Folks and things they spend money on static electricity sound effect

Today I’ll talk about "vanity plates", license plates on your car or motorcycle that you specifically order to your taste. I’m sure that some folks here have them and if that’s your thing, it certainly isn’t any of my business. I do a lot of things with my time, money and heart that many would find senseless, but we all seem to get along.

Often I’ll see a classic car with a vanity plate that really fits in well with the theme of the vehicle, and I can (especially for those who show their car for prizes) how a license plate like this makes really good sense. "427 Vette" for example, as we have been discussing.

Where am I going with this? Haha, thanks for reading this far. I’m just here to mention this third group of people. There may be many groups with different reasons for their vanity plate, but this group is the one I can’t figure out. It’s the folks that drop some nugget that seems to have little to do with anything. Seems harmless (it is harmless) but here in Ohio, a vanity plate is $50. That’s $50 above an beyond all fees already associated with a plate and registration. And my favorite kicker: it’s an annual fee.

To be clear, you pay $50 on top of all your normal fees and you pay it every single year until you finally conclude that you no longer want your funny plate. So yes, if you keep it 5 years, you have a $250 bumper stick issued by the State of Ohio.

In the peoples republic of NY there not that expensive for what they do. You can send a message, be a member of a group. Another and its a biggie to me is its about the cheapest thing you can do to customize your car. Think about it, everybody changes wheels, hood, adds graphics & spoilers and there are tons of other cars out there with "your things” on them The most of any plate that will be the same is perhaps fifty. Good chance you come up with sometime unique you will never see another like yours. You get a plate like "57 Chev or dads car, paid4" you will see 50 if you go all over the country.

As for me I for years went to the 4 days of Corvettes at Carlisle ( a good chance on a busy day over 5,000 Vettes there). See some dupes of common vanity plates, but I have never ran into Vettes that had my plate on it. Like said its the cheapest customizing you can do to make your ride special.

At Carlisle and other big shows there are "plate collectors". People that go around and take pictures of unique plates. Seen many people at many shows for years doing this. Talked to many of them at different car shows and looked at their albums!

You see? I never and never will understand why people would spend so much money on a car, only to keep it inside a garage only to bring it out for a couple days each summer just to have people stare at it. So the owner can brag about it, post pictures and get facebook likes. Afraid to even drive it down the street out of fear of a scratch or to put wear on it, hurting it’s "value". Never using the vehicle for it’s intended purpose and that is the pure rush, the enjoyment of driving down the open road.

Complete waste of money if you ask me. Just like some of the guys out here that would spend thousands on a mint blued Colt Python, only to keep it in a safe and play with it every sunday. Afraid to shoot it because doing so would hurt it’s "value"..

Do to nasty weather condition in upper NY state I only get abut 6 months of driving my Vette. It is far from being used only a couple times each summer. Yes I go to shows but it gets driven plenty. Its lots of fun up here in the twisty up and down back roads of the mountains I live in. That and as where so far out a LEO encounter is a rarity!

People customize cars, trucks, and boats, just to name a few things. And, oh yes… guns. Fancy engraving, custom stocks, non-factory finishes, custom sights and custom action jobs. Flaunt it? Sure are a bunch of forum members "flaunting" their pretty guns, or how much ammo they’ve hoarded, aren’t there?

However, there seem to be a lot of people these days that see it has their most defining characteristic. As if being unique were in and of itself somehow a supreme virtue. Elevating uniqueness to the level of a virtue is narcissistic IMO. I’m not one who belongs to that club.

Now obviously I’m not saying that having vanity plates is the same as turning yourself into a sideshow attraction. But as I stated in my ORIGINAL post, for SOME people it is a manifestation of that same need to draw attention to themselves – though admittedly not to nearly the same extreme degree.

BTW, the current "non conformist" mentality had it’s start in the hippie movement of the 60’s. Since that time it has permeated our culture to the point that in some circles people "celebrate" uniqueness and glorify it above all else – to the point of making it some kind of virtue.

Unfortunately, I see that as one of the elements that are at the basis of what is wrong with our society. It is a mindset of glorifying and placing the ego of the individual above the good of the society as a whole. Without some degree of conformity – to standards and norms – society breaks down. And ours IS breaking down.