Kia hosted The JetSet Family on this Almost Famous-esque media trip through San Diego for the ultimate Stinger ride + drive.
Grey Cell Green
Where is that Ned’s Atomic Dustbin cassette when you need it? Have you ever just felt like you don’t fit it? As though everyone in the room is glaring and you can’t figure out for the life of you why? Who knows, maybe it’s one thing, maybe it’s an entire list. You try so hard to lay-low, and act as normal as possible, but now you aren’t even sure what ‘normal’ is anymore. It’s starting to get hot and really uncomfortable under that microscope, but just like Strummer and Jones preached, you’ve got two choices: “Should I stay or should I go?”
Then it dawns on you. The biggest A-ha! moment you’ve had in awhile. You are in on a much bigger secret that no one else is privy to, you are not normal. But the secret is that IS your norm. You never were normal, and God willing, you never will be normal. You are so far removed from normal you need your own zip code. You are totally ‘out there’ and this is so OK because in your world everything around you tends to resemble cookiecutter misfits. And I’m not referring to the cool Jersey Misfits, you know, the Glen Danzig kind (minus the kitty litter, but anyway.)
One thing those outside your tight-knit boundaries don’t realize is it is a waste of time to even try to translate or decipher your message or meaning. Quite frankly, they don’t speak your language let alone understand it. For a brief second, you wonder why on Earth they even try, but they still do. So shrug and let them.
Because in this world of Taylor Swifts, Timberlakes, and Def Leppards, you are Janis, Phil Lynott, and Keith Moon.
You can’t be normal because your DNA is made up entirely of awesome. By definition that’s the complete opposite of whatever ‘normal’ is. It doesn’t matter that your introverted self despises the spotlight, sorry dude, it is time to face the music because it just became crystal clear, you aren’t the opening act, you’re headlining the damn show. This is your festival now, so it’s time to dust off your stiletto boots, fire up the axe, and bring out the pyrotechnics because you are about to remind them why they purchased an all-access pass in the first place.
I mean why would you even want to be Sarah at Lilith Fair when you can be Perry at Lollapalooza? Reclaim your spot, become the best frontman or woman anyone has ever seen and define history. Let me clarify, you came here to dance, right? Don’t even think about doing the Electric Slide or g-d forbid line dance, when you can do The Hustle Boogie Nights-style, pave the way to greatness.
The only thing left to do is send in your skeletons and rise high and mighty from the ashes. Act like the Phoenix you are.
“What if I say I’m not like the others?
What if I say I’m not just another one of your plays?
You’re the pretender
What if I say I will never surrender?”
Wow, well look at that, we just found an anthem. I don’t know about you, but I just got the chills.
Do what you do best: do you.
Don’t Call It A Comeback
I bet this is exactly how the Kia Stinger felt as we drove through the streets of the Gaslamp District. It seems myself + alter-egos everywhere have more in common with this car than I had ever imagined. I might even go as far as call us kindred spirits. As we slowly rolled through the streets of downtown San Diego on a random Wednesday morning, bypassing the Hard Rock Hotel with Mötley Crüe blaring out the windows, totally cranking the cheese factor to volume 10, acting as silly as possible, people stopped whatever they were doing. They put down their forks while brunching at outdoor cafés, they stared with a bit of confusion, mixed with a bit of jealousy + insecurities, their eyes were filled with wonder, they had never seen something like this before. They wanted more.
I’ve seen that vacant look, I recognized it all too well. Some even felt compelled to walk up, and as we rolled down the windows, they’d ask questions, and peek inside at stop signs as a fleet of beautiful looking Stingers paraded through the streets of the 619.
One thing was quite clear, the Kia Stinger was the main act and we were just the roadies.
Cheer Up Boys, (Your make-up is running.)
Driving inside the Stinger showed me that there is no hiding behind big hair, 70s “drunk mom” sunglasses, props and war paint. You’re not Nikki Sixx*, and why would you want to be when you can be Iggy Pop or Sid Vicious? Nikki Sixx (God bless him,) is a rare breed that lived fast, will die old, and made a boatload of cash while maneuvering a lifestyle many can’t handle for a night, let alone a few decades. But let’s be clear, he’s one in a million. A true rock star that lived to tell his story. He even died…twice doing so.
But like Ned’s album title, Why Be Normal? When you are behind the wheel of a Stinger, it’s your kit. Channel your inner Keith Moon. Just because you are an OC mom blogger doesn’t mean you don’t get to live fast, command the stage, decide the setlist, and determine when it’s time for an encore while hugging the curves on Route 73. Being a Stinger driver means your world might be a soft ballad, yacht rock, and AM Gold during your Pilates class or plastic surgeon’s visit, and that’s OK, but once you hear the engine roar embrace your soul, get ready and clutch your pearls, because the feel of the power on the open road is a bad a$$ adrenaline rush. I bet you’ll even swap your Lululemon out for leather, and that’s oh, so very punk rock of you.
My, My, Hey, Hey
So the next time things don’t seem ‘normal’ in a crowded room, (and I promise there will be a next time,) don’t fret, I swear this is not your Swan Song. It’s far from it, you are not a washed up, aging rock star, you are Stinger so act like one. But like P. Diddy-slash-Puff Daddy-slash-Sean Combs (whatever his name is today,) take a mental note of who is clapping the loudest when you score.
Weed out the coattail riders and leave them at the next stop. Maybe even give them bus fare or a Lyft credit for good measure, but remind yourself that everything looks better on Instagram. Then listen closely when Uncle Neil croons, “It’s better to burn out than fade away,” because that’s exactly what the rest will do…fade away as you leave them in your rearview mirror. Objects in the rearview mirror often seem more important than they actually are. “But don’t look back, you can never look back.”
The world isn’t ready to bid you fare thee well yet. Heck, this isn’t even your final tour. The blogging world loves a good comeback even more than Hollywood. You are so P!nk. You are so Stevie, hell, you are even Joan + Patti rolled into one. Bad a$$ to the core. So get the band back together, write some tunes, hit the studio. Remind them why they invited a legend to their party in the first place.
Turn and face the strange
As I was grabbing something out of my bag this weekend while at Legoland with my daughter, this photo booth slid out of my book. I could help to chuckle to myself of the juxtaposition between our rockstar garb against the magical mystical Merlin carpeting and decor. This certainly wasn’t the Hard Rock anymore, and we were far from Almost Famous. But these are my people. And I felt pretty nostalgic
Just like that, the search for normalcy was over. This is our normal, there’s nothing strange about it. Amber and Jon, Keri-Lyn, Misty, and I, we’ve been friends for a long time. Together and separately, we know each other’s children, our spouses are friends, we’ve been on vacations together, and of course, plenty of blogging trips, projects, and we’ve all been ambassadors together.
One thing is for sure, normal is completely overrated.
Be a Stinger and give them something to talk about.
* No iconic rock stars have been hurt in the making of this sponsored blog post. We all know they have Russell Hanson-sized egos, but as much as I would love to believe Nikki Sixx reads The JetSet Family, I’m sure we’re not even a blip on his radar.
…yet at least.
File under: #ItsAllHappening