Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Journal Assignment V: My Favorite . . .

Do you have a favorite color, a favorite food, or another preference that has lasted a long time? Why not write about it? Here is what I wrote about my favorite color, red, specifically as a color for cars.

My Red Cars

When I bought my third bright red 3-Series BMW at the age of sixty-eight, the salesman, a senior himself, expressed surprise at both the color of my trade-in and my identical choice for the new car.

"I'd have thought you'd prefer silver," he said.

No way. I remember stepping into the parking garage at my mother's retirement complex in Minnesota a few years eaarlier and noticing a sea of full-sized four-door Buicks and Chevrolets, the majority of them silver, with a few blue and black ones here and there. So much for conservative car colors! They reminded me of senior stereotypes, of the common white-hair-and-thick-eyeglasses appearance of virtually everyone who lived in that complex. Red was my color.

Of the nine cars I've owned, five have been red (the first one was a Corvair) and two almost red: one was bright orange and the other burgundy. Only two, the convertibles of my rebellious between-marriage years in the 1960's, were not red at all. One was yellow and the other aqua, both with black tops and interiors.

It's strange how cars' colors mean different things to different people. I've heard that red sometimes symbolizes youthful rebellion or mid-life crisis, as in taunting one's unfaithful ex-spouse by driving an expensive red sports car. I understand that some drivers avoid buying red cars because they are said to attract extra police attention on the highways, and I know that my husband was stopped while driving my car once. However, he was also stopped while driving one of my mother's blue Buicks, so I don't think color was a factor.

I'm not a fast driver or an especially good one, so I think it's an advantage when other drivers can see and avoid me. To me, red is simply the color a car should be. It's a color that makes me happy.

My husband usually drove either a government car (he was a Deputy U.S. Marshal for some time) or a car of his own in some muted color, and red was definitely not his favorite. Still, he enjoyed driving my first two BMW's, and his last vehicle was a bright red Ford Ranger pickup truck! Perhapps my strange fascination with the color had a subtle influence on him. Perhaps we both depended on the color red to keep us young and active. He's gone now, but I'm still trying, driving a red 2003 Mini Cooper (see above).

Copyright 2007 by Marlys Marshall Styne
Photo by the Author

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