I get a lot of looks driving around. That's due to the fact that my Jeep Grand Cherokee is not your typical mommy's SUV.
It started this way. I mentioned something to the tune of, "I guess since my Jeep is 3 years old now you could take it off-road sometime if you want." (I'm imagining a gravel road, you understand.)
My husband was too excited to reply. Two thousand dollars and about thirty minutes later my car was tricked out to go 4-wheeling. And by the way, these trails are not exactly gravel roads. One of them is called Carnage Canyon, for crissake. But then, I didn't know about Carnage when I said that.
So now my car is a teenage boy's wet dream of a truck. The color might be girly, bright red, but the rest is all grunting, ass-scratching, back-slapping man-Jeep. It was tricked out to four-wheel on mountain trails, except now it's been retired from the trails because we built (real jeeps are built, not bought, if you didn't know) even a BIGGER jeep. Anyway, my truck has the grill guard on the front; a kind of big, black, mean looking thing that I imagine looks pretty imposing in a rear-view mirror. The engine is chipped, and it's got a special air intake for enhanced performance at high altitude that makes it rumble in the sort of way that in Kansas would say "low-rent" but in Colorado says "cool-ass off-road truck." And of course it's lifted and has big tires, and eventually (because I sense well ahead when I am losing an argument) will be even two inches higher with expensive differential lockers and long-arms. That's so you can get something called "good articulation" when you go over the big rocks.
Then I will have trouble reaching the back hatch when it is open and I will have to jump for it, I guess. That will be very cool.
Yeah, I sound like I know what I'm talking about, don't I? But actually I'm just parrotting what I've heard about a thousand times in the past year and a half.
But as I said, we get a lot of looks, my truck and I. Teenage boys, college guys, starving artist types, thirty-something dads in mini-vans. They all look at my car with something resembling lust in their eyes. My friends' husbands tell me that I drive a really cool truck. Sometimes guys in other Jeeps wave very casually to me, probably before they realize it's a woman driving. Because as my husband made that clear to me early on, it's not me they're noticing. It's definitely the car.
Case in point: Not long after my husband lovingly, orgasmically fixed up my truck, I'm driving home one nice summer evening, windows down, stereo on, engine rumbling in the way that it does. I pull up to a stop sign. Next to me are two college guys on a motorcycle. Both are looking right at me and I look away quick.
Most people think their car is an invisibility shield, even with the windows down. You can do anything in it and no one knows you are there: sing, yell at your kids, talk on the phone...and yeah, grosser stuff that I won't mention here. I used to suffer from that delusion. But guess what? People can see right through the windows of your car. Especially when they are open.
Of course, I immediately glance back to see if they are still looking. They are. Then the guy on the back of the motorcycle waves at me, grins widely, and he says "Hi."
Ok, I admit it was a little nudge to the ego. Who doesn't like that?
Then a couple of turns later, I'm again sitting in a turn lane - double left this time. A guy in a van grins at me and says "How're you doin'?"
By now it's occurred to me that someone taped a "Wave to the Loser" sign on the back of the truck, but ever the optomist, I smile back and drive on, chalking it up to the summer tan.
So of course I go home and brag to my husband about it. You know, just to let him know other guys see me too, and he's damn lucky to have me.
And he says, "Wow, people sure are noticing the truck now."