Driving a Convertible While Female
Ever since I was in high school, I dreamed of owning a convertible. What I actually drove in high school — shared with my brother -was my mother’s hand-me-down Oldsmobile Omega.
It wasn’t until I was turning fifty and my youngest child was getting her license that my then boyfriend — now husband — convinced me that I should go for it.
I’d been driving a MomMobile SUV with the extra row of carpool seats for years. Not exactly the car of my dreams, but it did the job. With the youngest now a licensed driver, I could hand that down to her and buy myself what I jokingly call my MidLifeCrisisMobile.
I bought a stick-shift, hard-top convertible that had just come off lease. That was back in 2012, and I have had more joy per dollar from that car (aka Precioussssssssss) than anything I have ever bought for myself.
There’s something about driving with tunes blasting and the wind in my hair that helps me blow the worst mood away — especially when engaging in “Convertible Karaoke.”
It makes driving about the journey as much as the destination — even if you’re doing the things you hate, like going to the grocery store.
But as I was reminded yet again today, driving a convertible while female is not without risk.
I was going straight through an intersection where I had the light when a guy in a pickup turning left from the opposite direction shouted something that startled me and freaked me out. It could have caused an accident.
There have been so many other incidents. Like the group of young men in a car who followed me onto the interstate when I was driving home from a teaching job, and tailgated me in the fast lane. When I was finally able to pull right, I gave them the finger when they passed, because I really don’t appreciate being tailgated by a bunch of young idiots.
They kept speeding up and slowing down, trying to stay level with me, and I tried to ignore them, but then I saw one of them with their ass hanging out the window.
It was after that incident that H installed front and rear dashcams in my car.
But that’s only one in a list of many. There are the guys who see a woman driving a convertible on the highway and try to get you to race. There are the guys who drive level with you for ages instead of overtaking, because they’re trying to get your attention.
Then there’s the guy at Stamford Train station who told me to “smile” right after my mother died suddenly and unexpectedly. Hey, you’re a woman in a convertible! You are there to make men happy! Who cares if you lost one of the most important people in your life suddenly and unexpectedly? SMILE, WOMAN, SMILE!
This might come as a shock to some guys, but when I’m driving my convertible, I’m not doing it to get your attention. I am doing it for ME. I’m doing it to clear my head. I’m doing it because it brings me joy; because it’s something I dreamed of being able to do as a teenager, and I can finally afford to do it.
Too many guys seem to think that women drive convertibles for their benefit, for the “male gaze.” My dudes, I hate to break it to you, but I couldn’t give an shit whether you’re looking at me while I’m in the Precioussssssss. I’m too busy pretending I’m Nikki Lauda in my favorite scene in Rush.
So leave women alone when we’re out enjoying ourselves in our dream cars, okay? We’ve earned it.