It used to be teal … my favorite color. That was a bunch of years ago, right about the time we purchased our 1994 Chevrolet Suburban to haul three kids around the block and back. Teal musta been a very popular color back in the late 20th century. If you are a tad too young to recall, lots of cars were sprayed with teal paint back then. Heck, I remember parking at the mall in the early ‘90s and there were so many teal cars, I couldn’t find my vehicle. I did a test just recently in a large airport parking garage. And yep; no teal painted cars, except for my ‘burb. Today, my new favorite color is red. Specifically, salsa-red pearl. I really like the sound of that. Yep, I got a brand spankin’ new car. It’s a Toyota Highlander, and boy, have cars come a long way. There are so many buttons to push, I feel like one of Walt Disney’s princesses. Just call me Snow White … with wrinkles … and manufactured dark hair. The first couple of nights, hubby and I spent some time sitting in the driveway getting acquainted with my new car. “Wow, it has a CD player,” I said, thinkin’ I’d died and gone to one of those poofy clouds in heaven. The ‘burb has a crusty cassette player. It’s probably the reason I only have one compact disc, and it is the soundtrack to “Mamma Mia.” Sounds like my compact disc player needs accessories. Our salesman, Eli “The Fly” Akin sold it to us. Very nice guy. Guess “The Fly” could tell when I was lookin’ at his business card, and then for his wings, that I was a tad confused. It wasn’t till I saw the photograph on his desk that the light bulb clicked to the “on” position in my head. Mr. Akin, the man with the sparklin’ personality and smile to match, is also a former Harlem Globetrotter. Yes, it is true. We have a celebrity hangin’ at our local Toyota dealership. And no, I didn’t ask for his autograph. Now I recall the day I picked up my new car last week. Mr. Akin thoroughly went over all the bells and whistles which went in my right ear and promptly out of the left. Did you know that some of these new cars don’t start up with a key? Darn if you don’t just push a button. The first time I tried to pull out of my driveway all by myself I pushed the button like I had been instructed. But nothin’ happened. Geez, here I’d had my new car 24 hours and now I’ve broken it. I pushed the button several more times, and still nothin’ until … dah … I remembered “The Fly” said to first put my foot on the brake and then push the start button. It’s amazing what happens when you follow simple directions. There was another incident later that same day … grocery shopping duties. There was an issue in lifting the rear door of the vehicle. I kept pushing a button on the back of the car. No matter how hard I pushed, it just wouldn’t go up. After about five minutes, I looked closer to see what I’d been pushing. It was the back-up camera. Oh, but my old Suburban, and the new car, do have something in common. They both have leather seats. Only the Highlander’s seats are not all cracked and split like a dusty parched riverbed. Actually, there is a funny story attached to the burb’s seats. The driver’s side has been covered with duct tape for centuries. I musta complained one time too many because a few months ago hubby got them reupholstered. The guy did a great job. They really looked great … only the covering was some kind of imitation leather, or maybe it is vinyl. I don’t know. You know … I wouldn’t have even noticed the difference except for one little thing. When I tried to slide in or out of the seat … I couldn’t slide … which is very important. If your posterior doesn’t s-l-i-d-e, “it” stays stuck in the seat. Yeah, and if you aren’t real careful you could fall out of the car on your head and hit the pavement if that happens. Besides the salsa red pearl color, my new favorite color, it’s the other reason I love my new car. I’m slip s-l-i-d-i-n-g into and out of my seat each and every time.. Dixie Frantz is a long-time Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist since 1996. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.