Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What do your rear view ornaments say about YOU?

This is a repost from Fall 2008....

I have about an hour commute in the morning and evening to work every day. In my travels, I notice a lot of things. Sunrises, license plates, construction, new potholes, changes in scenery, idiot drivers texting or on the phone not paying attention, etc. I’ve also been noticing rear view mirror ornaments. What does each say about the driver?
I decided to look at my own and see…..

I don’t know if other people have ‘methods’ to their picking the ornaments they do – whether they pick them to be like their personalities, or they pick them so they match the car, or pick them to what historical nostalgia dictates (aka….the fuzzy dice with the retro convertible).

I see the typical stereotypical things hanging for the old conversion van with the ‘dingleberry chain’ across the front windshield, usually indicating a Latino family, the old nasty stretched out garter circa 1987’s prom on the 40-year-old gigolos’ buick, the fuzzy dice on the 50-something’s prized gem of a 1967 red mustang convertible. I see the 2007 tassle of the proud graduate in her new Ford Focus, the first car she had to get a loan for after her college graduation.

And then you see mine……I have significance for every piece of memorabilia that is hanging from the rear-view mirror of my 2005 Hyundai Elantra. Here is a picture….


The first thing I hung was a crystal tear drop, beaded in my favorite color, green. In August, 2006, we had our family vacation planned with my husband and his son that we were excited about. But alas in late July, my husband broke his ankle terribly and couldn’t make the trip. We had planned to go to Yellowstone National Park and one of our hotel stays was Rapid City, SD. Ironically, our vacation was during annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which would explain the $250 a night non-refundable hotel. When my husband couldn’t go because he didn’t think he could travel comfortably, my sister and I decided to go instead. This began our first annual ‘sistah’s vaca’. Whenever I travel, I always get a Christmas ornament so I can remember my trip each year. This time, I decided to start another tradition…get something for my car seeing as I’m in it so much, and something for the Xmas tree. I chose the multi-green beaded tear drop for my first piece. I chose a gold leafed real leaf for my ornament on that trip.

In January 2007, the 2nd annual sistah’s vacation finally came after 2 years of saving and planning. There were originally 3 of us from work that had planned the trip, but at the last minute, one gal, the BFF Jen, couldn’t go. I had gotten little silver disc charms engraved with ‘Sistah’s Vaca’ on the front and ‘2007’ on the back to remind us of our 6 day cruise to the Bahamas and Jamaica we had been looking forward to so much. I immediately added mine with a red ribbon to my tear drop.

Later that year, because we had so much fun the first time my sister and I had traveled together in our lives, we had decided to plan a last minute trip to somewhere warm. The cruise earlier that year had fueled my need to travel. Heidi and I had finally begun to get close again after growing up 9 years apart. Being grown adults, we were able to appreciate being friends again AND renewing our ‘sister-dynamic’ that had changed so much since we were kids.

Our trip thanks to Expedia’s great rates took us to Phoenix over my 36th birthday in July. It was fantastic, despite some of the days being 118 degrees. We stayed in a fantastic 7 year old Five Star golf resort in Phoenix and had a blast. One of the perks was getting a free car upgrade upon because we had arrived at 12:05am on July 4th, my birthday, and that fact was pointed out graciously by my sister and suggested we should get a free upgrade……a comical debate was tossed around between car rental companies whose counters were adjacent that ‘sure, Marie, just give them a 500 series Mercedes’ to which I joked back that I was ‘a blue-collar girl, and a good old Ford Mustang convertible’ would do, that I didn’t need anything fancy. They relented slightly and upgraded me from a Ford Focus, to a Mazda 6. A win in my book.

In that spiffy car, we put on a lot of miles. One of my favorite things I’ve ever done was visit the Grand Canyon which was more wondrous and amazing than I had ever dreamed. At the park gift shop, I purchased my third trinket for my car – a metal cut-out of a purple glazed sun. Every time it is sunny, I look at the sun and am reminded of such great times in that glorious sunny state. I have decided I would love to go back at the drop of a hat.

Later that year in 2007, it was ‘Family Vacation’ time in August, as customary. My husband’s ankle was healed and good to go again so we had made last minute plans to take a road trip to Washington DC. The sites were mostly free and the drive wasn’t too terribly long.

I found the perfect item for my collection at the Air & Space museum. There was a little kiosk that made custom Dog Tags. I was hooked. They were only 5 dollars a set and came with rubber silencers for an additional buck. They were the perfect souvenir for friends and family so I purchased 7 sets! For myself, I got a set that had my name, Washington DC & the date of our vacation, and another set that had my address on it. Upon arriving home, the Washington DC set was added to my ever-growing collection of memories in my car.

This year’s vacation is again DC (this time with my sister) and Virginia Beach afterwards to satisfy the beach-bum in me. I am sure this location will provide me with my next hanging memory.

What do your rear-view ornaments say about you?
Apparently, mine say that I like to hold onto my memories for as long as possible and escape my everyday life often by gazing upon them……

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