I had an interesting thought on the way home from work yesterday.
I commute every day, 30 minutes each way. These 30 minutes, whether in the morning or evening, can be summed up as follows:
- Get in the car (this step is key).
- Adjust seat and mirrors. Due to my OCD tendencies, I’m always searching for the perfect seat angle/height/distance-from-wheel combination. I’ve never found it and I’m pretty much always uncomfortable until I just start driving and forget about it.
- Put on seat belt. The ordering of steps 2 and 3 is essential and very intentional, as I’ve discovered that adjusting my seat with the seat belt on does not work well. Having your esophagus and bladder simultaneously squished by a tightening strap of thick nylon is unpleasant to say the least.
- Turn car on and hope it doesn’t make that unnerving squealing sound. My car is getting old, and apparently very irritable as well. If it could talk and own property, it would be yelling at all the neighborhood kids to get off its lawn.
- Put the car in drive and, well, drive.
- Merge onto highway.
- Decide that the semi in the lane next to me is drifting and getting a little too close. Start panicking. See my life flash before my eyes. Ok, this reaction may seem a little extreme to you, but in the back of my mind I see all trucks as evil Carlie-killing machines. I’m pretty sure this stems from an unfortunate incident (or fortunate since everyone in my family is still alive) involving an evil, drifting semi-truck, my family in a small rental car, and spinning across 4 lanes of traffic on the Washington DC beltway at rush hour. So yeah, thanks for making me re-live that moment. Moving on.
- Realize that my ears are bleeding because a Nickelback song is playing on the radio (AGAIN).
- Curse myself for living in St. Louis for 5 years and still not changing the Chicago stations on my radio buttons. Hey “seek” button – you annoy me.
- FINALLY come across a song worth listening to. I bless the rains down in Aaaaaafricaaaaa…. (no, I’m not kidding)
And then I feel it – the urge to sing! And why not? I’m completely alone in my car, my tone deaf screeching audible to no one but me. So I go for it. GONNA TAKE SOME TIME TO DO THE THINGS WE NEVER HAAA-AAA-AAA-AAAVE! OOOHOOOH. Yeah Toto. You rock. And so do I. So ready for this next verse. I can belt it out at the top of my lungs because no one can hear me! No one can see me…except that middle-aged bald guy I’m passing on my right. Did he just make eye contact with me? Crap. Did he see me singing? Ehhh….
Thus brings me to the aforementioned interesting thought I had. You’ll be glad you stuck with me because this will blow your mind.
My theory is that there are three different kinds of people in life:
- Those who unabashedly sing along to the radio in their car no matter who can hear or see them.
- Those who start singing but become self-conscious and worried that they will attract the stares of fellow drivers, so they tone it down a little and sing between clenched teeth giving the outward impression that they are in fact not singing at all like some sort of idiotic, paranoid ventriloquist. (I fall into this category.)
- Those who do not sing ever, no matter what.
I think your car singing habits or lack thereof say a lot about you as a person. The #1’s are confident free spirits, enjoying life and just being themselves. The #2’s want to be like the #1’s but care a little too much about what other people think of them. And the #3’s are just no fun at all. I think if we all lived like #1’s, the world would be a much happier place.
So on your way home from work today, sing along to the radio like you’re freaking Pavarotti – I dare you. And if the person driving next to you starts staring, motion to them to sing along! And, if that thought alone isn’t making you smile, here are a few pictures of some super cute baby meerkats because this is my blog and I want it to make people happy.