ve mentioned much about our other vehicle.  And how it’s also a ’97. Yep, we have a pre-millenial Toyota Camry as well.

As I was working in the gameroom last week, I ran across this memento that I had saved from the Women of Faith conference last fall.

I saved it because it made me giggle.

My mother and I went to the event together and stayed across the street at the W.  Maybe you know, but I didn’t.  W Hotels . . . are schwanky. Like, waaaayyyy beyond our usual Days Inn experience.

Significantly beyond what I would consider a fancy hotel.  (We stayed there because my dad had points collected through business trips.)

Anyway, I held my head up proudly(ish) as the valet brought my car around.  In between the Lexi (that’s plural for Lexus, right?) and BMWs and Jaguars, he drove up in my runs-like-a-champ ’97 Camry.

And when I got my keys back, there was the above attachment.  It took me a moment to realize what it was.  Then I saw that the poor guy had been required to walk around my car, documenting each ding and marking it on the little card.

I’m pretty sure he gave up and decided it was “good enough” at some point.

Strangely, though, he didn’t mention the passenger door that only opens from the inside or the headlight that’s held in place with a bread-bag tie.



  1. 1

    🙂 loved this 🙂 we own 1990 car and a 2003 van.. but nothing new in our future.. now my daughter has a nice car but her grandparents gave to her but the insurance is crazy on it since its a toyota.. even old

  2. 2

    I have a similar story. When I was a kid, we went to Disneyland and on the way we stayed at the Embassy Suites. The NICEST hotel that we’ve EVER stayed at. We pulled up with five of us in a Geo Metro. At the valet pulled our suitcases out of the hatchback, he was kind enough to point out the little hole that a mouse had chewed through. (Don’t tell my mom I’m sharing this story, she would be HORRIFIED!)

  3. 3

    Anything that is completely payed for is NOT embarrassing. It took me a long time to realize this but nothing will ever sway me again.
    Go Nony!

  4. 4

    Hey, as long as it runs… ^^

  5. 5

    First, I just want to say that I LOVE your blog. I am a slob all the way. (I have four boys, so i blame a lot of it on them!) But, I am trying to recover, and your blog has been a huge help.

    Second, I totally agree that it’s not embarrassing if it’s paid four. We have an ’85 Blazer, a ’94 Chevy, and a ’97 Dodge Caravan. No payments for us! But it can cause it’s own issues…

    At my oldest sons elementary school, the fifth graders open the car doors for the kids every morning. One day, after he got out, the little girl just stood there staring at the open van door. After a few moments she asked me to push the button. “What button?” I asked. She said, “You know…the one to close the doo.” I explained that my van didn’t have that and that she would have to close the door. SHE DIDN’T KNOW HOW!!!!! I had to get out and go around to close it before I could drive off. I was flabbergasted!

    • 6

      Yep, you have to teach kids everything! One cannot assume a kid knows. VHS — what’s that? A dial phone? A phonograph. I’m a past music teacher and used to love showing kids vinyl records and record players. It was fascinating to them.

  6. 9
    Melody F. says:

    Sounds like we have the exact same type of car! Funny story thanks for sharing it 🙂

  7. 10

    Your ’97 is is WAY better shape than my ’98, which _looks_ like a (really ugly color) Chevy conversion van but is _really_ my farm truck. (Let’s just say that, during an icy winter seven years ago, we chose to fix the fence instead of paint the van.) But, it gets me where I need to go, and hauls the stuff (including four children and a full size horse trailer, at the same time) I need hauled, costs very little in purchase, upkeep, or insurance, and so no one gets to disrespect my van.

    Oh, and it is not the oldest vehicle we own. The newest is an ’04.

  8. 11

    A vehicle purchase is buying an engine. Driving said vehicle is to achieve the distance of the line segment. That’s it. As long as it goes then it’s good. As long as it doesn’t cost too much in maintenance, it’s good. Don’t buy it a second time if you don’t have to. There’s a lot to be said for “paid off”. That guy didn’t notice the hitch with the passenger side door since the problem was from the inside and he had no reason to ever try that door from the outside or inside. Litigious society we have, eh?!!

  9. 12

    LOL! I can’t imagine what they’d have gone through trying to document our mess. It was a rental before we bought it, and…well, you know what people rent mini-vans for, mostly? One “grown-up” taking hordes of underage drinkers to concerts, if my youth and the condition of the body of my van was any indication. 😉 I still haven’t taken the no smoking sticker off the door so it still looks like a rental. I want to make sure everyone knows that I’m not the person who made it look that way.

  10. 13

    Oh, and did I mention it’s PAID FOR!?

  11. 14
    Shelly Smith says:

    Ha ha!! Love stories about the good ole Camrys! Ours is a 96 and still chugging along! My hubby hopes to make it to 300K miles (he is so proud!!) He doesn’t mind that the door handle on the inside driver’s side has broken off, and now has a screw-driver in its place (“no, sir, just pull on the screwdriver to open the door”) and also that the passenger side window will roll down, but only goes back up an inch at a time (and you have to wait a good 2 minutes between each inch!) Lol! We love our paid for Camry!!

  12. 15
    Tiffani N. says:

    I just read this post and it made me smile. When I was single, some friends and I stayed ata very nice hotel downtown. We took my friend’s 80’s Volvo. First when we arrived, they seemed a little shocked that were leaving the car. They parked it at the very back of the garage. When they brought it back for us to check out, it died going up the curb into the driveway. We were all standing there laughing because what else are you gonna do? He started it right back up and we smiled and waved as we drove away.

  13. 16

    A car, any car, is a blessing, considering so many who need them don’t have them. I myself drive a 99 voyager minivan whose windows won’t roll down, blinkers that only work when they feel like it (despite many attempts to fix it), no heat or a/c, and alternates between squealing like a pig or chirping like a cricket when it’s running. But it runs. It gets me and the kids where we need to go (when we must go), and I’m so thankful to have it. Not that I’d turn down a new one. BTW Nony, What did you do with the little ‘Your car is so banged up I’m documenting it for my own safety’ Valet card? Toss it or store it?

  14. 17

    I have a hand-me-down 2002 Lexus that my parents gave me when they bought a new car. It is quirky! Doors unlock only from the inside (or with the key). Multiple dings in the back end where my mother ran into things (like the garage door). And occasionally the battery disconnects, and I have to wiggle the wire under the the hood to make it start. But it saves mileage on our 1997 camping truck…

    This was funny to me because it’s …idiosyncratic, even if it is a Lexus!

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