Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Zoom Zoom

My father was a truck driver, and so each summer his left arm (the hanging out the open window arm) was always much more tanned than the right.

I am not in the family business, but I do drive a convertible, which has tanning problems all of its own. In fact right now I have to admit I've got a convertible burn, which is not great, but also not terrible, because this is not my first convertible, and so I've learned a few tricks of the trade.

1. Seat belts leave tan lines. However, they also save lives, so I can't discount them entirely. I do put the chest strap behind me and depend solely on the lap part. I usually wear clothes in and around my lap anyway. Sunscreen in the glove compartment.

2. Sunglasses are an absolute must. Not only do they keep bugs out of your eyes, they also keep the front part of your hair in check if you wear them just right. I don't much bother to tame my hair. I actually love the feeling of it blowing back behind me, but I do attempt to keep the front strands out of my eyes, and perhaps more importantly, out of my lip gloss.

3.  You learn to sing like a ventriloquist. Now, like most people, I have never willingly been to a ventriloquist show, so how do I know how they sing? Well, I have been on a cruise. And it's nearly a guarantee that if you're on a boat, you're trapped at sea with at least one ventriloquist. Only cruise directors think they're appropriate entertainment. It's how any ventriloquist makes a living. So yes. You learn to sing like one. Mostly you just learn to enjoy your music in your head, and keep your head nodding\car dancing to a minimum. But if your jam comes on and it simply cannot be helped, then you mouth the words, and keep the actual singing repressed. Because no one needs to hear that. No one wants to hear that.

I absolutely adore my little convertible and I could never go back. It's changed my whole attitude to driving, because it changes the drive. I slow down. I keep my car neat. I take the longer route that goes down by the water (to feel a cooler breeze on my skin, maybe even a little mist in the air). I can smell the lilacs and feel the warmth of the day and hear little kids ring the little bells on their bikes. A red light becomes pleasurable when you tilt your head back to soak up some sun. It's not just a commute anymore. My 40+ minute drive to work is a new way to be connected to the environment. There are no blind spots. I see things I would normally have missed. Some men whistle, but most people are friendly. Pedestrians chat at intersections. They ask questions. Another convertible driver will give a jaunty over-the-windshield wave.

In the fall, when the weather's a little cooler, you'll find me top down, windows up, heat on. It's a luxury. The salesman told me it would be just like sitting in a hot tub. It's not. Either he doesn't own a convertible, or he doesn't have a hot tub. But there is an indulgent bite to it. And maybe that's the whole point of a convertible: just a small touch of indulgence gets added to an otherwise ordinary day.


kenju said...

I have always loved convertibles, but never owned one. Perhaps I can remedy that with my next car. You're just made it impossible not to.

sinner said...

top down, heat up. that's my girl. Zona Boy

sinner said...
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