• Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

My Very First Car Was New And Purple

I was very excited to buy my first car and I chose a joyously purple one. To save the money I lived in my parents' house for most of my twentieth year, and I rode a flimsy moped to work through all sorts of frightening traffic and bad weather. When I had the money saved, I did a little research then walked into the dealership with a bundle of cash in my purse. At the time I had no credit cards. I did not even have a bank account. I told the salesman which car I wanted; and I put the cash down. They were impressed. I did not even know that I could, should bargain to lower the price. I paid the sticker price. I drove over to my paternal grandmother's apartment to show her my prize. My car was a delight to drive, clean and bright. I felt regal in it; purple is the color of magnificence. My grandmother took one look at my new car and said with disgust, "Only niggers* drive purple cars." That was all she said. Foolish me. I had thought she would share my happiness. I had thought that only people who loved the color purple drove purple cars.

As for my grandmother's crude response to my delightful new car, fifty years later I am still flabbergasted. How does one respond to one's own old racist grandmother? She would not have cared what I said anyway.

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* No offense is intended, this is just a mean little fact of history.

Caption: I Bought My First Car New And Paid In Full With Cash.

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019

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