Every now and then in life you get a glimpse of what people really think of you when they slip up and make an assumption. Recently I was at a BBQ and a relative mentioned a fifties Cadillac that she spotted on a recent road trip. She then made a comment that people who drive those types of cars clearly enjoy being looked at. Now this person has known me for a long time, knows how I dress, knows that I too drive a classic car and quite obviously thinks that I am looking for some kind of validation by having people look at me.
I quickly put her straight that I drive a classic car because I enjoy having a classic vehicle and enjoy the driving experience, that I am a motoring enthusiast and that if I really wanted to drive a car for attention then I would buy a car that was twenty five times more fuel economic and reliable, one that had air-conditioning and modern suspension and safety features.
It got me thinking, I guess some people who see me driving down Sydney’s freeways might think I am some kind of narcissistic poser, which offcourse I am not, well not completely.
Living a vintage lifestyle can cause people to come to incorrect conclusions about you and your life. Several years ago I worked at a radio station that unconsciously decided that, based on my appearance, I wouldn’t be able to program the music for their top forty radio station. It wasn’t until I explained my experience and qualifications to be their Music Director did they figure they should give me a chance at the role. They acted pleasantly surprised when they discovered that I was good at my job.
Is the point of this article that Vintage lifestyle people have to work harder? Is there a vintage glass ceiling? Well no that would be just crazy, my point is that one should be aware that sometimes your appearance will convince people that you are a certain way and often there is no way you can convince them otherwise.
I know that sometimes I forget that I am a complete enigma to people. They just can’t get past a fifties style swept back quiff or a forties style pencil moustache, I guess when you don’t look like the average man then questions need to be asked. I’ve even come across blatant hostility simply because I dared to rebel against societal norms by dressing differently. Do I care? Should you care, well no, not at all, but certainly be aware.