Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Purpose of Trucks

It's hard to believe now that I lived 22 years of my life without a truck.  In the past I always thought that the decision to buy a truck was determined by over-inflated ego or an under-inflated sense of self-worth (you thought I was going to say something else didn't you?). Either of the personality extremes could justify one of those giant, gas guzzling, possibly camouflaged, definitely Rhino-lined monstrosities, but certainly necessity could not.  Looking back I think I assumed that anything with a motor could pull anything else with a motor.  I had never seen a Honda Accord pulling a John Deere tractor, but that was only because anyone with a John Deere tractor would never condescend to drive a Honda Accord.  And, again, I was completely wrong and I apologize belatedly and silently for all those negative attitudes and dirty looks one of these drivers may have received from me.  
Justin drives a truck, always has, and that was something I had to overcome when I first met him.  It took a while to realize that it wasn't just a style choice or masculinity choice on his part.  He truly needed a truck, not just for pulling things but for all kinds of various functions. I began to think, what did Mom and Dad do when they bought a piece of furniture?  What if something didn't fit in the trunk?  I always wondered why I never got one of those awesome Fisher-Price play kitchens when I was little.  It wasn't because my parents were cruel and wanted to deprive me of an outlet for my domestic tendencies as a five-year-old girl, it was because how on Earth would they have gotten the thing home?
Since I've known Justin we've moved about four times, first down here from Chicago, then to Dover, then to Russellville, then back here to Dover and never once was a moving van required. We just attached the trailer to the truck and moved on down the road.  
Of course, I still can't say that every family needs a truck for buying their kids awesome toys and moving about once a year.  It turns out that trucks are actually needed to pull equipment, you can't do it with a Honda.  First Justin had a Toyota truck that was cute and I liked it because it was kind of old and small and simple, like something that you'd use to drive through the forest, nothing fancy, just a truck.  When he bought the stump grinder he had to buy a bigger truck to pull it.  I know this because I've been in the Toyota when it was trying to pull something heavy and, you know, you could really tell there was something back there weighing it down.  The truck we have now is a good truck, it's a three-quarter ton and has all kinds of places on the dash that I think have something to do with trailer brakes or lights or both.  I've driven it without the trailer on the back and it's a tank. It's really fun to drive, when you're not running it out of gas on a huge hill, which I've also done.  When there is a trailer on the back you can tell a difference.  I watch Justin lower that trailer onto the hitch and it sets that truck down about half a foot, and I see now that a trailer with a stump grinder and a tractor would probably rip the engine, not to mention the entire back end, out of my Honda.  I see also that Justin has a point when he says he really needs an even larger truck.  
I like the truck we've got now, it's big and it is single-handedly destroying the environment but, like the Toyota, it's simple and functional.  Everything on there has a purpose.  The toolbox in the back is even full of tools, I thought those were probably for show too. Those brush guard things on the front of trucks?  You know, those big chrome casings that go over the lights? Those are actually for driving your truck though brush, and they do protect the lights from getting broken.  Justin actually needs one of those.  The lights that go over the cab of the truck? Those are so you can work even when it starts getting dark.  For those out there who are worried about their egos or self-worth there are all kinds of accessories you can get to make your truck look like a serious son-of-a-bitch (sorry Mom, I had to use that phrase, nothing else would sound as good, I tried), but there are also just simple guys trying to make a living who really do need tools and headlights that aren't broken and floodlights so they can fix their stump grinder in the dark.  Let that be a lesson to you, all you who are judgemental like me. Sometimes fashion is functional, and what is fashionable can also be functional, as I think of my wardrobe, so some men think of their trucks.


  1. Something about you that comes to my mind often is when you expressed a desire to not be overly-opinionated :D It sure is a constant battle, isn't it?!
    Seriously though, I think of that all the time. Such a simple character check. I love you Annie.

    ~overly affectionate weird chick~

  2. Did I express a desire to NOT be over-opinionated? I don't remember that...