I drive a Subaru. And it used to be a sore spot, especially when we lived in the Mat-su (Matanuska-Susitna) Valley in Alaska, froggering our tiny imported crossover SUV around an endless stream of dinosauric American-made trucks.
Especially at places like the gravel pit or Spenard Builders Supply, invariably, after watching me struggle to bungee lumber to my ski rack or shovel loose rock straight into the hatchback, some pickup-truck dude would amble over.
“What kinda rig you runnin’?” he’d ask, and then, answering his own question, “Subaru – my wife drives one of those.”
Clearly, I found this deflating. And I’m no stranger to having my masculinity questioned because of the “rig” I’m “runnin’.”
Throughout high school and college, I drove a Swedish import. It was rear-wheel drive, with a puny rheumatic engine and factory tires. This made it a death machine, too, especially in a landscape as hilly and icy as Ithaca, New York, which, like Juneau, features streets that become staircases that become streets that become staircases again.
I hated that car more than techno.
My Subaru, on the other hand, I love. Utilitarian, sturdy, compact but powerful.