Thursday, October 11, 2007

The media has gotten to me!

I've been watching quite a bit of TV lately, and I'm worried. After watching many car commercials, it has become readily apparent that my car does not express who I am. It seems auto makers would have everyone believe they are sadly unfulfilled if they drive a less than cool car and that the epitome of self-expression is choosing a car. In fact, the world will be irreparably confused as to who you are if you pull up in a clearly outdated piece of metal. Uh-oh.
If my car expresses who I am, then I am an unexciting, crumb-smeared, slightly dented, faded person who is not at optimal performance. And I don't even have a CD player.

Maybe I have no authority to write about this, because, let's face it, staying at home while my husband is in grad school does not create a financial picture that allows a choice of cars. We are stuck with what we have, and maybe if we did have money to spend on a car, I would go out and buy a car that's more 'me'. I must admit, I have bought into at least some of what the auto makers want me to believe, because my most irrational fear of having a nice traditional-sized Catholic family is having to buy a car that is bigger than a mini-van.

I can see it now: pulling up to the park in my 10 or even 15-passenger van, I'm ogled by a mom of two in a shiny mini-van as my children exit...and exit...and exit- 'what's this, some sort of mixed-age children's sports team? Does she run a day care or something?' The other day I saw a big 15-passenger van drive by and I could see the outlines of children's faces behind the tinted windows. I turned my head and thought I glimpsed a little bumper sticker of a saint as the van drove off, and I thought Ha! Of course!

I mean, if folks really dread the day they will have to give up their sporty, impractical car for a mini-van, it must be ten times as worse to have to buy a big, huge stretch van. Hasn't any one tapped these people on the shoulder and mentioned a little self-control could prevent this from happening? Good grief, they've become nothing but a parent! There's no elegance, no message sent by a rectangle-on-wheels other than babies! babies! babies!

Alas, I think I will have to be an old woman before I ever get to express myself by going out and buying a whole lotta more-than-I-need in a car. Till then, I must somehow make it through life by reminding myself that: I am not my car, I am not my car. Excuse me while I go and practice some mindful meditation and chant these very words...

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