Seeing Red

By LYNNE MacKNIGHT | Aug 22, 2018

I live a quiet, ordinary life and seldom attempt to garner attention for myself. However, I have discovered a trend and feel compelled to expand on the information I have observed. I will admit, it is a completely undocumented situation, for which I apologize ahead of time.

I am speaking of the proliferation of the red car. A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were cruising slowly along in Beach Haven when I saw a red car. It looked new and shiny and I pointed it out to my husband, who was barely interested. But then there was another, and in many parking lots there might be as many as three.

I know most cars are black, white, gray or tan, with a few exceptions of blue cars, or maybe silver or green. As I am sure you would agree, a red car does stand out.

Years ago I heard “old wives” tales that a red vehicle is more apt to be stopped by law enforcement. Frankly, I discount that right away. Many years ago in our early marriage, before our offspring began arriving, and being a two-earner couple, we bought a red car. It was tiny, but fun to drive.

Now, because of my astute observation, I can tell you the number of red cars traveling the roads and dotting parking lots and private driveways has risen. At first, I thought it just might be people wanting to show off their shiny, new red cars at the beach, but on rides home, I drove my usually patient husband a little mad. Every time I saw one, I would exclaim, “Red car!” It got tired fast, but although I soon stopped verbalizing my observation, I was astounded at how many new red cars appeared to be on the road.

Once we were home, I saw them in driveways and in parking lots and on the road. I was and am convinced there is a new trend. Since I was intent on determining the validity of my observations, I had to report there is another color also vying for notice. That color is not as prevalent as red, but does cause notice. It is a bright blue. I am not talking about a conservative blue, but a bright, “can’t miss” blue. They are not so numerous as red, but still seem a part of a trend.

My disbelieving husband notes that some cars I call red are not truly red. I understand his belief. Some cars tend to be more of a wine color, and there are orange cars around, too. I assure him I agree that there are shades of red and orange and bright yellow, but they do not diminish my belief that red cars are numerous right now.

Because I try to authenticate anything I write, I went to the web to do a bit of research. Well, as expected, black and white cars lead the pack, and as of that writing, red cars seemed to be in the 7 percent range. I urge you to question these figures, though.

Just the other day, we went shopping and a red car parked right beside us. I noticed several red cars also parked there, and one all by itself in a sparsely used lot. (My assumption was that the owner’s concern for the new car prompted it to be parked where the least harm might come to it.)

I wish I could ignore red cars, but I can’t help noticing them. Red does catch your eye, and that may be why traffic lights and traffic stop signs are red. Some danger flags are red.

Some people wear red to be noticed. That is not me, I assure you. I own one red sweater and will admit I like it but surely don’t expect to be noticed. At my age, no color invites notice. That is why I let my hair go white some years ago. I myself have entered the invisible age, but by no means does this dim my enthusiasm for discovery.

Lynne MacKnight lives in Princeton Junction, N.J., and Beach Haven.


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