Candy apple red
So this summer has been anything but fun at the Wise Guyde household. My brother passed away in mid-July, and then I was in a collision that totaled our white Camry. It also battered my right leg, which resulted in five days of antibiotic drip at Jefferson Hospital and so far a month of keeping my leg elevated. It’s on the mend as we speak. Nothing was broken or fractured, just badly bruised and swollen. Linda was not in the car at the time.
Well, we proceeded to shop for a new car. I should not say “we.” As with most everything lately, it fell to blessed Linda to do the shopping. We have had an excellent experience with Apple Valley Toyota Chevrolet in Martinsburg, so Linda returned there for the new car.
They did not have a whole lot to choose from in the way of pre-owned cars, but they did have one that was right up our alley. It’s a 2017 Camry with only 22,000 miles on it and a perfect maintenance record by the previous owner. Only one issue — it was red!
Now, Linda and I live kind of modestly. We usually would choose something more dignified and maybe more becoming to our ages, such as a blue or, as with our last car, a white which, while conspicuous, nonetheless spoke of a certain earnestness about life. But red? This required some processing.
Google research revealed that it is not true that the police pull red cars over more often than others. It is true however that red cars are involved in 7 percent more accidents than any other color. Not the greatest news but, well, we’ll be careful.
Many years ago, a good friend of ours half-jokingly suggested to Linda and me that we were too sensible. “You’re both so sensible” was the exact quote but we got the message. This floated up to my mind as I realized that we both wanted the red car but we were having trouble giving ourselves permission. Too garish, too conspicuous, too unbecoming . . . but man, we really like this car! Apple Valley even drove it over here to our house so Bill of the Elevated Leg could see it before purchase. Wow, it was really beautiful but oh so red!
And what would one call that shade? Not cherry — it’s not that bright. Not fire engine — not the right shade either. Certainly not maroon — way too red for that. Finally we sent pictures around to the relatives and my stepdaughter got it just right. She said it was candy apple red, and that’s exactly what it is.
So we branched out into unexplored Dionysian territory and are now the proud owners of a bright red car. Of course we had to rationalize away our eco-friendly consciences but, hey, it does get good mileage. The first day out, someone said to Linda, “Oh, what a beautiful red car. I’d love a red car but we always get something drab like gray.” Linda just smiled.
Bill O’Brien is a consciousness coach and shamanic practitioner. He and his wife Linda have lived in Shepherdstown since 2005. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.