Standing out from the traffic

Danielle Deraleau, Featured Columnist

     When I was a kid, pink was my obsession. Nearly everything in my room was pink, as well as almost all of my clothes and toys. Whenever someone asked me what my favorite color was I would say “Pink!” without hesitation. So, of course, when my babysitter jokingly asked me what color car I would want one day I didn’t even have to think. “Pink!” I said.

     Who would have thought, 15 years later, that statement would come true?

     When I first started driving my pink Saab I didn’t realize how much attention I would get. I mean sure, it was a pink car, but to me that wasn’t too much more unusual than some of the other cars out there. However, the more I drove it around, the more I realized that people were really paying attention.

     At first it was kind of weird to be sitting at a stoplight, happen to glance over, and see someone staring directly at me. But the more this happened, the more I got used to it. It has now become fun, and it makes my day whenever a group of teenage girls drives past me screaming “We love your car!” out of their window.

     And that’s not the only fun thing that’s happened.

     Most of the time people give me hand signals. A thumbs up, or a little wave, the occasional “Call me!” sign, and a mouthed “I love your car!” I usually smile and say, “Thank you” back.

     And people love to take pictures. I was having lunch with a friend one day, and we were seated by a window. Halfway through lunch we noticed a group of people gathering around my car and taking pictures with each other’s iPhones. It’s also not unusual for me to glance in my rearview mirror and see the driver behind me balancing their phone on their steering wheel to take a picture.

     Unfortunately, with a car as unique as mine there is no middle ground. Either people hate it or they love it. And usually, people let me know.

     Most of the responses to my car have been positive, and the comments continue to pour in. A thumbs-up from the elderly woman driving a station wagon next to me made me smile. The big grin and wistful look of a little girl in the back of her parents’ car is still vivid in my mind.

     But then there are those people who just love to ruin your fun. “Look at how UGLY that car is,” someone will sneer to their friend as they walk past it, with me just a couple paces away. “It looks like Pepto Bismol color,” I heard someone say once. Either that, or it has something to do with Mary Kay. I get the question a lot. “Your car is so cute! Is it a Mary Kay car?” Let me clear up the confusion right now- no, it isn’t. Mary Kay uses a lighter color. And they also use Cadillacs. I almost had to laugh one day when I was picking up my brother. As I waited for him in the parking lot someone knocked on my window, startling me slightly. When I rolled down the window for the woman standing there she asked me, “I just have to know, do you sell Mary Kay?”  Sure, it’d be easy for me to say something snarky back (seriously, Pepto is a completely different color), but I don’t really see the point. Driving a pink car is no different than driving a yellow slugbug, and some people hate those, too. Let everyone have their opinions and assumptions.

     Unarguably, my car is a pretty good conversation starter, and even better for entertainment. If you took a ride with me you could amuse yourself by watching people’s faces (usually a mixture of surprise, awe, and wonder) and watching people do double takes (sometimes so quickly I wonder if it hurts their neck the next day). People love their cars. I am certainly no exception. A lot of people know me as “the girl that has the pink car,” but I’m okay with that. Everyone can have their opinions, and everyone can share them as they please, but this car is mine, and I absolutely love it.

     And I never lose it in the parking lot.