You, too, can choose to have a ‘red convertible’

At last, Virginia has her red convertible. Except for one detail, that is. The red convertible is green.
The picture came in the mail today. There Virginia sits, a young and perky woman in a brand new luxury convertible with sporty tires. And the only touch of red in the picture is a stylish wrap-around head-scarf designed to offer protection from the wind.
I remember when that red convertible began, as though it were yesterday. It was, however, more than a half-decade ago that we were sitting in the backyard on a balmy spring day.
Lolling in recliners. Sipping coffee. Laughing and talking when we chose to and growing silent in between. Recreating our friendship of other years.
And then out of the blue, someone asked, “Have you ever thought what you’d do if you had a million dollars?” Or 20 million?
It wasn’t hard to let our minds run wild. Set up a charitable foundation or maybe build a new house. Travel abroad or go back to school. Buy a condominium in Colorado.
Oh, how we dreamed aloud! Except for Virginia. She just lay back in her recliner, looking up at the sky. Starry-eyed.
And then when she’d finally finished dreaming, Virginia sat straight up and announced with conviction, “I’d buy a red convertible. I’ve always wanted a red convertible.”
Well, that was seven years ago, and today the photo came in the mail. I couldn’t understand at first why Virginia’s red convertible had turned to green until I turned the photo over and discovered it was the practicality of life.
It turns out Virginia’s convertible was a gift-for-a-day on the occasion of her 65th birthday from a niece and nephew who had often heard the story of that sunny prairie afternoon.
And writes Virginia, “We couldn’t rent a red one so I ‘tooled’ around in a green convertible for a day!”
Personally, I’ve never wanted a red convertible but I always remember with fondness the story I read more than a decade ago in The San Francisco Chronicle.
It seems Alice Yarish had coveted a red convertible all her life. First for a high school graduation gift. Then for college graduation. But no one gave it to her. She got married and divorced. Raised four children alone. Went to law school and became a journalist.
And one day at 77, Alice Yarish was driving down the road in what she called “a little old lady from Pasadena car” when she saw her red convertible in a car lot.
Alice came to a sudden halt. Swung into the lot and bought the car. She had written a cheque on her funeral nest egg. But said Alice, “What the heck! You can’t drive a tombstone.”
It may not be your dream to drive a red convertible. But, on the other hand, we all have our “red convertible” dreams.
Maybe it’s running barefoot in the grass. Or blowing bubbles in the sun. Maybe it’s bungee jumping. Or skiing for the first time. Maybe it’s a wild new hairdo. Or an extravagant necktie. Or a pair of dangly earrings.
Maybe it’s a Cadillac. Or an airplane.
Everybody has a wild dream. So what’s yours? And what do you plan to do about it?
If it isn’t practical for a lifetime, why not at least fulfill it for a day?

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