I remember riding in the backseat of an antique Chevy with a family friend. Ol’ Blue was in the process of loving renovation by its proud owner. Even though a pre-teen, I felt swallowed up by its dimensions, its solidity. It was a true metal mass to be reckoned with, in comparison with the composite molding that makes up so much of our modern chariots. But I still think of the car as an ugly beast. I just don’t understand the attraction. That’s a blind spot for me.
A friend of the family is in a well-earned, mid-management position. So, he’s in conservative dress and wears a tie. Last summer, he invited us to an event celebrating his Hispanic heritage and a line-up of prized low-rider cars. I saw the beauty of the culture and understood the fierce pride behind the symbolism of his tattoos (which are usually covered with his long-sleeved shirts)… not the low-rider vehicles, though. Who would spend the money on hydraulics to bounce a car? Sooo many other things I value more and would rather spend my money on. Another blind spot.
Not seeing the other guy seems to be the cause of so many of the needless conflicts we encounter on the road. I’ve never seen so many blind spots as I experienced in an exquisite, very small and very expensive red convertible with a black soft top. Besides the fact that the design of the car made me feel like my bottom and the road were one, I never worked so hard in my life to swivel my head this way and that. I bet I craned my neck fairly close to a 360-degree radius in that pretty little lady. I knew I was too, too small to make it out of any conflict alive – or free of intubation. ‘You go your way, and I’ll go mine in peace’ was my mantra. How could anyone drive something that left the driver so defenseless? In my mind’s eye, I clearly recall the huge smile on my friend’s face, driving with the top down, the sun shining and a favorite line-up of music playing. Heck, I remember my own huge grin. Good times! But, still…maybe my friend’s a closet adrenaline junkie and a chance meeting with sure mangling is part of the thrill. I don’t know. My list of blind spots is likely a long one.
The wonder of our age is that the majority of us can travel together, daily, without impeding one another. We can just be who we are when we leave our front doors and then return to those respective front doors, without serious incident – even with our blind spots in tow.
My 2016+ goal? I want to see you, value you as you are, with all of the differences I am lucky enough to encounter – both in the car and, especially, in the driver.