Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday: Thinking About Trucks, Television, And All The News That's Fit To Fabricate

So I'm watching Judge Judy, one of my guilty pleasures. (Don't start with me. I already know I watch entirely too much television as it is, and I cannot be tasked with watching only quality programming all the time. I've already cut out most Food Network shows, having broken up with almost everyone over there. But that's another post entirely.)

Anyway. Over the course of several months of watching Judge Judy, I've noticed something curious. There seems to be a growing trend of young single women who drive trucks. Not semis or eighteen-wheelers, like for their jobs; I'm talking personal vehicles. Like a pickup truck. I cannot begin to tell you how many times a young woman will begin her testimony--as a defendant or a plaintiff--by mentioning her truck. Either it was damaged or someone owes her money for one or it was supposed to be a gift or whatever. And let me tell you--this truck ownership crosses racial and socioeconomic lines as well. These young women are black, white, Hispanic, Asian, and mixed races. They are seemingly well-to-do as well as appearing down on their luck. The Judge Judy show is filmed in New York, but her cases are from all over the country.

I am honestly befuddled by this apparent movement of Young Woman Truck Ownership. Why is this occurring? Why is the pickup truck so attractive to these young ladies? Do they have things they need to haul? Do they have a lot of friends who move? Do they not want a back seat, thereby eliminating the need to provide rides for lots of people at once? Are they sending a certain message, and if so, what is it? Do young men find women who drive trucks "hot?"

I find it all very intriguing. Perhaps the common denominator is that young women who drive trucks are either very litigious or very unlucky; failing that, they are hooked up with people who go to court an awful lot.

On a related note--marginally, at best--there is a television commercial that I find highly irritating lately. It is for a new laundry product by Purex called the 3-in-1 laundry sheet. In the ad, a woman with terrible-looking red hair says that this product "makes her life ONE THOUSAND TIMES BETTER."

Holy crap. Seriously? How miserable is this chick's life? And how much of it revolves around laundry? You know what? When Jared told me about using Control + F, it made my life easier, but mainly when I'm trying to search through hundreds of entries in my resident archives of the Brian Williams Tie Report , and not 1000 times. And again, only when I'm writing silly little blurbs...about ties. Someone needs to get some perspective, Redhaired Laundry Slave, and it isn't me.

Finally, there's this, just for...well, just for. (Mainly, so you all feel good about your families being ONE THOUSAND TIMES more normal than mine.)

Scene opens with Nance in bathroom drying her hair. Jared enters casually.

Jared: Hey. This just in. Dad says he doesn't like you.
Nance: Yeah? So what?
Jared: Mom. Hey. I don't make the news. I just report it.

Jared saunters out. Nance continues drying hair. Rick is in living room feeding logs into fireplace, innocent to all which has taken place.



  1. I'm a Texan, and I've driven all kinds of trucks. Trucks are about empowerment. An easy source of power gratification. And they're purty, too. Plus, driving a truck is SO much more fun than grading Gatsby papers...

  2. I get the truck thing totally. After years of being terrified of the passing lane because of the Dodge Ram grills that immediately materialized to fill my rear view mirror whenever I ventured out of the right lane, I went shopping for the biggest honkin' black Ram I could find...completely chromated. Of course, the test drive set me straight (it's a Truck, girls), but I was almost ready to pull out the checkbook and start getting even. Trucks for girls are passive-aggressive road rage.

  3. I know a women whose truck license plate is "NOT HIS"

  4. A woman driving a truck is just no big thing here. Personally, I drive an X-Terra, but my husband has always had a truck and I've always enjoyed driving them. Maybe it's a regional thing.

  5. I just got a ride in a truck today from two Asian lesbians. It had a backseat, though, so I suppose they don't mind giving people rides.

  6. I drive a Volvo but my inner Grrrl drives a red Ford pickup.

    To me, they're sexy. They say, "self-reliance." They also conjure fond memories of tailgating and making good use of those BIG bench seats.

    (P.S. Shirley's husband has a case in small claims court and was contacted by Judge Judy to see if he wanted to have his case heard by her.)

  7. For the past few years I've been thinking that I would like a chance to drive a really big truck. One with a backseat would be a plus. Something I need a step ladder to climb up into. I don't want to own one, I just want to drive one around for a few days and feel like a badass. Oh, and I would park like a jerk, sideways if I could, wherever I went.

    But I do not believe that those few days would improve my life 1000%.

  8. Nance,

    The first time I ever saw a woman driving a pick up truck was in the film "War of The Roses" and Kathleen Turner was the driver. I think that movie is what really started the trend of women driving trucks. It was so cool. She had a big pick up with a light bar across the top....

    It was after that picture that I started noticing young women in trucks.

    I am also a fan of Judge Judy. I have my DVR set to record her twice a day and I watch when I have time but mainly I record it because she has so many commercials and I can breeze through them and get back to her
    meanness and hostility sooner..

    My favorite thing is when she dismisses someone's case and they haven't had the opportunity to say one word. The baffled look on their face is priceless..They have traveled all the way from Podunk to Los Angeles and spent weeks gathering evidence and Judy has decided the case after reading the complaint and answer before the taping has even begun.

  9. Nancy--But Kathleen Turner wasn't exactly a "young woman" at that point, was she? I'm talking teens to twenty-somethings, and right now. Most women in that age range have NO IDEA who K. Turner is and never saw that movie. But I get what you mean. These days, teenaged girls are much more...aggressive. I noticed that with the way they pursued my sons. Not many boundaries. RE: Judge Judy. My husband and I get a charge out of that aspect, too. We can often tell when the other side won't even have to open their mouths to win their case. Remarkable.

    J.--You should know just from everyday parking experience that you don't have to drive a bigass truck to park like a jerk. LOL.

    V-Grrrl--I had you pegged for a Volvo all along. LOL. Seriously. Anyway, I have driven a variety of pickup trucks because my husband has always been in the construction business. If his vehicle was last in the driveway, then I drove it. I never felt sexy in it--far from it. However, I was told I looked sexy driving his bigass Ford F150 by a man once, a "compliment" I found laughable. I guess I just don't see a car in those terms. My car is just my transportation to me, but I know lots of people see their cars as an extension of their personalities. Or as a statement for them. For me, that's what my shoes are for.

    Mikey--Lucky for you, huh!?

    apathy lounge--whenever I hear "X-Terra", I think of the episode of The Office where Dwight tells Andy that he will buy his X-Terra for next to nothing because these are his options: You can sell it for parts, drive it off a cliff, you can donate it to a person who you'd like to see die in a car crash, or you can sell it to me and I'll use it as I would a wagon on my farm. It will be towed by a donkey." No disrespect to your own vehicle, which I'm sure is lovely. But how much do you love that episode?
    Beyond that, I don't think it's regional, either, because as I intended to make clear in the post, even though JJ is filmed in NY, her cases come from all over the country. And these young women are from all over, yet they seem to have this in common, regardless of region.
    My husband has always had a truck, too, because of his work, but I prefer not to drive it. I hate backing out with any vehicle, and something about trucks makes it seem more difficult for me.

    Sillyak--Welcome to the Dept., and thanks for chiming in. Now there's a gal who really loves her truck, huh?

    The Other Nance--You know, I get that to an extent. I drive an SUV, which for a lot of people is hard to believe. I am NOT sporty, nor am I particularly "utilitarian." But I detest driving, period. At least an SUV sits me up high and gives me a feeling of safety and a really good look at the traffic and a much clearer view of...well, EVERYTHING. I feel more in control and alert. My tradeoff for this was to buy a hybrid SUV so that I didn't feel so damned guilty. And it's not a bigass honking SUV, so I don't feel like it's an urban assault vehicle. I don't haul a big family around anymore--it's rare that the 4 of us travel together--so I need to be environmentally conscious.

    Melissa B.--I don't think I've ever found any vehicle to be "pretty", but beauty is in the eye of a beholder. And my idea of fun is being driven around--chauffeured--rather than to have to drive myself. But we definitely agree on one thing: NO MORE PAPER GRADING, PLEASE!!!!

  10. It actually was lucky, only in the sense that otherwise, I would have had to have spent an extra hour and a half and ten bucks on public transit. And lesbians are hot, I guess?

  11. Thank for providing valuable social commentary, and for monitoring the underbelly of TV.
    I don't watch Judge Judy, but am glad you do. For instance, your important observations regarding women and trucks. With men, "bigger is better" would seem to apply, and little more needs to be said. But what about pickup trucks and, say women CPAs, or attorneys? You offer some useful ideas, but I suspect that, as with men,the answer lies at the hormonal level. Not "bigger is better," but "this-way-I-now-have-what-my-brother-kept-telling-me-all-through-school-I-didn't-have."
    You might enjoy visiting the blog my wife Barbara and I write.
    Barry Knister

  12. I TOTALLY TOTALLY get the truck thing. I aspire to own a big heavy-duty truck, but that is because it just makes life easier in the horse world. We haul a LOT of stuff around on a regular basis, and you can't pull a big horse trailer with a regular car. I drive a Chevy Trailblazer SUV, and while good for hauling lots of crap, I still want an F-350 or some other high end 4-door truck with the mother of all tow packages.

    As Barry says, I'm glad you are monitoring the underbelly of TV (and reporting on same), as I just don't have the stomach for it.

  13. I am an ex-truck woman (and former Texan) and wish every day that I had my beautiful navy blue F150 extended cab back. My daddy died and left it to me, almost brand new. It was his pride and joy, custom ordered, and my pride as well as long as I had it. It was the sweetest ride ever, and I felt safe with it. Also I could bully dumbbells on the road and move furniture for family and friends. For some reason, I did not find it hard to parallel park. But on CA freeways it was ridiculous for toting around a baby seat and carrying groceries in the tool boxes, so I had to give it up. The boys are about to go off to school or drive themselves. So, next, it'll be a little Ford Ranger!

    To understand the mindset, look up Glen Campbell's song, "I Love My Truck." "I love my truck/She's right outside/I ain't got much love/But I sure got a ride!"

    I appreciate the way Judge Judy upbraids imbeciles with her sparkly eyes and demure doily collar. And she has no fear of forcing stupid people to SHUT UP!

  14. sputnik--hey there! nice to see you again. i keep stopping by your site and hoping for the best. please forgive me, but i won't be looking up/listening to glen anytime soon. country music annoys the hell out of me. sorry. but i'm glad you loved your truck. my husband always liked rangers until his back got the best of him; now he needs more legroom and comfort. his truck is bigger now. re: JJ--i love when she asks the complainants directly: are you a moron,sir? are you thick?

    L@FF--I certainly understand the need for a bigass powerful vehicle if you have big, powerful animals to haul around. As a matter of fact, the first thing I say when I see some little old man driving an enormous truck all alone is, "Why on earth is that teensy guy driving that huge vehicle? Does he have Percherons at home that he normally hauls? Because that is THE ONLY REASON he should be commandeering that gigantic gas-hog around." LOL. Now, as far as JJ goes, she's about as wallowy as I get in the seedy Other Side Of Humanity. I never get Down And Dirty with, say, Maury. Ick. There's simply no cause for that.

    Barry--I do wonder if this theory of "Penis Envy"/Empowerment isn't being borne out in the comments here. I sense a bit of it around the edges. As far as visiting your little corner of the Interwebs, I'd love to. But you need to provide me the link. And thank you for visiting me here at the Dept. and for joining in here. Do so often!

    Mikey--I did mean that you were lucky that they didn't mind giving a ride. You saved cash on transport and it can go in your Trip Fund! Hooray! As far as the Hotness Factor, I would have to see them. And I don't know how the attraction thing figures in for you. Does it figure in for you? I don't know how that all works. OR if it does. Sigh.

  15. Totally doesn't figure in. I was just joking :-p

  16. My daughter, given any choice at all, would drive a Landrover - she's had three of them. IMHO that's worse than a truck - the wretched machines were not made for Canadian winters. For her it was an 'image' thing. She wanted to be perceived as someone who needed a Landrover. ?
    There are several young women I know who drive trucks. I shall have to conduct a survey. My husband has a truck. I can't parallel park the wretched thing.
    Jared sounds as if he has been infected with your sense of humour. He could do a lot worse.

  17. I know a couple of women who drive trucks. I don't really know that there is any psychology around it though. I've never given it much consideration...I actually used to drive a truck all the time but it wasn't mine, it belonged to a boyfriend. I can say that I got lots of attention from men driving semi-trucks on the highway. Maybe guys thinks its hot for woment to be in a big truck, who knows.

    I haven't watched Judge Judy in a long time, but I like her. She has all kinds of funny sayings. I remember once she told someone, "Don't try and pee on my forehead and tell me it's raining, I'm not stupid!"

  18. Nina--I don't know if there's really a psychology, either. But you know me, I'm an analytical sort of girl.

    Mary G--Oh, Jared is definitely quite a bit like me in more ways than I care to count. Sometimes, his father can barely stand to be in the same room with the two of us. And many times, either can I. Sigh. But thank you for the compliment. It is much appreciated.

  19. I see V has already mentioned our Judge Judy contact. Apparently her staff searches online records all over the country to find suitable cases. I guess our subject "Firewood stolen during the middle of the night" seemed like good court fodder. We declined. FYI, her show is filmed in L.A. Would not have known that if we had not been contacted. But, I have to say I think Judge Judy is mean. Can't watch her at all.

    Pickup trucks ... I see them mainly as hauling vehicles. I satisfy that need by having an SUV. ;-)



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