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Childhood memories are vivid, almost indescribable in their detail, and impossible to forget. A Christmas memory I have is that of a black velvet dress  a family friend gave to me for my seventh Christmas.
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Maybe That’s Why They Call it Vanity

Submitted by on August 2, 2010 – 4:15 am3 Comments

I drive around my suburban neighborhood in a minivan. 
It’s actually a KIA Sedona. It’s not trendy. It’s not cutesy. It’s just a utilitarian minivan.

But, I like it. A lot.

We just call it The KIA. And that has become its given name.

My son, Adam, who is 24 and who has, shall we say, a different driving style than I do, mocks me whenever I am driving and I accelerate to pass someone.

“Ya, Kia, Ya!” He shouts as if he were driving (no pun intended) a team of horses.

Mom accelerates.
 Adam shouts: “Ya, KIA, Ya!”

It’s even better when he does it with a Cuban accent, which makes it sound like he’s yelling for the KIA to STOP.

“Ya, KIA, Ya! Por favor, basta ya!”

We laugh every time. (But then, you know, we’re easily entertained…)

So, I had been thinking of getting a personalized license plate. (Okay, a VANITY plate. Shut up.)

My original one, Smrtqbn (that also happens to be my Twitter name in case you want to follow me, but that’s not important right now) has expired and I was trying to come up with a new plate.

ON A SIDE NOTE: We applied for Cuba2Go, which is the name of my online business Cuba To Go!, and I got very excited about that, but the Braniacs Who Work At the California DMV wouldn’t approve it (I am so not kidding about this!) because it sounded (wait for it….) racist to them. (Racist?? Seriously? Look at the stuff that has slipped by them!!!)

We even showed them extensive documentation that Cuba to Go! was indeed our business name and was REGISTERED WITH THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA as such, but no go.

Which now left us pondering other clever combinations of letters to make some kind of a mobile statement as we drove around town in The KIA.

How about “Ya, KIA, Ya!” ?

How clever were we? So, there we were giving each other high fives all around, until…. we put the letters together as they would appear on the license plate and silently read the finished product to ourselves.

All six of us got very quiet.

It was my 96 year old Cuban mom who was the first to say it: “Parese algo Japones.”

Sure enough. YAKIAYA sounded like a Japanese surname. (It’s actually not. I know. I Googled it. But still…)

So, who needs a vanity plate?
I have other ways to recognize The KIA.

Does anyone else have a nickname for their car? Tell me.

Share, por favor!


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