Seeing is believing. What you see is what you get. It is what it is. We are all familiar with those three sayings. But, is reality really that simple? Are things really that black & white? Is everything we see right in front of our eyes at any given time always real? Is everything we see really always what we think we are seeing, or could our eyes sometimes be fooled?
The incident in this post tests and challenges the veracity and validity of the three aforementioned sayings. Y’all will see evidence that apparently while we think that seeing is believing … sometimes what we see is not necessarily what we get. It is not always as simple as “it is what it is.” Sometimes it is actually something else all together.
NOW … take a good look at the image on the right. At the top of the image is a 57 Chevy. At the bottom of the image is a 70 Chevelle. I think most, if not all of y’all will agree that the two cars have nothing in common as far as body style. The 57 Chevy has what used to be referred to as the “Shoebox” style for obvious reasons. The Chevelle on the other hand, is a more modern lean, mean, aerodynamic machine. They look nothing alike, right? Well, hold on to that thought.
So on the Saturday of the week after this past Halloween, I was taking my parents to Walmart. We were taking a different route than usual because there was going to be a Veterans’ Day Parade there on the main road and any minute now, it would be closed. As we were driving along, we saw an Oldies Classic car coming towards us. As it passed right by us, we noticed it had several little USA flags on it, so we figured it was going to be participating in the parade as one of my sisters and her husband have two Oldies Classic trucks and they usually participate in the parade.
With my Dad having been a Wizard Guru Master Auto Mechanic in his younger days back in the Old School era of autos, he always gets nostalgic when he sees an Oldies Classic car or truck. He likes to call out the make, model and year of the car or truck. Not surprisingly, that was the case this time as well. Below is the conversation that ensued. The conversation was actually in Spanish, but I have provided the translated version.
Dad: Heyyy! A 57 Chevy, just like the one we used to have.
--- I paused several seconds before it dawned on me what he said and that obviously something wasn't right.
Me: Whoa! Wait a minute! What are you talking about? That wasn't a 57 Chevy.
Dad: Yes it was, just like the one we used to have many years ago.
Mom: No sireee! We never had any such car as the one that just passed by.
Dad: Yes we did. I saw it clearly. It was a 57 Chevy.
Me: No it wasn't. In fact, that wasn't a 50’s anything.
Dad: Well, what did you think you saw?
Me: I saw a Red & Black Chevelle.
Mom: Yes. That’s about what I saw also.
Dad: A Chevelle? Nooo! That was no Chevelle. I know what a 57 Chevy looks like and that was a 57 Chevy … a Red & Black 57 Chevy.
Me: Well I too know what a 57 Chevy looks like and that was no 57 Chevy. I saw it front and rear and both were that of a Chevelle.
Dad: No, you’re wrong. That was no Chevelle.
Me: Well, I guess we’ll just have to ask my sister whether a Red & Black 57 Chevy or a Chevelle participated in the parade.
Dad: I guess we will.
The next day, I was at my sister’s house. I asked her, “Hey, did you and Joe participate in the parade?” Joe is her husband. My sister replied, “Uhhh, I didn't, but Joe did. Why?” I told her about our incident regarding the Oldies Classic car sighting and the debate that followed regarding whether it was a Red & Black 57 Chevy or a Chevelle. My sister went, “Well actually, Sandra does have a Red 57 Chevy.” Sandra is some woman we know there in town. Anyway, with my sister’s comment, my jaw just about dropped and I went, “Wwww WHAT? You mean my Dad was right? Now I’m going to have to go admit to him that he was right and my Mom and I were wrong?” I paused very briefly as I thought back to the incident, then reasserted my stance on the matter, “Wait a minute. No! No way! That can’t be. I know what I saw and there was no 57 Chevy there.”
Just then, my brother-in-law happened to be walking out of the garage. My sister asked him, “Hey, Joe, doesn't Sandra have a Red & Black 57 Chevy?” Before my brother-in-law could answer, I interjected to bring him up to speed with the details of the incident regarding the Oldies Classic car mystery. To my delight, my brother-in-law replied, “Well, Sandra does have a 57 Chevy, but it is Red & White, not Red & Black.”
With my eyes opening up wide and no doubt a huge smile on my face, I went, “All right! Now we’re getting somewhere.” Excited and sensing victory, yet still somewhat cautious, I asked my brother-in-law, “Okay … now tell me this. Confirm this for me. WAS there or was there NOT a Red & Black Chevelle in the parade?” My brother-in-law replied, “Yyyy yes.” I immediately celebrated, “Woo Hoo! YES! I was right! I win!”
I then proceeded to go tell my Dad about my brother-in-law’s confirmation that there was indeed a Red & Black Chevelle in the parade and not a Red & Black 57 Chevy. I thought my Dad would finally admit defeat, but I was mistaken. My Dad still did not budge. He stood his ground. He still claimed he saw a Red & Black 57 Chevy pass by us the previous day.
I don’t know. I am perplexed and at a complete loss as to an explanation for how 3 people --- my Mom, my Dad & I could look at the exact same car pass by us … and yet while my Mom & I saw a Red & Black Chevelle with little USA flags on it, my Dad somehow saw a Red & Black 57 Chevy with no little USA flags on it. How is this possible? As y’all saw in the image above and no doubt agreed, these two cars look nothing alike. And what about the USA flags vs. no USA flags? Sheesh! This is equivalent to a Hot Babe walking sexily by and out of 3 people … 2 saw Christina Aguilera in tight, short Red Shorts with a tight USA T-Shirt … while the 3rd person saw Kelly Monaco in tight Blue Jeans with a tight, short White Top. I mean, both possibilities of who the Hot Babe really is are excitingly pleasant. However, we all know it can’t possibly be both at the same time.
Who knows? Maybe this was just some weirdness residual leftover from Halloween. Just a Phantom 57 Chevy because there for sure doesn't seem to be any logical explanation.