In his book The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch talks about our attachment to material things. He writes that if our wheelbarrow or trash can gets a big ding in it, we don’t give it another thought, but a small scratch in our new car causes us to freak out.
I was reminded of that passage when I saw a story about this dude who let his artist wife draw all over his sports car with a Sharpie. Even if the style is not your cup of tea, you gotta admit that the end result is pretty cool.
Now, every once in a while you’ll see someone who has blinged out their beater jalopy with streaks of paint that make it look like an attendee at the original Woodstock. Good for them, I always think. If I had an old junky car, I might be tempted to do something similar.
But I’m gonna be honest here. We have a shiny black 2012 Ford Edge which we sometimes refer to as the Batmobile. Even though I am a trained artist, the odds of me painting a Batman logo on the side is somewhere between slim and not a chance in hell.
But a part of me — a big part of me, actually — wishes those odds were much, much higher.
I’m sure it has a lot to do with how much money we spent on it. I’m also sure I wish it didn’t.
Not many folks have the desire / courage to take a Sharpie or a can of spray paint to to their shiny new car. But just because something is extremely uncommon and might be supremely difficult to do doesn’t mean it’s not a rule that doesn’t exist.
On the other hand, just because something is a rule that doesn’t exist doesn’t mean you have to break it.
Considering WHY you wouldn’t is the valuable part.
Emily Hefko says
Well, the practical concern of resale value is certainly an influence in decisions about personalizing cars and houses, you also should be able to creatively enjoy something so central in your life and heavily invested in. You certainly could create a batmobile logo magnet for your car, or google eyes, or different car costumes for everyday of the week. Balancing practicality and self expression is a fun challenge.
You know people who really like decorating cars usually use paint especially created for that purpose, because you get better, more durable results(not that Sharpies are the wrong choice). If you think that some how makes it less child-like, whimsical, and fun, I’d like to introduce a couple more rules that don’t exist; Thou shalt not sneak a camero into your basement woodshop for the winter just because the garage isn’t heated(2 years running) and thou shalt not build a temporary paint booth in your garage the next summer with 2 x 4s and plastic sheeting. Being adults means we get access to better tools and equipment, we get to decided how we spend our time, and we can make things happen. Preventing adultitis means keeping our minds open to possibility and adventure.
I LOVE the idea of “car costumes.” In fact, my car is already the earthy brown of Mr. Potatohead–and I’m pretty sure the local office supply store sells those sheets of magnetic material for computer printers. HA HA HA That rust spot I’ve been fussing about on the hood may just get covered up by a MUSTACHE!
Thanks for the funspiration!
If you do that, I’m going to NEED a photo, Pat! :)
Emily, I also love your idea of “car costumes.” And I couldn’t agree more with you about the advantages of adulthood. Better tools, more control of our time, AND the ability to order strawberry margaritas! :)
Elva Ross says
Never wanted to and never have.
Jacky Lueker says
I let my nephew put black pin stripes in the shapes of flames on the sides/hood of my 1995 white Bonneville. He thought I was the greatest aunte to let him do that…. he was 14 at the time. But my Bonneville was over 10 years old. I wouldn’t have the guts to do that to a new car though.
Now my 2000 Toyota Avalon is starting to show it’s age (a few tiny rusty spots)…. I’m going to have to come up with some doodles/paint. Right now, the one that is bothersome is on the upper windshield/roof….. hmmmmmmmm maybe I’ll get my artistic sister to put a dragon crawling from roof to windshield!!! and the other spot on the trunk…. something escaping the trunk…. now I’m pumped to “DO IT”! thanks for the encouragement.
That sounds pretty awesome, Jacky! I’d love to see the final outcome!
Corinne Hanson says
I was thinking that a batman decal would give nice effect, and could be removed–a static cling one, at least. I like Emily’s magnet idea, too. I love creative people–I keep hoping it will rub off on me!
I’m seriously considering a decal of some sort like that. Maybe we should come up with our own line of “magnetic googly eyes” and other accoutrements for cars…
Sharifa Tomlinson email@example.com says
Yup I painted a huge daisy on the back of my class C RV. Then had matching license plates cause I was driving ms daisy