The Winter of Our Discontent

2014 Toyota Tundra

Well, it’s that season again, the season where cars are in storage and the enthusiasts are abuzz on social media and forums everywhere planning for the next season.  With not much excitement in the scene, people quickly grow bored waiting for the snow to melt and warmer days to return.  But, with that boredom, comes a lot of talk, with a mix of good and bad.  The problem with the bad is, it has a tendency to build on itself making something relatively trivial, a big deal.

We’ve all seen it happen, participated in it even, and honestly, it’s tough to avoid at times.  But, at the end of the day, is it really worth getting involved in?

Probably not.

Toyota Aristo

Of course that is not to say that people are not entitled to their own opinions.  There’s no way that everyone is going to like everything that everybody else is doing with their car.  But, when the owner is happy with their choices, that’s really all that matters.

Again, people are entitled to their opinion, they’re also entitled to share that opinion.  There is a big difference in sharing that opinion, and shooting down the choices the owner has made.

For example, there’s a dramatic difference between saying, “Hey, you know what, I wouldn’t have done that if it were my car, but good on you.” versus “that looks like garbage, you’ve ruined the car.”.

Acura NSX

Group politics also play into this as well.  This is not to say that we have issues with any of the clubs/groups/squads in our local car scene, or that we haven’t been involved in disagreements in the past. However, there continues to be a level of division between groups.  The scene feels very clique-y, which is unfortunate and may be discouraging for new enthusiasts.  Sure the vast majority will come down to Top Tier’s Friday Night Lights, but you’ll see people show up in their group, hang out in their corner of the parking lot with their group, and leave with their group.

Everyone will have their core group of friends that they know best, and are closest to, but does it really hurt to branch out?  No, of course not!  Sure, come and leave with your closest friends, but make an effort to speak to people you’ve never met before.  Chances are, their impression of you is largely based on what they’ve heard about you, even a quick conversation can change an opinion.

Honda Civic

We’re all in this together folks, at the end of the day, working together as enthusiasts is what will make the scene grow.  It shouldn’t matter what name you’ve given to your core group of friends, or which Instagram page is your favorite.  As Top Tier put it, we’re all connected by cars.  Find interest in the fact that every vehicle at a meet is a little different, even if it isn’t one of your friends’. After all, if everyone built the exact same car, it wouldn’t feel much different from seeing dozens of bone-stock vehicles all parked together.

Be excellent to each other. We’ll see you in the spring, with cameras in hand.

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