Thursday, October 9, 2014

On Pick-Up Trucks & Personal Growth

I was on my way to get my haircut today, sitting beside a duly pick-up truck and behind another at a red light. They were so loud, one taking up his share of both lanes, that I could hear them inside the car with the radio on and windows up. My usual angry ire at the irresponsibility of people who drive trucks crept up, my inner dialogue grumbling about the environment and how these people think the road belongs solely to them.

This isn't a new problem, mind you. I have a serious problem with people who buy large pick-up trucks when they don't need them. Meaning, they're not using them as farm vehicles, not towing anything, clearly not a work truck. People who buy the biggest most irresponsible vehicles they can afford--or in the case of this tiny college town, their daddy's can afford--to inflate their egos. They make me mad.

I care about the environment, but more than that I care about the use of resources. These monsters use more resources than do small trucks, crossovers, SUVs, and coupes. But, honestly, my biggest problem comes down to courtesy. If your vehicle is so big you don't fit on the road or in parking spaces, that doesn't give you the right to take up more than your share of public space. But, the people who drive these vehicles (at least here in Texas) do. Driving a larger vehicle doesn't give you the right to bully you way into the other lane, or cut people off, or pull out into traffic where you don't belong or shouldn't be.

I have a big ol' problem with trucks. So much so that I feel like people who want one should have to show need (yes, I'm aware that will never ever happen).

Then something struck me and I literally laughed out loud like a maniac--thank God I was alone. The guy in the pickup beside me grinned at me and winked (he actually winked at me like a creeper) and I was dragged back to a time when I was less socially and environmentally conscious, when I was much more selfish. I actually used to find men who drove these irresponsible monsters attractive. As a matter of fact, I was more likely to find a man attractive if he drove a pick-up.

At 18, when I was young and lacked any reasonable common sense, I worked with a man who drove a big blue Chevy pick-up. One of the things I found attractive about him was that he drove this blue truck and that he was so protective of it--in the several years we were acquainted, he actually let me drive it once. It was absolutely absurd and when I think back now I laugh, but not because it's funny. Because I feel like I was as much a jerk about these stupid trucks as the guys around town who take up two spaces at Wal-Mart and ding your car doors with theirs because they're careless.

It's pretty amazing how these sorts of things can creep up on you. How one little thing--a sight, a scent--can drag you back (sometimes mentally kicking and screaming). It's also pretty humbling when it happens, at least to me, to see how far I've come since then. In this case it's the idea that I've grown, or at least changed, as a person. In the 18 years since I met the guy with the blue Chevy, I've become less insensitive, less selfish, and more aware of those who are. Change happens so gradually that sometimes it takes something silly like this to make you see it.

Does that mean I don't like all people who drive trucks? Not necessarily--I know plenty of people who drive pick-ups, but most of them need them for work or towing. I'd say, instead, that I'm less inclined to be friendly with people who're careless enough to need one of these ego-inflating, resource-guzzling hunks of glass and steel. At least I know now why I feel the way I do--the environment, resources, noise, and a lack of regard for publicly shared spaces. Years ago, when I was attracted to these things, there was no quantifiable reason. If nothing else, that's growth.


  1. Um, well. I'm not sure how to comment on this because I just told Clint a few days ago that for my next vehicle, I want an old pick-up truck.

    Why do I want one? It's hard to explain, but an old worn down pick-up truck carries me back to my childhood days where we used to all pile in the back to go on day trips, or swing our bare legs from the tail-gate while sipping root beer, etc. Pick-up trucks evoke a feeling of history and nostalgia in me that I can't replicate with a newer car. And frankly, I am so tired of all these showy little cars with their computers and gadgets...I want something SIMPLE and MECHANICAL--something that won't fold like a tin can the second it gets dinged, and something my hubby can fix with his bare hands. So yeah, I totally want a truck. Sorry. Hope you don't disown me over this. ;)

    P.S. I only live a block and a half from work though, in case that helps.

    1. I think mostly I just needed to blow off steam about all the asses who drive trucks like they own the road. There're LOTS of them here, it's overwhelming. Every other person drives a truck and does so impolitely. I find it pretty frustrating.

      That said, I like the reasons you want to get a truck. I also like that you want an old truck (though they're not the most environmentally friendly thing on the planet, lol). So no worries about being disowned. :P

    2. Yeah, Clint keeps pointing out all these shiny pimped-out trucks, and I'm like "No, that's soooo not me. I want a good ole' piece of crap truck."

      I was the same way when a certain realtor kept trying to sell us on nice, new track homes, and I kept saying, "No, REALLY, I just want a nice little fixer-upper with a yard."

      Either way, we're not in the market for a new car, so my desire for a truck is going to have to go unfulfilled for a long time.


      P.S. I am SO behind on blogging. I'll have to catch up on your blog this weekend.

    3. I'm in the same boat about being behind, so no worries. Hell, I didn't even bother to blog for like months. My life is so weird and closed down right now, I almost have nothing to say... which is kind of sad, actually. O.o

      But about the truck, I really don't have a problem with everyone who drives them. I still think quite fondly of my "friend" with the blue pickup and have ill feelings about his choice of vehicles. I just get so damn mad when I see a pickup truck taking up two spots at Wal-Mart because some bimbo doesn't know how to drive. Or the truck that runs over the curbs in the drive-thru trying to manuver around the little corners because the person driving doesn't know what the heck they're doing. I think living in TX has seriously stilted my opinion about these things. Also, the environment... but yeah, I'm a little nutty about that sort of stuff. :P