Posts Tagged ‘emotions’

The emotion of driving

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,

Lately I’ve really noticed how much feeling and emotion is tied to driving.  I’ve been going around town in a 1999 Camry speckled with water spots and covered in dust and it has made me self-conscious in a way I’m usually not.  I’m afraid of other drivers looking over and noticing how dirty the windows are and judging me for it.  There’s something about a dirty car that makes me feel bad about myself, probably because it’s obvious that I haven’t taken care of the vehicle lately.

You see, the car has been sitting on our driveway in the sun, next to the sprinklers, and under a tree for ages.  In that time, it has suffered stains from getting sprayed every day by the sprinklers, getting beat down on by the sun, and getting particles falling from the tree.  The tree’s branches were so overgrown that they were scraping against the car.  Not exactly the best conditions for storing a vehicle!  I kept telling myself that I would wash the car one day when it wasn’t too hot out, but I kept putting it off.

Now that I was driving the car, I wondered what people thought of my old, beat up car as they drove by in their shiny sports cars and SUVs.  Were they wondering why this car was so filthy?  Were they trying to get a glimpse at me to see what kind of person would drive this car?  Who knows if they even cared, but I felt like they noticed.  After I got the car washed a few days ago, I immediately felt better about driving it around.  Now it was just an older model car – not some dirty or run down piece of junk.

This whole experience was in total contrast to the feeling I got driving my family’s Lexus.  Not only does it drive better, but it’s not subjected to various weather conditions.  When I drove long distances, I would take that car, and it would always boost my morale.  I felt better because it was clean, because it is a good brand, and because it handles really well.  Sitting in it is more comfortable both physically and emotionally.  While I had felt a difference driving this car vs. the Camry in previous years, it was never so apparent as when the Camry was also much more dirty.

It’s funny how we let something like this affect our internal well-being so much.  But I guess it’s just how our culture runs – when we have nice things, we feel better (to a certain extent).  Not just because other people see that we have these nice things, but also because they are designed to make us feel good.  Makeup can make people feel more beautiful, titles can make people feel more powerful, and cars can make people feel more in control or affluent.  Americans in particular seem to love to express themselves via their cars, so there’s an even higher value for them in this culture.  I never really realized I was so affected by these things too.

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